A vibrant port with charming colonial architecture and leafy suburbs, Hobart has no shortage of fine restaurants and cafes that serve fresh seafood and superb local produce.
It’s a city of culture packed with galleries and museums. It was named as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2013 by Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel”.
Here’s how to spend 48 hours.
The bar at Hobart’s Henry Jones Art Hotel stocks top drops, from top-shelf whiskies to craft beers and local wine. After a pre-dinner drink, head to Ethos Eat Drink for an intimate eight-course menu designed for sharing.
From Hobart, a day trip to Southwest National Park is a way to experience a remote wilderness area. The South Western Wilderness is a landscape of beautiful bays, sandy beaches and forests with tea tree, banksia and eucalyptus trees. Some parts of the wilderness are more than 50km from the nearest road and most places in the National Park are accessible only by foot, by boat or by plane.
The flight from Hobart to Melaleuca in a light aircraft offers birds’-eye views of jagged peaks, wild rivers and rugged coastline.
From Melaleuca, a short hike along the winding boardwalk brings you to the Port Davey Marine Reserve, which is a patchwork of button grass moorlands, heathlands, rivers, bays and estuaries.
Twitchers come here in search of the critically endangered Orange-bellied parrot, which is a migratory bird that spends winters feeding in the coastal grasslands of Victoria, South Australia and NSW, before returning to Melaleuca to breed.
Morning tea in a picturesque riverside spot is followed by a trek into the swampy thickets of the former homeland of the Needwonnee people, the indigenous people of the region.
The day continues with a boat trip from Melaleuca Inlet to Bathurst Harbour, a pristine waterway the size of Sydney Harbour.
The boat slices through the smooth dark water, creating mesmerising ripples in the mirror-like reflections of puffy clouds and blue sky.
Foodies should head for Garagistes, a dining hot spot renowned for inventive cuisine prepared by chef Luke Burgess in a motor garage that has been transformed into a chic eatery.
Be charmed by the cobblestone streets of Hobart’s Salamanca Place, where factories, warehouses and mansions have been turned into hotels, hip boutiques, bars and craft shops.
There are terrific eating and drinking spots, including Smolt, Monty’s On Montpelier and Rockwall.
You can spend the day eating and shopping or take a trike ride for two along the waterfront to Mount Wellington.
A history tour at the Cascade Brewery is a fascinating peek into Tasmania’s history. Actors from Louisa’s Walk lead you through gardens, along the Hobart Rivulet and on a stroll into the past to relive the tale of Irish convict Louisa Regan, who was sent to Van Diemen’s Land for stealing a loaf of bread.
Fact file – Hobart
Par Avion has day tours from Hobart to South West Tasmania from $270.
Garagistes, 103 Murray Street, Hobart, Tasmania, tel: +61 3 6231 0558
Ethos Eat Drink, 100 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, tel: 03.6231 1165
Salamanca Wharf Hotel, 17a Castray Esplanade, Hobart, tel: +61 3 6224 7007, www.salamancawharfhotel.com
Avalon City Retreat, 152 Macquarie Street, Hobart, tel: 1300 36 11 36