Ah, Hobart. Australia’s second oldest capital city (after Sydney) and the most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. However, in recent years, the southernmost capital has become known for much, much more.
From paddock-to-plate fine dining to a penchant for modern art, boutique hotels aplenty and more stunning waterfront views than you can poke a stick at, Hobart is quickly becoming a hipster hotspot in its own right. Here are our top picks for where to eat, shop, stay and play in Tassie’s capital.
Where To Eat
655 Main Rd, Hobart
Located within Hobart icon, the Museum of Old and New Art, The Source Restaurant takes its name from the John Olsen painting that hangs in the ceiling of the foyer. With a focus on seasonal produce, presented according to the whim of Executive Chef Vince Trim and his team, The Source is the perfect place to gorge on fresh, uncomplicated shared plates of Norfolk Bay oysters, kingfish carpaccio and seared scallops for à la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner.
28-30 Argyle St, Hobart
Described as a “bar-cum-restaurant in an old Ford showroom wedged between the former home of Hobart’s Mercury newspaper and a car park”, Hobart’s Franklin is anything but an ordinary dining experience. Franklin’s kitchen, for instance, is smack-bang in the centre of the restaurant and totally exposed. It also features a ten-tonne Scotch oven from which chef David Moyle and his team serve up small plates of whiting, abalone and whole pigeon. As for wine? Heavy on natural, organic and biodynamic drops.
93 Goulburn St, West Hobart
Known for ‘lovely food, nice people’, Pigeon Hole is Hobart’s answer to the Melbourne hipster cafe. Despite the hipster connotation, however, Pigeon Hole is very much understated and unpretentious in its food and beverage offering. Responsible for some of Hobart’s best loaves and rustic baguettes, Pigeon Hole has also garnered a reputation for its daily bite-sized blackboard specials like baked eggs, panini and soup, strong coffee and an eclectic yet cosy decor.
107-109 Hill St, West Hobart
If you’re big on flavour, Smolt is a must-try whilst in Hobart. Fusing the flavours of Spanish and Italian classical and contemporary cuisine, Smolt sources ingredients from local vegetable growers, farmers and cheese markers for seasonable, sustainable and downright mouth-watering dishes. Smolt also supports ethical animal husbandry and fishing practices, serving free range-chicken and grass-fed, home-produced beef, lamb, venison and wallaby alongside an extensive wine, beer and cocktail list in a Scandi-chic setting.
Pier One, Brooke St, Hobart
Keen on local produce with an incredible view? Aloft is your new Hobart go-to. Located on the top floor of the award-winning Brooke Street Pier on Hobart’s majestic waterfront, Aloft also features an open-plan restaurant where you can watch chefs working on a menu that reflects the changing seasons and raw nature of Tassie. Whether you’re pescetarian, vegetarian or somewhere in between, Aloft will have your tongue wagging in an instant.
Where To Drink
5 Knopwood St, Hobart
A short walk up hill from Hobart’s Salamanca Place you’ll find Preachers, a converted cottage, semi-rural Taphouse offering nothing but Australian micro-brewed beers hand pumped into your thirsty mouth. Preachers courtyard, complete with deck chairs and an abandoned bus is perfect for al fresco drinking, or dining on a menu of delicious burgers.
MONA Wine Bar
655 Main Rd, Berriedale
Relax and fill up on seasonal treats before checking out MONA’s mind-blowing art at the museum’s very own Wine Bar. Whether you’re sitting inside on the patio or catching some sun on the grass, the MONA Wine Bar offers boutique, ultra-premium drops from estate-grown fruit made in the winery right outside.
Pancho Villa Restaurant & Tequila Bar
Corner & Elizabeth St & Pitt St, North Hobart
Paint the town red at Pancho Villa Restaurant & Tequila Bar next time you’re in Hobart. The Mexican tequila bar is ideal on a mid-summer Sunday evening with its low-hanging lights, mock stained glass, cosy courtyard and bar glowing with everything from Spanish wines to spirits and of course, plenty of tequila.
Henry Jones Art Hotel
25 Hunter St, Hobart
Set against the classic Henry Jones backdrop of heritage architecture and innovative design, the hotel’s IXL Long Bar offers an extensive drinks list of speciality cocktails, fine wines, bottle and tap beers, hand-crafted ciders and prizewinning spirits and liquors. With harbour views, live music and contemporary art, Henry Jones’ IXL Long Bar is a hidden gem perfect for wetting your whistle in style.
Nant Whisky Bar
Shop 3G, 63 Wooby’s Lane, Salamanca
From the guys at the Nant Distilling Company comes the Nant Whisky Bar, 1 of 3 Nant venues offering signature cocktails, delicious Tasmanian fare and take-home whisky delights. Straight up, shaken or stirred, the Nant Whisky Bar is perfect for a classic Manhattan made on Nant Port Wood Whisky or a more adventurous and indulgent Black Ray Whisky Espresso Martini.
