Tasmania’s largest city is perfectly situated at the mouth of the Derwent River with a compact centre and suburbs clinging to the hillside overlooking the wide estuary. The city is well located as a base for exploring the surrounding countryside making it ideal for excursions to the Huon Valley, Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula, and nearby towns like Richmond and New Norfolk.
It is the second oldest state capital and it has retained its old colonial architecture more so than any other large Australian city. Battery Point and the downtown area, particularly around Salamanca Place, is full of renovated sandstone buildings which have been converted into pubs, cafés and restaurants which give the city a vibrant air despite the general slow pace of the city. Held here each Saturday, Salamanca Market is a great place to hang around and soak up the atmosphere.
Although Tasmania’s main appeal is its wilderness, Hobart does have a few worthwhile sights. There are some interesting museums and it is also possible to take a guided tour of the Cadbury chocolate factory and the Cascade brewery, both of which offer tastings.
Metro run buses within the Hobart area with most buses terminating near the main post office on Elizabeth Street and also in Macquarie Street and Franklin Square in the city centre.
Single tickets start at $3.10 ($2.48 with a Greencard) and go up to $6.50 ($5.20 with a Greencard) depending on the route and distance travelled. Day Rover tickets cost $5.50.
The Greencard is a stored-value smart card similar to Melbourne’s Myki, Sydney’s Opal card and London’s Oyster card. Fares are cheaper with the Greencard, but you really need to spend at least a week in Hobart (or Launceston) for the hassle of getting a Greencard to pay off. The Greencard is valid on Metro buses in Hobart as well as Burnie and Launceston.