Hobart: Some of our Favourite Places
1. Opossum Bay
Located on a peninsula 30-40 minutes drive from Central Hobart and looking back towards the city Opossum Bay has great views of Mt Wellington, the Derwent River and Hobart town.
The beachfront with its European feel is like nowhere else in Tassie. It’s one of our favourite summer spots.
2. Clifton Beach and Cape Deslacs
Clifton Beach is Hobart’s most popular surfing beach. It’s less than 30 minutes from the Hobart CBD but its vibe is like a small surfing village somewhere on the east coast of Mainland Australia (only colder).
At the Eastern end of the just over 2 km long beach is Cape Deslacs. This is a conservation area which is a breeding site for migrating shearwaters (mutton birds). There’s a good viewing platform at the cape.
3. Eastern Shore Cycleway
Sure, there’s an excellent cycleway on the western side of the river near the city which follows the old rail line, but there is also a very good, and far less busy one, on the eastern side.
It runs from Howrah to Geilston Bay, a distance of 18 kilometres and includes scenic Bellerive Bluff, Kangaroo Bay and a host of parks and resting spots if you need them. At the Geilston Bay end is the start of the Shag Bay walk.
4. Shag Bay Walk
This is a short walk of around 2km each way to a pleasant bay. It once housed a fertilizer plant and wharf and remnants of the old boiler and evidence of an Aboriginal quarry can still be seen. It is also an area rich in Aboriginal middens. Dogs are allowed except for the final part at the bay itself.
5. Mt Wellington Mountain Biking (North South Track - the easy way)
For old farts with limited ability (and motivation) to cycle up steep hills this is a mountain biking good option. You need at least two people as you need two cars. Drive both cars to the Cascade Brewery in South Hobart and park in the small car park in front of the brewery on the corner of Strickland and Marlyn. Leave one car here.
Take the second car with the mountain bikes up Pinnacle Road and park at The Springs. You’re then at the beginning of the Mt Wellington North – South track.
The track starts in rainforest before heading through boulder fields, scree and more forest.
Every now and then a spectacular view of the city will appear on your right. There is a bit of up and down and some challenging alternative sections for more competent riders, but these can be avoided if you prefer.
After about 4km you arrive at Junction Cabin. This is a good spot for a rest before taking a sharp right hand turn down the Old Farm Fire Trail to head down the mountain.
The track is well marked and there’s no need to pedal – it’s all downhill. Just make sure that you have good brakes.
Eventually the track joins onto Old Farm Rd. All you need to do then is continue on the bitumen until you arrive back at the car park. I think it’s probably time for a beer.
An alternative option: For the more energetic you can continue straight ahead from Junction Cabin as the track continues all the way to Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park some 11 kms. This involves a longer car shuttle.
Yes, we know it’s at the top of the tourist ‘’must do’’ list but whether the famous Saturday market is on or not we love Salamanca. The old historic sandstone warehouses provide a different feel to anywhere else in the city. The restaurants, bars and shops along Salamanca Place and in the Square offer a great array of choice. There’s theatre at the Peacock Theatre and a number of galleries. If you’ve got time call in and see our friends Greg and Betty Nolan at Nolan Gallery and School of Art in the Salamanca Arts Centre: there’s always an interesting exhibition of local artists happening. Salamanca is a top spot to sit, sip a coffee or a glass of wine, and watch the world go by.
7. Dru Point, Bicentennial Park, Margate
This was a popular picnic and play spot for us when our kids were young. There’s a great playground, a free tennis court (if you’re quick) and plenty of space to kick balls, ride bikes, or have a barbeque (book a free barbeque shelter at the kiosk on site).
The bike track has signs and lights and most of the play equipment is wheelchair accessible, including a wheelchair swing. There are pleasant riverside walks and you can fish off the jetty.
8. Cathedral Mountain
The Cathedral Mountain walk starts just 15-20 minutes from the Hobart CBD on the road to Huonville. It looms large to the right heading south and the walk starts at the Cathedral Rock carpark at the bridge in Bett's Rd, Longely. It takes about 90 minutes to get to the pinnacles but the views are worth the effort. It can get cold and windy at the top so go prepared.
9. Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
Founded in 1818 the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is Australia’s second oldest botanical gardens after Sydney’s. It is smaller but packs a lot in.
There’s an extensive vegetable and fruit garden which is a Mecca for home veggie growers. The world’s only Subantarctic Plant House which reproduces the climate of Macquarie Island and houses a range of subantarctic plants, is worth a visit, but bring a jumper even on a hot summer’s day.
Some of the other features are the Japanese garden, the Conservatory, the Fernery and some magnificent large trees from all parts of the world, some dating back to the 19th century.
It’s a very pleasant location for a picnic or a meal at the onsite restaurant or just to wander around for an hour or two. We love it.
10. Simmons Park, Lindisfarne
Tucked away at Lindisfarne on the Eastern Shore and located beside Lindisfarne Bay this park is a great spot for kids.
A lot of work has recently gone into children’s play equipment in a gated section which keeps the little ones from wandering off.
There is also outdoor gym equipment if you feel the need for a quick workout. It’s also a good spot for a picnic with barbeque facilities provided.
11. Risdon Brook Dam
Don’t be put off by the view of Risdon Prison as you drive up to the dam car park, this is a good spot for picnicking, walking/riding/running or just sitting about.
The 4 km circuit around the dam is reasonably flat (there are a couple of manageable hills) and it’s popular with joggers, cyclist and people wanting to do a leisurely walk.
If the circuit is not enough for you the track up the steep slopes of Mount Direction veers off at the opposite end of the dam from the car park. This is also another good picnic spot.
12. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)
While it may struggle to get the attention of MONA TMAG is an excellent place to while away a couple of hours.
Permanent exhibitions include history and culture of Aboriginal Tasmanians, Tasmania’s connections with Antarctica, and fauna and flora of Tasmania, including the Tasmanian Tiger or thylacine as well as constantly changing special exhibitions.
The Art Gallery has an impressive collection ranging from colonial to contemporary art. Check out their website here.
Ken and Cally