Where To Stay
651-655 Main Rd, Berriedale
While you can’t stay at Mona in the museum itself, you can stay in its high-tech, super flash luxury dens on the River Derwent. Named after Australian architects and artists, the striking Mona Pavilions feature a gym, sauna and heated infinity pool, as well as incredible views of Tassie.
Avalon City Retreat
152 Macquarie St, Hobart
If you’re looking to stay in the heart of Hobart, Avalon City Retreat is the perfect concrete jungle escape. The luxury, modular designed ‘Omnipod’ is cantilevered off each end of a 1967 architecturally designed office tower and boasts minimalist, personally curated, elegant and eclectic interiors with a fully equipped kitchen and breathtaking views of Salamanca and Hobart’s waterfront.
321 Davey St, South Hobart
Sick of the city? Then a quaint boutique hotel is the way to go. Hobart’s Islington hotel is a small, luxe hotel with a long history and large, delightful garden affording unique and stunning views of Mount Wellington. Decorated with fine art and furnished with antiques, Islington is for those who desire the finer things in life.
Henry Jones Art Hotel
25 Hunter St, Hobart
As we mentioned previously, the Henry Jones Art Hotel is a bit of a Hobart icon. Housed in a former jam factory near Franklin Wharf, the industrial-chic hotspot is a wonderful fusion of history and modernity, art and design, indulgence and discovery. It’s Australia’s first dedicated art hotel and one of Tassie’s most signficant industrial heritage sites.
104 Salamanca Pl, Battery Point
For more heritage-listed luxury, you can’t go past Arthouse Salamanca. Moments away from Hobart’s waterfront, Arthouse Salamanca is set in a private oasis blending maritime history, contemporary art and design for some pretty slick digs. Arthouse is also particularly convenient for all major festivals including Mona Forma, Taste, Wooden Boat Festival and The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race finish line.
Where To Shop
Salamanca Pl, Hobart
One of Australia’s most loved outdoor markets are Hobart’s Salamanca Markets. With an eclectic mix of over 300 stallholders, offering delicious food, artisan jewellery, fine Tasmanian handcrafted timbers, handmade clothing, vintage collectables, pottery, plants and flowers, the Salamanca Markets have become a bit of a Saturday morning ritual for many locals.
15 Castray Esplanade, Hobart
For a design fix, head to Hobart’s LUC. Offering an eclectic, unique and inspiring range of homewares, furniture, art and fashion, LUC. represents a nice cross-section of iconic Australian and luxurious international brands including Dinosaur Designs, Tom Dixon, Liberte, Missoni Home, Pendleton, Bemboka and more.
Red Herring Surf
75 Liverpool St, Hobart
Fancy yourself a bit of a beach bum? Then Red Herring Surf will be your favourite Hobart shopping destination. It’s Tassie’s original surf company and as well as stocking all the usual surf suspects, Red Herring believes in providing young Tasmanians with a positive message in supporting a number of youth based events across the state.
What To See
655 Main Rd, Berriedale
There’s no way you can visit Hobart without checking out MONA, or the Museum of Old and New Art. Located within the Moorilla winery on the Berriedale peninsula in Hobart, MONA is the largest privately funded museum in Australia and is perhaps best known for its large collection of antiquities, modern and contemporary art and over 400 artistic works from David Walsh’s private collection. The hipster hotspot is also known for its striking interior architecture, featuring an epic spiral staircase leading down to three larger levels of labyrinthe display spaces.
The Barn at Rosny Farm, Rosny Park
Artbikes is Hobart’s bike borrowing service that enables art lovers access to the galleries and museums, and it’s completely free. With such a vibrant artistic culture, cycle friendly terrain and dynamic city life, Artbikes is the perfect way to discover Hobart and get some good old fresh air into you.
14 Davey St, Hobart
When Bill Lark asked the question “I wonder why there isn’t anyone making malt whisky in Tasmania?” he had a lightbulb moment and the Lark Distillery was born. Situated on the Hobart waterfront, Lark Cellar Door and Whisky Bar offers the opportunity to taste Tassie’s finest whisky and other distilled spirits in a warm and inviting atmosphere.
MONA’s midwinter festival Dark Mofo is an annual pilgrimage south celebrating the dark through large-scale public art, food, film, music, light and noise. It runs from June 8-21 across Hobart with major exhibitions at MONA, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and more.
The Agrarian Kitchen
650 Lachlan Rd, Lachlan
Get in touch with your inner Masterchef at the Agrarian Kitchen. The sustainable farm-based cooking school offers paddock-to-plate experiences in a stunning 19th century schoolhouse at Lachlan, just 45 minutes from Hobart in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley. Set on 5 acres, the Agrarian Kitchen features an extensive vegetable garden, orchard, berry patch and herb garden, all grown using organic principles. Cooking classes are led by Rodney Dunn, former Food Editor of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine and one-time apprentice to Australian chef, Tetsuya Wakuda.