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Hobart (Photo:Joel Everard/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to Hobart

Hobart, capital of Tasmania, Australia's smallest state and second oldest city, has come a long way. Once a remote and quiet place, it's now a major tourist attraction for overseas visitors and Australians looking for a break in a temperate climate surrounded by natural beauty. Located at the mouth of the navigable Derwent River, the port city of Hobart is fringed by hills and the majestic presence of Mt Wellington, which rises to 1,273 metres (4,176 feet).

Half of Tasmania's estimated 520,000 inhabitants live in the region, evidenced by the suburban sprawl that extends for miles, especially in the Derwent Valley and along the coast to the south. Halifax, Nova Scotia, would be an apt parallel, as both cities are largely built of solid stone construction in Georgian and Federation styles. And their waterfronts are a delight to visit on foot. The big difference is that, unlike Halifax and many North American cities of this size, Hobart has a thriving commercial centre a few blocks inland from the now mostly recreational port. The urban shops and services are designed for Hobartians and, while visitors may also find the city centre useful, they tend to gravitate to the waterfront and a block or two inland.

You wouldn't know Hobart was established in part by English convicts who then subsequently built much of Tasmania's early infrastructure. Hobart's economy was then based on servicing the mining, forestry and agricultural industries, both financially and as an export port.

Passengers wandering off the cruise ships do not have far to go to find intriguing places to shop, eat, drink and explore, with many of the city's most stylish, contemporary spaces housed in handsome former 19th-century port and manufacturing buildings. The waterfront's small basins and marinas are populated by historic sailing ships and excursion boats, steam yachts, modern-day pleasure craft and Hobart's fishing fleet. Their catch is quickly swept up by nearby restaurants and the fish and chip shops on the pontoon, which offer a fabulous no-frills eating experience.

Arts and crafts shops, housed in former warehouses, abound in Salamanca Place and Salamanca Square, and the Battery Point residential district shows off the best of the city's 19th-century residential architecture.

Hobart is also well situated for several out-of-town excursions by local transit bus or cruise line-organised shore excursions. They'll take you up into the surrounding mountains, along the lovely Derwent River Valley or out onto the Tasman Peninsula. Attractions include the Tasmanian Transport Museum (off Anfield St, Glenorchy; 0428 386 843), MONA, the world-class Museum of Old and New Art (655 Main Road Berriedale), and historic Port Arthur (Arthur Highway, Port Arthur), one of the country's most notorious penal colonies.

  • More about Hobart

  • Why Cruise to Hobart?

  • Good to Know?

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More about Hobart

Why Cruise to Hobart?

Pros:

With its mild climate and natural beauty, Hobart has great food, wine and a mountain to climb

Cons:

Not a lot of options for public transport, especially after 6 pm or on the weekend

Bottom Line:

No need to venture far from the waterfront, except for a trip to MONA

Good to Know?

If going ashore independently and planning a trip out of Hobart to Mt Wellington, Cascades Female Factory (16 Degraves St), Cascades Brewery (131 Cascade Rd), Museum of Old + New Art (MONA, 655 Main Road), or Richmond, be sure to carefully check the return schedules as some transit routes have infrequent departures. However, if the service is sponsored by the local tourist centre, you should be okay.

Getting Around?

On foot: Walking is the best way to get around Hobart as many attractions are very close to the pier. Salamanca Square and the main downtown shopping precincts are no more than an easy 15-minute stroll. The compact city centre is laid out in a grid of one-way streets that circle Elizabeth St Mall.

By taxi: Taxis and Ubers are available at the pier for those that want to travel beyond the immediate city centre.

By bus: While there are some bus services, most are more useful to the local commuters than to visitors. Some specific routes that the tourist might use are included below (in the Don't Miss and Been There, Done That sections). The Red Decker Company provides double-decker bus tours around Hobart with a flexible hop-on and hop-off service.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

ATMs are positioned just a short walk away from to the cruise pier, tourist office and Salamanca Place and Square. The local currency is Australian dollars. Many places of business in Mooloolaba now have contactless payment technology.

Language?

English is spoken with varied Australian accents.

Where You're Docked?

Macquarie Wharf is well situated for visiting the city on foot, as it's located within 10 minutes' walk of Hobart's CBD. There are three berths; Pier 1 is the closest to the action, and Pier 3 is the most distant, but it's still walkable. The immediate area, which includes Constitution and Victoria docks, was in the heart of Hobart's shipping industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Volunteers meet and greet passengers from the ships, answer questions and recommend local attractions.

The Constitution Dock and Victoria Dock area has become somewhat of a creative hub with galleries, boutiques, bars, award-winning restaurants, cafes. Here, you will also find fishing boats, a yacht basin, and the Maritime Museum of Tasmania (16 Argyle St). Many of the harbourside stores here are housed in Hobart's oldest waterfront warehouses, in the former Henry Jones IXL Jam Factory, which is now The Henry Jones Art Hotel.


Hobart Cruise Reviews
There is so much to do in Hobart, Tasmania. Great natural beauty. Read More
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notme2012
Lovely to walk from ship to the Waterfront of Hobart. Enjoyed a nice stroll & fish and chips.Read More
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hallelujahcruiser
Had an overnight in Hobart. Very easy to just walk off right in centre of town. We always enjoy stopping here and wandering around. Easy to walk around but this was our first time with a wheelchair and it shockedRead More
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JAMOZ
The port in Hobart is right next to the city centre, making it very easy to hop off the cruise ship and explore the city. As I had over 24 hours in Hobart, I organised a hire car and visited Mount Wellington and PortRead More
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viviancartman

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