When the world’s most trusted travel publisher ranks Hobart in their Top 10 Cities, you know it’s for a very good reason. Nestled at the foot of the majestic Mount Wellington on the banks of the Derwent River this eclectic haven lays claim to a ruthless history, burgeoning cultural scene and award-winning food and wine, all encompassed in the most seductive of scenery.
Lonely Planet have declared that now is the time to visit Hobart before the rest of the world catches on. Hobart has been ranked seventh in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities for 2013, described as “a historic city reinventing itself”, shaking off its “sleepy reputation”.
Lonely Planet spokesman Chris Zeiher said Hobart wouldn’t have had a second glance from judges if it hadn’t been for MONA.
“Tony Wheeler, our founder, actually championed Hobart’s inclusion in this year’s Best in Travel because of MONA,” he said.
It’s understood he likened MONA to the Guggenheim in Spain. Mr Zeiher said the listing by Lonely Planet was something for Hobart residents to be extremely proud of.
Here are ten good reasons to visit the allure of this boutique city:
1. The MONA effect
Lose yourself at MONA – from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world’s most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art – it’s hedonistic, random and a must-see for any visitor. There’s also restaurants, a winery, brewery and luxury accommodation on-site.
2. Gourmet indulgence & the foodie scene
Explore Hobart’s blossoming food scene at edgy and popular restaurants like Garagistes and Ethos. Sample handcrafted single malt whisky at Lark Distillery, take a journey of indulgent discovery with Gourmania Food Tours, enjoy fresh oysters at Barilla Bay and much more.
3. Free bikes for art lovers
Borrow a Dutch designed ARTbike from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) and spend the day immersed in the city’s arts precincts and galleries. Visit smARTmap for suggested routes and admire Hobart’s beautiful Georgian architecture as you pedal.
4. Elegant wines & boutique brews
Discover charming vineyards and cellar doors dotted along the Southern Wine Route – sample premium cool-climate wines and savour a leisurely lunch at a vineyard restaurant. Tour famous Cascade Brewery and try local craft beers like Two Metre Tall and Moo Brew.
5. Summer festivals & events
Hobart turns it on over summer with the Taste Festival and iconic Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race – one huge waterfront celebration, the eclectic MONA FOMA music festival featuring local and international performances, the Wooden Boat Festival, the biennial Ten Days on the Island festival and more.
6. Vibrant markets
Visit colourful Salamanca Market on Saturdays for art, produce and craft focused around local materials and unique ideas. There are also buskers performing anything from the blues to folk or jazz. For more organic produce, call into the popular Farm Gate Market on Sundays.
7. Intriguing convict history
Explore Australia’s fascinating convict history at World Heritage-listed Port Arthur (90 minutes drive from Hobart) or at the World Heritage-listed Cascades Female Factory. Join a historic walk of the city or an old pub tour for insight into its once rollicking underbelly.
8. Sparkling waterfront & Salamanca Place
Take in the charms of this maritime city and enjoy fish and chips alongside a variety of boats and fishermen unloading their catch. Discover historic Salamanca – the 19th-century sandstone warehouses now serve as dockside bars and restaurants and boutique stores and galleries.
9. Cruise the Derwent River
Get a different perspective on this magical harbour city – cruise to Peppermint Bay, to MONA or join a kayaking tour. An award-winning eco cruise is also a must do – see seals, migrating whales, dolphins and sea birds just a short drive from Hobart.
10. Majestic Mount Wellington
Head to the top of Mount Wellington, one of Tasmania’s highest and most famous peaks, and admire the breathtaking views of Hobart and beyond. Then, take a guided, exhilarating bike ride down the mountain or explore the numerous walking tracks and mountain bike trails.