Hobart: six don’t miss sights

Crisp winter days and cosy evening fires can make Hobart an ideal romantic weekend away. With the often drastic change in temperature Hobart can seem more like an overseas holiday than the short flight (or overnight ferry) suggests. And there’s a lot to do – too much, in fact – in just two or three days.

1. Oh Mona
There’s an extra reason to head south in June this year – the remarkable Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) holds DARK MOFO from 12-22 June with the tag line “Colder, darker, weirder”. Even if you can’t make it for the event, it’s certainly worth heading out along the Derwent River (ideally by the dedicated ferry from the downtown Brook St wharf) to Berriedale and MONA itself. You may hate it or love it but you can’t fail to be moved by it. It is worth noting that David Walsh, the internet gambler who owns it suggests that the best way to see it is to take the lift to the basement where you’ll find a bar (as he thinks every museum is better after a drink first). Also, if too many people ‘like’ an exhibit he has it taken out as he doesn’t want the artwork to make viewers feel comfortable. But even the most hardened critic can’t fail to laugh at the fat Porsche convertible.

MONA's Fat Porsche

2. Antarctic artefact
When Douglas Mawson and his team arrived at Commonwealth Bay in 1912 the weather was good and they started erecting their hut. Then the wind came up and they waited for it to drop. Unfortunately, it never did as they’d picked the windiest place in the world. It remains a difficult place to get to. Fortunately, anyone can now virtually visit the hut at the Mawson’s Hut Replica Museum near the Hobart waterfront. It provides an intriguing insight into the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration and Mawson’s own remarkable battle for survival.

3. Whisky trail
The polar explorers would have appreciated having a whisky bar and tasting centre located just metres away from their front door. They weren’t able to indulge, however, thankfully we can - the Lark Distillery Cellar Door & Whisky Bar at 14 Davey St offers a range of tasting or quaffing options. Tasmanian whisky certainly attracted world attention when Sullivans Cove was voted the world’s best in March 2014. Others are also gathering accolades so it is worth testing to find your favourite. Yes, it is a hard job but someone has to do it!

Lark Distillery

4. Salamanca Market/Battery Point
No visit to Hobart would be complete without a walk around historic Battery Point where quaint homes and grand architecture await around every corner. It’s worth planning your visit to be in town on Saturday when Salamanca market is on. With crafts and specialist foods available throughout the large expanse this can take care of gift shopping – and personal indulgence – in one hit.

5. Mountain high
Looming over the city, Mt Wellington (1270m) is often cloaked in winter snow. It’s certainly worth a visit for the panoramic view from the summit and the sights along the way. For a real adventure, take the 22km downhill bicycle ride from the top.

6. Exploring Port Arthur
After extensive recent renovation, the Port Arthur Historic Site, a World Heritage site, was recently the winner as Australia’s best major tourist attraction. It gleams while revealing several dark moments in Australia’s history. It’s an easy day tour from Hobart – and one everyone should take it once.

Port Arthur (1)

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Have you been to Hobart? Are there any other Hobart attractions you think should be added to this list? Join our conversation below…