Best things to do in Hobart

Bustling food markets, edgy art and natural beauty – the Tasmanian capital makes the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.

Boats on the water of Hobart’s Constitution Dock, edged by historic sandstone buildings.
  • Stephanie Williams
  • February 2019
  • Updated September 2021

Whether you’re an animal lover, foodie or in the mood to hike a mountain, Hobart offers visitors a range of special experiences.

Visit Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Did you know a wombat marks its territory with a square poo so it doesn’t roll away? Scat humour abounds at Bonorong, a wildlife sanctuary located 30 minutes drive from Hobart city centre. Owner Greg Irons worked here as a youngster before taking over. Time your visit with one of the tours to get up close with wombats and koalas, then take a walk to see the rest of the crew – there are kangaroos (which you can hand-feed), Tasmanian devils and Eastern quolls, among others. It’s an absolute winner with families.

A Tasmanian Devil.
Get close to Tasmania's fascinating creatures at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.

Hike or bike kunanyi/Mount Wellington

If you want to breathe in some crisp Tasmanian air, it doesn’t get fresher than at kunanyi/Mount Wellington. Rising 1270m above sea level, the mountain stands over Hobart as a reminder of the beautiful wilderness at the city’s doorstep and a barometer of the ever-changing weather. The base of the mountain is a 20-minute drive from the city or you can catch the Explorer shuttle bus from Brooke Street Pier on the waterfront.

Wellington Park offers a huge range of walking and mountain biking trails – you can hire a bike from one of the local operators such as Tasmanian Mountain Bike Adventures. Once you’ve expended all that energy, pop into Lost Freight at The Springs, a cute café in a shipping container, for a pick-me-up.

Couple strolling along boardwalk towards lookout at kunanyi/Mount Wellington, Hobart.
Head to the lookout of kunanyi/Mount Wellington for views of Hobart and beyond. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania/Dearna Bond

Explore Mona

Visiting Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) is a no-brainer. The vision of part gambler, part art collector David Walsh, Mona pushes the boundaries of contemporary art and collectable objects in Australia’s largest private art collection. You can drive 20 minutes from the city centre to the gallery, but arrive on the Mona Roma ferry to fully appreciate the incredible architecture by Nonda Katsalidis – all taken in via the comfortable seating for “ewe” (trust me, this will make sense when you take a seat!) or the “Posh Pit”, complete with complimentary canapés and drinks.

Exterior view of Mona on the banks of the Derwent River, Hobart. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania/Jesse Hunniford
Make sure Mona is on your must-see list. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania/Jesse Hunniford

Feast at local food markets

As Tasmania’s most visited tourist attraction, Salamanca Market is as popular as it is enduring, having started in the late 1970s. From 8.30am until 3pm each Saturday, the market showcases Tasmanian food, wine, art, craft, curiosities and clothing. Savour a salted caramel crepe while you enjoy the talented buskers and pick up some unique souvenirs. Alternatively, on Sunday mornings you can join locals at Farm Gate Market for breakfast and a chat with charismatic local producers. Be sure to grab an almond croissant from Cygnet Woodfired Bakehouse. Street Eats Franko, a vibrant weekly food fair at Franklin Square, is also great for Friday night dining in summer.

People browsing outdoor stalls at Hobart’s Salamanca Market. Image credit: Tourism Australia/Graham Freeman
A trip to Hobart wouldn't be complete without visiting Salamanca Market. Image credit: Tourism Australia/Graham Freeman