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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.