Hobart, the capital of Australia’s southernmost island – Tasmania – is a waterfront city popular with travellers who are drawn to its heritage, culture and natural beauty. As the second oldest capital in Australia after Sydney, this buzzing city combines heritage charm with a chic lifestyle surrounded by well-preserved bushland and beaches. Here’s how you can have a delightful time in this captivating city without feeling a pinch in your wallet!
Immerse in the artistic culture at Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Hobart plays a significant role in the arts and entertainment scene in Tasmania. So a visit to this buzzing capital is not complete without a tour to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). Established in 1846 by the Royal Society of Tasmania, TMAG is the oldest Royal Society outside England. Since general admission to TMAG is free to all members of the public except for occasional special exhibits that may require an entrance fee, make use of this great opportunity to learn and appreciate the fine art pieces and architecture created during the colonial times through its well-preserved collections.
Do note that TMAG is open Tuesdays to Sundays between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, and closed on Good Friday, Anzac Day and Christmas Day. You may wish to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee with your friends at its Courtyard Café near the main entrance after the tour. If not, since TMAG is located right smack in the heart of the CBD, you can also explore the vicinity after the tour to admire the well-preserved historic architecture for a nostalgic feel of the Victorian and Georgian times for free!
Check out Hobart’s historic waterfront
As a historical waterfront city in Tasmania, naturally you have to make a trip down to its lovely waterfront for its beautiful scenery. Hobart’s harbour forms the second-deepest natural port in the world. You may access the waterfront within a short walk from TMAG. Many historical buildings line the waterfront and you will also find the Constitution Dock here where many motor pleasure boats, yachts and fishing boats can be seen. If you happen to be visiting Hobart during the year-end period, don’t miss the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, where you can catch yachts sailing in at the dock to complete their 630 nautical mile journey from Sydney after Boxing Day.
An affordable fish and chips meal by the scenic waterfront
Bet you must be hungry after exploring the historical buildings and splendid scenery in the city. There are a wide variety of dining options along Hobart’s waterfront, catering to the diverse tastes of its visitors from around the world. For an affordable and satisfying fish and chips meal overlooking the scenic waterfront, visit the Fish Frenzy restaurant located at Elizabeth Street Pier, Sullivans Cove. Since its opening in November 1988, it has become well-known for its quality seafood, fast service and innovative presentation of its dishes. Weekday lunch specials start from as low as 8 AUD (5.70 USD) and include its specialty fish and chips, which come in a generous portion wrapped in brown paper like the picture you see above. You definitely don’t need to pay big bucks to be able to taste fresh seafood with a great view here!
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Bird’s eye view of the city from Mt. Wellington
The 1,270 metre-high Mt. Wellington, about 40 minutes’ drive from Hobart’s CBD, is a beautiful backdrop to the city’s skyline. For those who do not drive, you can take a ride on the metro bus which departs from Franklin Square bus terminal in the CBD to get to Fern Tree first for a fee of 4.50 AUD (3.20 USD). Thereafter, you may embark on one of the walking trails to reach the park in the mountain. Alternatively, there are a number of tour companies that operate tours up the mountain and you may check for more details at the Hobart Travel Centre near Franklin Square.
From Mt. Wellington, you will be able to get a stunning bird’s eye view of the alluring city, including one of its landmarks – the Tasman Bridge that provides the main traffic route from the CBD to the eastern shore. Try going up to the mountain to admire the charming city from a different view on the top, and see if you prefer the day or night view!
Pleasant day out without burning a hole in your wallet
Besides the above suggestions on what you can do in Hobart CBD without having to spend too much, there are many more interesting activities depending on the period you visit, such as checking out the world-famous Museum of Old & New Art, touring the historical Battery Point and exploring the Salamanca Market on Saturdays. All these activities allow you to experience and enjoy the culturally rich city with an “Old-World” feel without burning a big hole in your wallet! Enjoy!
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