The city of Hobart is the capital of Tasmania, the island state of Australia that lies just off the southeast shore of the mainland.
Even as it’s the largest city on Tasmania, it’s nevertheless among the smaller capital cities of the country. Hobart rests on the edge of a natural cove on the southern shores of Tasmania, just where the mouth of the Derwent River gives way to a natural deep water port that eventually empties into the Southern Ocean.
When Europeans discovered Hobart in 1803, the upper river banks were populated by the Mouheneener Aborigines.
Photo by Arthur Chapman
As Hobart served primarily as a penal colony, the natives did not integrate well with the settlers. Conflicts with the Europeans caused them to fight amongst themselves, and they also suffered from the various illnesses brought to their island by the Europeans.
Eventually the native population was decimated, although its influence is still felt today.
The city rests beneath the shadow of beautiful Mount Wellington, thick with trees and capped with snow year round and serving as a recreation site for visitors and residents alike. Within the city you can visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, a casino on Sandy Bay, and an estate winery with a floor-size mural.
But most of the city’s work and play takes place around the waterfront. Hobart is the receiving end of the Sydney to Hobart Yachting race every summer. Besides Salamanca Place with shops and restaurants converted from old warehouses, there are fishermen whose families have worked the river and cove for generations, and you’ll also find staging areas for Antarctic expeditions based in Hobart.
You’re just a hop and a skip from Hobart to Macquarie Island to Commonwealth Bay, on the actual Antarctic continent.
If you’re visiting this part of Australia, it’s something you’ve got to check out.