Fun Things to do in Hobart Tasmania – in 3 days
There are lots of fun things to do in Hobart Tasmania. Australia’s smallest capital city offers art, culture, colonial history, and great food to those who are willing to venture across the Bass Strait to the southern tip of the continent and the island of Tasmania. In this Hobart 3 days itinerary, you’ll see the best of what is on offer in Hobart.
But, is Hobart Tasmania worth visiting? Although Hobart is not on mainland Australia and is often overlooked by visitors, it’s a fascinating city, steeped in convict history and is well worth visiting. Hobart lies on the banks of the lovely Derwent River and is the home of the famous MONA art gallery, Salamanca Market and Battery Point.
Hobart has UNESCO-recognised convict sites, pretty Georgian cottages, and restored warehouses with historic facades. Heritage buildings house art galleries, cafes and theatres near Hobart’s busy Waterfront. Hobart is a very attractive city and a pleasure to visit.
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Are 3 days enough for Hobart?
With 3 days in Hobart, you’ll have ample time to take in the highlights. Don’t miss MONA, the Museum of Modern Art, the scenic waterfront, historic Battery Point, Salamanca Place, and the famous Salamanca Market.
Foodies will love Tasmania’s quality produce and Hobart’s fine selection of restaurants and cafes. In Hobart and throughout Tasmania you’ll find lots of opportunities to sample the local seafood, wine, beer and gin.
In this Hobart 3 days itinerary, you’ll have time to explore the city and enjoy the art galleries, the great food, markets and historic sites. But it’s also an option to include a day trip to UNESCO World Heritage Port Arthur, Richmond or Bruny Island and meet a Tasmanian Devil face-to-face at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.
3 days in Hobart will give you a good overview. You’ll find lots of fun things to do in Hobart Tasmania and have some time to explore beyond the city centre. But you could easily spend a week or 2 and still find more to do. Many visitors use the capital city as a base for exploring the island.
When to visit Hobart Tasmania
The best time to visit Tasmania is in the summer, from December to February. And New Year is a great time to be there to enjoy the many fun things to do in Hobart. The weather is warm, and the Waterfront is buzzing with excitement. Join in the celebrations at the end of the epic Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the New Year’s Eve Fireworks, and “The Taste of Summer” food and wine festival.
The shoulder seasons March / April and October / November are less busy. The weather is cold, crisp and changeable, there are fewer tourists and prices fall. Pack your thermals for your 3 days in Hobart and expect cold weather in Spring and Autumn. I enjoyed visiting Hobart in April. The weather was warm at times and then it snowed in the mountains. It was sometimes showery and cold but still a lovely time to visit with many fun things to do in Hobart.
In mid-winter, the Dark MOFO Festival is held to celebrate the winter solstice. There’s a week of art, live music performances and revelry in June. Events include a winter feast on Hobart’s Waterfront, a colourful parade and a nude solstice swim to celebrate the longest, coldest night of the year. The Dark MOFO Festival makes winter full of fun things to do in Hobart Tasmania.
Fun Things to Do in Hobart Tasmania
Below you’ll find my suggestions for a fun 3 days in Hobart. I took my car to Tasmania so I had my own transport but you can take local buses or the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus to see most of these attractions. You also have the option of day tours, or you could hire a car to get around.
On day 1 of your Hobart 3 days itinerary, introduce yourself to historic Hobart with a walking tour of the old town, the Waterfront, Salamanca Place and Battery Point. Then enjoy an afternoon of art and culture at MONA. Call in at Hobart’s beautiful Botanical Gardens for a relaxing stroll to end the day.
Visit the Hobart Waterfront
With only 3 days in Hobart, one of the first places to visit is the scenic waterfront. It’s an interesting place to explore or to just sit and watch the world go by. The waterfront was at the centre of Old Hobart. There were fishing and whaling boats going about their business and ships coming and going bringing convicts and supplies. Victoria Dock is now a working fishing harbour and Constitution Dock is full of fishing boats and the odd seal.
Also moored at the Hobart Waterfront is a historic tall ship. It’s a replica of the ships that brought the convicts and early settlers to Australia. And the MONA Roma ferry comes and goes from the Brooke Street Pier. Catching the MONA Roma ferry is one of many fun things to do in Hobart.
