Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania, Vol 1. Hobart & historic Port Arthur

In June, I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks on the picturesque island of Tasmania. My first stop was Hobart, the state capital. This stunning city is surrounded by a natural harbour and mountains. Hobart is Australia’s second oldest city after Sydney, and as a result, it is rich in history.

If you wish to soak in the historical atmosphere of Tasmania, you can take a leisurely stroll around Battery Point and Salamanca. Battery Point was settled by pioneers in the early 1800s. At that time, it was a seafaring village that had artillery in place to defend against enemies. However, the guns were never used for any other purpose than ceremonial firings. Nowadays, Battery Point is home to several cafes, restaurants, and museums, which are worth a visit.

Salamanca is located next to Battery Point and used to be a warehouse for the Hobart port. Nowadays, the area is a vibrant hub of restaurants, bars, and galleries showcasing local artists. The area comes alive on Saturdays as locals and visitors gather for the Salamanca outdoor market. The market brings together local farmers, producers, artists, wineries, bakers, and more. You can find everything from souvenirs to local jams and cheeses on offer. If you’re in Hobart on a Saturday, this is definitely worth a visit. You can even grab a light lunch from one of the many food stalls and enjoy live music from local artists.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Port Arthur is one of Tasmania’s most popular tourist destinations, located about 90 minutes drive from Hobart. It is a great place to visit for a day trip or even for a few days away. Port Arthur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with an interesting history. It was a prison for criminals who repeatedly broke the law from 1830 onwards. The prison was known for its strict discipline and harsh punishments. However, it was also a place where prisoners could learn new skills, work, and study. Some prisoners were even completely isolated from other prisoners. Port Arthur was also one of the most important industrial settlements, producing building materials for Australian settlers, building boats and ships, etc. In 1877, Port Arthur was disbanded, but in its short history of less than 50 years, it has many fascinating stories to tell.

Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

Located closer to the centre of Hobart, Mount Wellington is a majestic mountain that dominates the city’s backdrop. It boasts many walking trails and a lookout point at the top, which provides a great overview of the city. I highly recommend visiting the top of the mountain first to get a good view of the city. The drive up to the top takes about half an hour, and there are also organized tours available from the city centre. However, it’s essential to check the weather report beforehand, as sometimes clouds may obscure the view, or in winter, the road may be closed due to snow.

Mount Wellington, Tasmania, Australia

Author and Photo Credits: Asko Meriläinen