10 free things to do in Hobart

Tasman Bridge, Hobart

Thinking of a Hobart city break?

This quaint Tasmanian capital can easily be done on a budget! Not only can you get flight specials from most major Australian cities multiple times throughout the year, accommodation prices are reasonably cheap and there are plenty of activities for frugal travellers.

On my most recent visit to my home town I put together a list of 10 activities that won’t empty your pocket, so here are some free things to do in Hobart! For other activities and day trips, check out my local’s guide to Hobart.

Hobart's Royal Botanic Gardens

1. Explore the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens

One of my favourite parts of Hobart is the Royal Botanic Gardens. You can get a bus from the city to the top entrance, head there on a nice day for the best experience.

Even if you’re not a green thumb, there’s plenty for you to enjoy! Be sure to check out the beautiful Lily Pond, the styled Japanese garden, the Conservatory, and the Subantarctic Plant House. Also stop for a coffee on the balcony of the visitor centre. Head to the RTBG website for more events and activities.

2. Visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)

Yep, this museum and art gallery is entirely free to enter! A recent redevelopment has freshened up this historical city building, which is open daily from 10-5 and easily accessible by foot from most city accommodations. The museum and art gallery hosts a number of permanent and temporary exhibits, check out the TMAG website to find out what’s on.

Salamanca Market, Hobart

3. Wander through Salamanca Market

Every Saturday the market stretches the length of Salamanca Place. Admire the beautiful sandstone building backdrop and rummage through Tasmanian gifts, home wares, produce, souvenirs, and handmade clothing.

Afterwards, stop and have lunch in one of Salamanca Square’s restaurants and cafes, or have a drink at one of the bars that line Salamanca Place.

Franklin Wharf, Hobart, Tasmania

4. Walk along Franklin Wharf

After you’ve finished with Salamanca, follow the waterfront towards Hunter Street. Along the way you’ll find Mures Seafood Restaurant, Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum (this costs $12 to enter), and some pretty darn lovely views across the Derwent River and back towards Hobart.

Tasman Bridge, Hobart

5. Walk over the Tasman Bridge

The Bridge, as known by locals, is most famous for its collapse in 1975 when a rather large ship ran into one of it’s pylons. The walk across is not a short one, but definitely worthwhile for the views it provides.

Once you’ve made it to the other Eastern Shore end, walk down to the base to look back at the city, then head to the highway at the end of the bridge to grab a bus back over.

Bellerive Beach, Hobart, Tasmania

6. Relax on the beach

For a relaxing day at the beach, head to Bellerive on the Eastern Shore. Do as the locals do by getting takeaway fish and chips or Tasmanian Valhalla ice cream from The Fish Bar and eat it on the sand while you sit back and admire the city.

Mt Nelson Signal Station, Hobart, Tasmania

7. Go up to Mt Nelson Signal Station

A bus will take you directly to the signal station lookout at Mt Nelson. Take your camera – you’ll need it to capture some sexy views of the Derwent River and city.

The Brasserie cafe is a great spot if you feel like stopping for lunch or a coffee, or take your own lunch if you’d prefer to chill with a picnic on the grass overlooking the river.


8. Have a coffee in North Hobart

There’s no better place to stop for coffee than North Hobart. About a 10-15 minute walk from the mall will bring you to this trendy area, with an abundance of boutique stores, retro and vintage fashion, restaurants, cafes, and nightlife.

Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania

9. Explore historic Battery Point

See some of Australia’s oldest houses and buildings in the historic suburb of Battery Point.

Head right at the far end of Salamanca Place and you will walk by Lenna of Hobart covered in vines, then find Arthur’s Circus for some quaint 1800’s houses that are still occupied today. Finish by wandering along Hampden Road past many more old buildings and shops.

Mt Wellington Summit, Hobart, Tasmania

10. Drive up to the summit of Mt Wellington

For this one you might need access to a car. Drive to the summit (on a clear day) for spectacular views of Hobart and the Derwent River. The temperature is about 10 degrees colder up there than in the city, so take a warm jacket!

Mt Wellington also has a number of different bush walks for all fitness levels, my favourite being the Organ Pipes track – an intermediate track that takes you from The Chalet (1000 metres) to the base of the Organ Pipes cliff face.

Need somewhere to stay? Check out one of these 15 Popular Hobart Hotels with Picturesque Views by HotelsCombined.

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5 Responses to “10 free things to do in Hobart”

  1. Stefan

    Thank you very much Ashlea for these great tips on free places to visit in Hobart. I have to admit that I did not know about Hobart until tonight when I saw a good movie called Lion, where the Indian boy Saroo gets a second home with his adoptive parents. If I ever do my childhood dream trip and come to Australia, I’ll also visit Hobart, that’s for sure.

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Stefan! Hobart is an amazing city. I met Saroo once, and he told me he had written a book about his experience. I saw the movie soon after it came out, and absolutely loved seeing my home town on the big screen! I hope you make it to Hobart someday soon 🙂

  2. Diane A

    Thank you Ashlea for sharing your ideas! What a fabulous city Hobart is! My third visit here and I’ve seen & learned so much. I & my husband have managed to tick ✅ off most of the things from your list, plus we have found a few more! What a great trip this time around – still a few days left to do to complete your list!

    *walk the bridge ✅
    *botanical gardens ✅
    *mt Wellington ✅
    *Franklin Wharf ✅
    *salamanca market ✅
    *battery point✅
    *Arthur’s Circus✅
    *Kelly’s Steps✅

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      You’re welcome, Diane! It’s great you’ve managed to see so much of Hobart 😀 I hope you enjoy the remainder of your time in my home city!

  3. Sno

    We are staying at Woolsworth hotel. Can u recommend a restaurant for some real fresh Tasmanian salmon


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