Buy fresh fish and chips and feed the seagulls or enjoy a slap-up seafood meal in a fancy restaurant. There are lots to choose from at Elizabeth Street Pier. I can recommend the seafood at Mures at Victoria Dock. It has a superb location on the Hobart Waterfront.
Behind the dock area is the original façade of the old jam factory, now the luxury Henry Jones Art Hotel. It’s a great place to stay in a superb location.
Salamanca Place and Art Centre
Just a 5-minute walk from the waterfront is Salamanca Place and it’s a must-see on your Hobart 3 days itinerary. Part of the old town frequented by sailors, whalers and convicts in the old days, Salamanca Place is now an upmarket centre of art and culture.
Art galleries, theatres, cafes, boutique jewellery and fashion clothing can be found here. And on Saturdays, the very popular Salamanca Market takes over the street. Shopping at the Salamanca Market is truly one of the most fun things to do in Hobart Tasmania.
Stroll around Battery Point
One of the many fun things to do in Hobart is strolling around Battery Point. This charming suburb in Hobart is on the Derwent River. Originally settled in 1804, Battery Point is named after a gun battery built in 1818 that protected the old town of Hobart. The site of the old gun battery is now in Princes Park.
To get to Battery Point from Salamanca Place, climb the convict-built Kelly’s Steps and stroll through the laneways. You’ll pass past pretty, restored colonial cottages and Georgian homes on the way to Hampden Road.
Call in at a café or a quaint teahouse and buy some souvenirs. There are art, gift and antique shops on Battery Point and a restored artisan bakery that makes delicious bread. In the centre of the village green, you’ll find Arthurs Circus, a circle of quirky, restored cottages set around a small park.
Continue up the hill to St Georges Anglican Church to enjoy the beautiful architecture of this historic building. The church is visible from the river and it is an important landmark. In the old days, the church spire helped guide sailors home when they returned from sea.
Catch a ferry to MONA – Museum of Old and New Art
Visiting the famous MONA Art Gallery is something you shouldn’t miss on a Hobart 3 days itinerary. MONA is a museum that houses the private art collection of gambler and millionaire David Walsh. MONA is very popular with visitors partly because of its lovely location on the banks of the Derwent River and visiting MONA is one of many fun things to do in Hobart.
I enjoyed a couple of hours at MONA but, it could be a highlight of your 3 days in Hobart. Modern art at MONA is interesting and sometimes confronting. I saw giant graveyard worms with human faces, a wall of vaginas and some explicitly sexual works.
In addition to the artwork, the grounds and the building itself all contribute to the MONA experience. You can easily spend the day relaxing by the river, chilling out on the beanbags on the lawn. There’s also a restaurant and a cafe to enjoy as well.
The MONA adventure starts at the Hobart waterfront with a ride on the MONA Roma ferry. It takes about half an hour to cruise around the harbour to MONA just outside the CBD in Berriedale. catching the MONA Roma ferry is one of the best things to do in Hobart. But there are also buses from Hobart for those who need wheelchair access.
TIP: Book ahead if you’re visiting in holiday periods as tickets can sell out.
A MONA Art and Wine tour combines Mona’s modern art experience with wine tasting and a tour of the Morilla Estate winery.
Visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens
The Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens in Hobart are FREE to visit and open every day. The Botanical Gardens are a great addition to a Hobart 3 days itinerary. They were established in the early years of the colony, and you’ll see evidence of this. As you walk through the gardens you’ll pass ancient trees, heritage buildings and the old Arthur Wall.
To encourage the growth of the fruit trees planted beside it, the Arthur Wall is heated from the inside. You can enjoy the French and Japanese Gardens, the Greenhouse, and the Sub-Antarctic plant house. There’s also a restaurant, an art gallery, and a souvenir shop to browse.
The Botanical Gardens are near MONA. If you’re driving, they’re easy to find. Just follow the signs on the Tasman Highway or you can catch a bus from Hobart.
This Hobart city sightseeing tour includes your MONA ticket, the Female Factory, and the Cascade Brewery Gardens. You’ll also visit the Botanical Gardens and other Hobart highlights along the way.
On day 2 of your 3 days in Hobart, start the day early. Plan ahead and make sure that it’s a Saturday. Head straight to the Salamanca Market and spend the afternoon enjoying the colonial history and aboriginal art at TMAG, The Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery.
