48 Hours In Hobart – Explore The Best Of Tasmania’s Capital

Hobart Battery Point

Hobart, with its vibrant port, charming colonial architecture and leafy suburbs boasts an abundance of fine restaurants and cafes serving fresh seafood and superb local produce. The city also uniquely combines heritage charm, stunning scenery and a thriving arts scene with numerous galleries and museums.

Recognised as the Best City in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific in the 2023 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, Hobart is perfect for a short break. Here’s a two-night itinerary that shares everything we love about it.

Friday Evening:

Hobart is a city shrouded in mystery, with charming sandstone streets hinting at its penal colony history. The Story Bar in the MACq 01 hotel is a great way to kick off your Hobart short break and the perfect setting to delve into Tasmania’s captivating tales. Black-and-white Broadsheet banners chronicle the city’s tragedies – shipwrecks, fires, and more – with excerpts from local newspaper archives. Grainy video footage on the walls commemorates Hobart’s cricketing triumphs, inviting you to immerse yourself in this unique city’s rich, storied history.

Story-Bar-Hobart

Indulge in a selection from the menu’s 27 Tasmanian gins, featuring recommendations like Hartshorn Sheep Whey and Poltergeist Unfiltered. Head to the waterfront deck for breathtaking views of sailboats on the River Derwent.

Friday Dinner

For dinner with uninterrupted water views over the River Derwent, head to  Aloft, perched on the top floor of the acclaimed Brooke Street Pier. With a pan-Asian-inspired menu and a commitment to local produce, the food is fresh and flavoursome and mirrors Tasmania’s seasons and cultural heritage. It’s one of Hobart’s finest restaurants, serving some of the city’s most exceptional food.

Saturday AM:

From Hobart, a day trip to Southwest National Park with Par Avion 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. 

Planes Par Avion Tour Tasmania
Image: Courtesy Tourism Australia

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.  

couple looking at view - Par Avion Tour Tasmania
Image: Courtesy Tourism Australia

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. 

Saturday PM:

For dinner, head to Templo, nestled in the quiet lanes of Hobart. This discreet 20-seat gem has quietly earned its reputation as one of the city’s finest Italian dining spots.

Templo’s intimate ambience blends modern Australian influence with an Italian essence, evident in its aesthetic simplicity of bare bricks and communal tables.

Co-owners Matthew Breen and Chris Chapple celebrate local produce, presenting concise, shareable menus. A wine list showcasing selections from independent growers with minimal intervention enhances the exclusive yet inviting atmosphere, ensuring a distinctive culinary experience.

Sunday AM:

Start the morning with a walk and 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.

Stop for breakfast with a hearty breakfast at Machine Laundry Café, known for its delicious breakfast options and unique setting in a historic laundry building. You’ll even have the unique opportunity to use the large silver washers for laundry while indulging in your lattes. The menu features a straightforward yet homey café-style selection, offering light and wholesome meals alongside tempting sweet treats.

Salamanca Place

Explore Salamanca Place and immerse yourselves in the vibrant atmosphere of Salamanca Market (if visiting on a Saturday). Discover local crafts, fresh produce, and enjoy the lively ambiance.

Related: 27 Amazing Things to do in Hobart

Sunday Mid-Morning to Afternoon:

Galleries & Museums

MONA Hobart

Embark on a ferry journey to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), where picturesque views enhance the overall experience. Once there, immerse yourself in MONA’s thought-provoking exhibits. The museum’s extensive collection undergoes subtle changes regularly, with significant ‘re-hangs’ several times a year. Exhibitions showcase artist-led or ideas-led collections, ensuring a dynamic and ever-evolving display of artistic expression. It’s a quintessential experience for any visitor to Hobart.

Alternatively, delve into Hobart’s diverse museum offerings. The city’s gallery scene has long been a champion in showcasing regional artistic talent, so you have a few unique options.

Despard and Handmark galleries are near each other in sandstone warehouses along the waterfront; both exhibit works by acclaimed local artists alongside emerging talents.

Bett Gallery, now located in a meticulously restored 1950s modernist office building with parquet floors and coffered ceilings, features rotating exhibitions spotlighting contemporary artists from Tasmania, mainland Australia, and New Zealand. Admission to all galleries is complimentary.

Sunday Afternoon:

Cascade-Brewery-Hobart

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.  

Sunday Evening:

For your last night in Hobart, visit Dier Makr, where you’ll indulge in culinary excellence in an intimate, dimly lit setting.

The evolving menu features Chef Kobi’s snack-sized creations, like torched mackerel and plum sorbet. With a daily set menu, thoughtful pairings, and craft syrups, Dier Makr promises an exceptional gastronomic journey in one evening. Be sure to explore the glassed-in wine room and cellar with 150 grape varietals.

Pop next door to sister wine bar, Lucinda, which is a destination in itself, before or after dinner to round the evening out.

Related: Exploring Tasmania ~ A Guide to Driving from Hobart to Cradle Mountain

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