Hobart was founded in 1804, initially as a penal colony and the relics of a convict past are still to be seen in the city and in the penitentiary ruins at Port Arthur, where many of the convicts were later moved, 93 kilometres from Hobart.
Hobart today is a mix of past and present with structures built in colonial times standing beside more modern buildings.
Among Hobart-born people who have gained measures of prominence are swashbuckling Hollywood actor Errol Flynn (1909-1959) whose movies spanned the period from the 1930s to the late 1950s, and Mary Donaldson who, after her marriage to Danish Crown Prince Frederik in 2004, is the Crown Princess of Denmark.
Hobart's sister cities are Yaizu in the prefecture of Shizuoka in Japan, L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy, and Valdivia in the Los Rios region of Chile.
Hobart, capital of the island state of Tasmania, is Australia's second oldest city after Sydney. Originally a penal colony, the vestiges of its convict years are imprinted in its many heritage buildings built in colonial times. For a time, too, Hobart was the only Australian city with a legal casino but now more than just Australia's capital cities have established casinos of their own. With an international and domestic airport, Hobart is a visitors' gateway to nearby historic sites and to the wilderness areas of the state.More »
In the period after Christmas, as boats in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race start arriving at the finish line in the Derwent River, Hobart celebrates its annual Summer Festival featuring the arts, fine food and wine, and showcases of entertainment. But summer or not, the city offers much to visitors in every season in its museums, historic walks, weekend markets, and convenient daytrips to nearby attractions. And then, of course, just off Salamanca Place, there's Battery Point to explore. Here, you can virtually step back in time in one of Hobart's oldest and most historic areas.More »
For panoramic views of the city, its waterfront and its river, there are lookouts on Mt Nelson and Mt Wellington. In the city itself, go on a walking tour, by yourself or with a guided group to view historic sites and buildings. Also, there are museums and galleries to visit, shops and cafes in which to dawdle, and on Saturdays Salamanca Place becomes a bustling plaza bazaar with interesting items of merchandise to tempt visitor and local alike.More »
Driving up Mt Wellington is easy enough in fine weather, but do check the weather forecast. When there's heavy fog on the road, driving can be both difficult and dangerous. When there's ice or snow on the road, driving up the mountain may not be allowed and the access road closed. But when the weather's fine, enjoy the picnic and barbecue facilities in the park, or follow the walking tracks into the bush.More »
The town of Richmond, a half hour's drive from Hobart, is a living historical site with some of Australia's oldest structures — church, bridge, jail — in a present-day community steeped in its colonial past. There are old-style eating houses and Devonshire tea places for when you become peckish, and there's a variety of shops to browse through for souvenirs.More »
The most popular daytrip out of Hobart is to the ruins of the convict penitentiary complex at Port Arthur, from Hobart a mere hour and a half by road through the Tasmanian countryside. You can explore the site by yourself or join a guided tour providing a deeper insight into the penitentiary and its past. There's a ghost tour, too, at night — if you dare.More »