Saturday from 08:30 AM – 3 PM
The Salamanca Market is one of the largest and most loved street markets in Australia and spending a Saturday morning browsing the market stalls is one of many fun things to do in Hobart Tasmania and one of my favourites.
Early each Saturday Salamanca Place near the Hobart Waterfront fills with stalls selling crafts and produce. At the market, you can sample the local gin and enjoy a morning of browsing stalls filled with arts & crafts and clothing. There’s lots of street food to choose from and local musicians busking. I had a wonderful morning shopping and bought a leather bag and lots of gifts for my family. I had my Christmas shopping almost done in April.
For me, the Salamanca Market was a highlight of my stay in Hobart. Make sure you plan ahead, and time your 3 days in Hobart so that you’re there on a Saturday morning.
The Salamanca Market is very popular so get there early. Even on a cold, wet morning, people were waiting to get in.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)
TMAG is a well-loved museum and art gallery that visitors of all ages and interests will enjoy. It’s a great addition to a Hobart 3 days itinerary.
There’s zoology, geology, natural and social history as well as decorative arts photography and design to see.
One of the exhibits tells the story of the Tasmanian Aboriginal People and the colonists following the invasion by the British colonial ships carrying convicts and early settlers. There’s another exhibition that features the art and culture of Tasmania’s Indigenous people. Other collections show Tasmania’s rich maritime history and other interesting topics.
TMAG is located behind the Hobart Waterfront in Dunn Place.
Visit the Lark Distillery
In the afternoon you’ll have time to add a whiskey-tasting adventure to your Hobart 3 days itinerary. If drinking fine whisky is something you enjoy, then visiting one of Australia’s most famous whisky makers is one of many fun things to do in Hobart. The fine malt whiskey produced at the Lark Distillery is the result of pure Tasmanian ingredients and many years of perfecting the art of creating the perfect Single Malt Whisky.
The Lark Distillery is Australia’s oldest single malt whisky distillery set amongst restored historical buildings in the beautiful Coal River Valley. On a tour of the distillery, you’ll discover the secret to making a great whiskey and get to taste the famous Lark brew.
On this tour, you’ll sample the finest of Tasmania’s whisky, wine, beer and cider all in one fabulous day. Experience the best of Tasmania’s award-winning craft beverages.
The third day of this Hobart 3 days itinerary begins with a drive to the top of Mount Wellington for a spectacular sunrise (or sunset). On the way back to Hobart, call in at the Cascades Female Factory to learn about the often overlooked women in Hobart’s colonial history. Spend the afternoon tasting craft beer and touring the Cascades Brewery.
Mount Wellington – Kunanyi
Hobart nestles beneath Mount Wellington, also called Kunanyi by the indigenous Australians. It’s a sacred place for aboriginal people where the spirits of their ancestors are laid to rest and visiting is one of the most fun things to do in Hobart Tasmania.
The road to the top of Mount Wellington is steep and windy and it takes about half an hour to reach the amazing lookout at the top. The view is magnificent, especially at sunrise but it can be very cold at the summit. When I was there, the top of the mountain was covered in snow and hidden behind clouds most of the time. Unfortunately, the road to the summit was closed but I was able to drive to a lookout halfway up the mountain.
The Mount Wellington Explorer bus is a great way to get there from Hobart if you don’t have a car. Spend a few hours exploring the walking trails in Wellington Park if you have time.
See Mount Wellington, Mount Field, Bonorong and Richmond all in one go. This tour promises an unforgettable day exploring beautiful waterfalls in Mount Fields National Park and enjoying stunning views from the top of Mount Wellington. You’ll stroll the streets of historic Richmond and meet endangered Tasmanian Devils at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.
Cascades Female Factory Historic Site
On day 3 of your 3 days in Hobart, you’ll visit the Cascades Female Factory. No Historical tour of Hobart is complete without a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage historic site. It was a workhouse for female convicts and it’s here you’ll discover the stories of the many women who lived and were imprisoned in the old Cascades building at the base of Mount Wellington.
Convicted women were isolated from the main settlement of Hobart. Unrelenting hours of labour were expected from the female convicts, cooking, cleaning, mending, spinning and weaving for the colony. Their days were full of work and even the slightest disobedience was punished. Their stories are an important part of a visit to Tasmania and worth discovering with 3 days in Hobart.
To get there without a car, take the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus or take a city tour.
