Online guide to Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Hobart is the state capital and most populous
city of the Australian island state of Tasmania.
Founded in 1803 as a penal colony, Hobart is
Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney.
In 2008, the city had a greater area population of
approximately 209,287. The city is the financial and
administrative heart of Tasmania, and also serves as
the home port for both Australian and French
The city is located in the state's south-east on the estuary of the Derwent River. The skyline is dominated by Mount Wellington at 1,271 metres high.
Hobart has a mild temperate oceanic climate (Koppen Cfb). The highest temperature recorded was 40.8°C on 4 January 1976 and the lowest was −2.8°C on 25 June 1972. Compared to other major Australia cities, Hobart has the second fewest daily average hours of sunshine, with 5.9 hours per day. (Melbourne has the fewest) Although Hobart rarely receives snow during the winter, the adjacent Mount Wellington is often seen with a snowcap. Unseasonal mountain snow covering has been known to occur during the other seasons. During the 20th century, Hobart did receive many snowfalls at sea level because of cold air masses arriving from Antarctica. These snow-bearing winds often carried on through Tasmania and Victoria to the Snowy Mountains in southern New South Wales and northern Victoria. Though snow is unusual in general at sea level in Australia, Hobart has had the most sea level snowfalls out of any Australian capital city, although Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide have sometimes recorded some snow.
Hobart is a busy seaport, notably serving as the home port for the Antarctic activities of Australia and France. The port loads around 2,000 tonnes of Antarctic cargo a year for the Australian research vessel Aurora Australis.
The city also supports several other industries, including a high-speed catamaran factory Incat and a zinc smelter operated by Nyrstar, as well as a vibrant tourist industry. Visitors come to the city to explore its historic inner suburbs, to visit the weekly market in Salamanca Place, as well as to use the city as a base from which to explore the rest of Tasmania.
Other notable businesses in the area include the Cadbury chocolate factory and the Cascade Brewery located in South Hobart near the natural spring waters of Mount Wellington. The Hobart surrounding area has many vineyards, including Moorilla Estate at Berriedale.
Mount WelingtonThe Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is a popular recreation area a short distance from the City centre. It is the second-oldest Botanic Gardens in Australia and holds extensive significant plant collections as well as built heritage.
Mount Wellington, accessible by passing through Fern Tree, is the dominant feature of Hobart's skyline, indeed many descriptions of Hobart have used the phrase "nestled amidst the foothills", so undulating is the geographical landscape. At 1,271 metres, the mountain has its own ecosystems, is rich in biodiversity and plays a large part in determining the local weather.
The Tasman Bridge is also a uniquely important feature of the city, connecting the two shores of Hobart and visible from many locations.
Arts and entertainment
Hobart is home to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, which is resident at the Federation Concert Hall on the city's waterfront. It offers a year-round program of concerts and is thought to be one of the finest small orchestras in the world.
Hobart also plays host to the University of Tasmania's acclaimed Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute (AISOI) which brings pre-professional advanced young musicians to town from all over Australia and internationally. The AISOI plays host to a public concert season during the first two weeks of December every year focusing on large symphonic music. Like the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the AISOI uses the Federation Concert Hall as its performing base.
Hobart has also long been home to a thriving classical, jazz, folk, punk, hip-hop, electro, metal and rock music scene. Internationally recognised musicians such as singer/songwriters Michael Noga (of The Drones), The Paradise Motel, The Scientists of Modern Music Sacha Lucashenko of The Morning After Girls, two thirds of indie rock band Love Of Diagrams, post punk band Sea Scouts, singer-songwriter Monique Brumby, blues guitarist Phil Manning (of blues-rock band Chain), power-pop group The Innocents, maverick DIY overlord Sean Bailey (Lakes, Paeces, Wasted Truth) and metal bands Striborg and Psycroptic are all successful expatriates. In addition, founding member of Violent Femmes, Brian Ritchie, now calls Hobart home, and has formed a local band, The Green Mist.
Several festivals such as the Hobart Fringe Festival, Hobart Summer Festival, Southern Roots Festival, Ten Days On The Island and the Falls Festival in Marion Bay and The Soundscape Festival all capitalise on Hobart's artistic communities. Hobart is home to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Hobart also hosts the bulk of the 10 Days on the Island festival, a biannual international arts festival.
Australia's first legal casino was the 17-storey Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Sandy Bay, opened in 1973. It is still the tallest building in the city, despite being several kilometres out of the CBD, and is a nationally recognised icon. The Hobart nightlife primarily revolves around Salamanca Place, the waterfront area and Elizabeth St in North Hobart, but popular pubs, bars and nightclubs exist around the city as well. Major national and international music events are usually held at the Derwent Entertainment Centre, or the Casino.
Popular restaurant strips include Elizabeth Street in North Hobart, and Salamanca Place near the waterfront. These include a large number of ethnic restaurants including Chinese, Thai, Greek, Pakistani, Italian, Indian and Mexican. Hobart is home to Australia's oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal. It also has three Village Cinema complexes, one each in the city, Glenorchy and Rosny. The State Cinema in North Hobart specialises in arthouse and foreign films.
Hobart is internationally famous among the yachting community as the finish of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race which starts in Sydney on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas Day). The arrival of the yachts is celebrated as part of the Hobart Summer Festival, a food and wine festival beginning just after Christmas and ending in mid-January. The Taste of Tasmania is a major part of the festival, where locals and visitors can taste fine local and international food and wine.
Hobart is the finish point of the Targa Tasmania rally car event held annually in April since 1991.
The annual Tulip Festival at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is a popular Spring celebration in the City.
The Australian Wooden Boat Festival is a bi-annual event held in Hobart celebrating wooden boats. It is held concurrently with the Royal Hobart Regatta, which began in 1830 and is therefore Tasmania's oldest sporting event.