Hobart might conjure images of fireside lounging and subterranean art galleries but it has plenty on offer for the more outdoor-minded. Here are ten of the best experiences.
Go climb a mountain
At 1271 metres tall, Mount Wellington is literally Hobart’s greatest landmark. It’s possible to drive to the top but far more satisfying to stop halfway up at Fern Tree, from which point a three-hour hike will take you to the summit with its breathtaking views of the city and Derwent Valley.
Get lost in Battery Point
One of Hobart’s oldest suburbs, Battery Point is the perfect place to wander without a purpose (or a map) thanks to its attractive mix of grand sandstone mansions and a laneway tangle of cute Colonial cottages, plus some rather lovely views of the waterfront (pro tip: Kelly’s Steps, carved into the hillside in 1839, will take you from Salamanca up to Battery Point).
Art in the elements
Hobart’s madcap, captivating Museum of Old and New Art isn’t all about the dramatic gallery spaces carved deep into the earth – you can also take in artist James Turrell’s Amarna, a sound and light “skyscape” shown every sunrise and sunset on the MONA rooftop.
655 Main Road, Berriedale; 03 6277 9900
Nature and natter
Hugging the Elwick Bay foreshore 10 minutes’ drive from Hobart (and just one kilometre from MONA), the Glenorchy Art & Sculpture Park – better known as GASP – is an open-air public gallery where sculpture installations respond to the dramatic Derwent Estuary and four pavilions and a food truck bring the conviviality.
Brooker Highway, Elwick Bay, Glenorchy
Get your sea legs
See the city from the water with Hobart Historic Cruises. Their one-hour cruise along the Derwent River takes in sights such as the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Government House and Battery Point.
Murray Street Pier, Hobart; 03 6200 9074
Held every Saturday, Hobart’s Salamanca Market brings a 300 stallholder-strong array of food, art and entertainment to Hobart’s waterfront, with the sandstone Georgian warehouses of Salamanca Place providing an Instagram-worthy backdrop.
Salamanca Place, Hobart
Nature is rarely cultivated so prettily than the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. Celebrating its bicentenary in 2018, these 14 hectares in the Queens Domain contain a serene Japanese garden, a huge collection of conifers and more than 400 native Tasmanian species – plus it’s a great place for a picnic.
Lower Domain Road, Hobart; 03 6166 0451
Hit the convict trail
It’s worth the 90-minute drive to reach the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur. Australia’s best-preserved former penal colony is an open-air museum set in 40 hectares of grounds, with 30 buildings and ruins to explore and, if you’re feeling brave, a ghost tour by torchlight.
Arthur Highway, Port Arthur; 1800 659 101
Take to two wheels to explore the Intercity Cycleway, stretching 15 kilometres along the Derwent River from Hobart through Glenorchy and Berriedale to its conclusion in Claremont. Along the way you can stop at various sights including a short detour to the Cornelian Bay lookout, and refuel at a few cafes.
Only 20 minutes’ drive from Hobart in the Coal River Valley, Richmond Village is a living time capsule. It’s rich in Georgian architecture – the much-photographed local landmark is an elegant arched bridge constructed in 1825 from convict-hauled sandstone – and the town is also a magnet for food lovers attracted by businesses such as The Wicked Cheese Co and Richmond Wine Centre, where you can sample the region’s wines.
SEE ALSO: The Market-lover’s Guide to Hobart