From the weekend market of Salamanca Place to cute colonial Battery Point, the call of the sea and colonial history are never far from mind in the yachties’ haven of Hobart. The Georgian warehouses lining Sullivans Cove form the focus of Hobart’s historic docks precinct, and towering Mount Wellington is an ever-present backdrop. Australia’s second-oldest city, Hobart has a swag of warm sandstone Georgian architecture and a growing reputation for fine restaurants and wine bars.
Day 1: Historic Hobart
You won’t find a more charming urban enclave than lovely Battery Point, perched above the Salamanca Place warehouses and Sullivans Cove. The tiny streets are lined with gorgeous early-19th-century cottages, each boasting pristine flower beds and more than likely a resident tabby cat sunning itself on the brick wall, waiting for a pat. To get to Battery Point from Salamanca Place, follow the time-worn Kellys Steps. You’ll also get a rich sense of the colonial past at the Penitentiary Chapel site, especially if you take an atmospheric evening ghost tour.
Day 2: Museums and Galleries
To get to grips with Hobart’s history, dive into the Maritime Museum of Tasmania and its collection of seafaring memorabilia. Aboriginal art and colonial relics are displayed at the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, and the role of the army in colonial times is explored at the Military Museum. There’s more colonial history at Narryna Heritage Museum, giving you the chance to explore an 1836 Georgian mansion. For a real taste of history, take a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory or see beer being brewed at the 1832 Cascade Brewery.
Day 3: Colonial Past
It’s impossible not to feel a frisson of dread when you enter Port Arthur Historic Site. The 1830s convict penitentiary built on the Tasman Peninsula, 60 km (37 miles) south-east of Hobart, is now a ghostly collection of neo-Gothic ruins. The history seems more benign at the lovely town of Richmond, famous for its convict-built bridge and duck-filled village pond. Other colonial towns with lovely colonial buildings include Oatlands, Ross and Campbell Town, with its convict trail.