This Hobart city sightseeing tour includes your MONA ticket, the Female Factory, and the Cascade Brewery Gardens. You’ll also visit the Botanical Gardens and other Hobart highlights along the way.
Established in 1832, the Cascades Brewery in Hobart is Australia’s oldest brewery. Beer was popular in early Australia and vast quantities was consumed by the small population of 10,000 sailors, convicts, and free settlers. The Cascades Brewery supplied around 55 pubs in Old Hobart.
Tours of the brewery are a popular way to see how some of Australia’s best-loved beers are made. Lunch and beer tasting is available in the historic brewhouse and is one of many fun things to do in Hobart Tasmania.
If you don’t have a car, the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus stops here
Day Trips & Tours
When you’ve seen the sights, you’ll be ready to venture a bit further afield outside the city. Here are some day trips that I think you will enjoy that you might like to include in your Hobart 3 days itinerary.
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Port Arthur is one of Tasmania’s most popular attractions. On this Port Arthur Historic Site and the Tasman Peninsula, tour you’ll discover Tasmania’s colonial history at one of Australia’s most important convict settlements. This tour includes a 3-hour wilderness cruise exploring the spectacular coastline near Port Arthur looking for seals, whales, birds and dolphins. Spend the afternoon.
Explore the beautiful Bruny Island on a wilderness cruise or take a Food, Lighthouse and Sightseeing tour to Bruny Island. Sampling gourmet local food is included, and you’ll try the local cheese, honey, chocolate and oysters. You’ll visit Adventure Bay, and Cape Bruny and tour the lighthouse with opportunities to see local wildlife along the way. Keep an eye out for the white wallabies on the island.
Where to stay in Hobart
Stay in Hobart’s old town and be surrounded by history. I loved staying in an old restored pub on Battery Point and a quaint hotel near the waterfront.
Budget: If you’re after a dorm bed, the Montacute Bunkhouse gets great reviews.
Mid Range: I stayed at the Shipwrights Arms, a quaint old pub in a great location on historic Battery Point, just a short walk from Salamanca Place and Hobart’s waterfront. It has a welcoming atmosphere and free onsite parking. Just wander downstairs for a beer or a meal. You can’t beat the Sunday roast special (all weekend). It’s in the perfect location for 3 days in Hobart.
I also enjoyed staying at the Edinburgh Gallery B&B. This property has a friendly owner and oodles of character. It’s centrally located on Macquarie St, Hobart and the walk down the hill to the waterfront takes about 10-15 minutes. I stayed in a lovely light, bright room with a private bathroom on the main level of the old house. But the cheaper rooms are in the basement, 3 flights of stairs away from the shared bathroom.
The Astor Private Hotel has a central location and oozes old-world charm. This rambling old hotel is full of antiques and rather eccentric decorations. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and there are spotless shared facilities for the cheaper rooms. I loved staying here! It reminded me of visiting my English Great Aunts. **The Astor Private was not open last time I was in Hobart but I’m hoping it’s not gone for good.
Upper Mid Range: The Moss Hotel has an ideal location in Salamanca Place, surrounded by historic buildings, restaurants and cafes. Guests love the super location and the service.
Luxury: Spend your 3 days in Hobart in style at the Henry Jones Art Hotel. It’s a cool and funky five-star hotel on Hobart’s waterfront. The hotel is a stunning renovation of the old jam factory and the location is ideal. It’s just a short walk to the MONA ferry, Salamanca Place and Battery Point. The rooms are spacious and full of contemporary art. This hotel gets exceptional reviews.
Where to eat
Hobart has a great selection of restaurants, cafes and historic pubs. Here are a few suggestions for a hearty meal that won’t break the bank:
Mures Seafood Restaurant, Victoria Dock
Shipwrights Arms Hotel, Battery Point
The Shamrock Hotel, Hobart
Solo travel to Hobart
I’ve enjoyed travelling solo in Hobart and found it a very safe and friendly place to visit alone. I had a great time on a solo 2-week road trip around Tasmania and found so many fun things to do in Hobart. I always love to shop at the Salamanca Market and visit the art galleries and historic sites in Hobart.
Australia is one of the safest countries in the world for solo travel. Hobart is one of the safest capital cities and Tasmania is a great choice for a solo trip.
Are you new to solo travel?
How to spend one day in Hobart?
With just one day in Hobart, begin early with a stunning sunrise at the Hobart Waterfront. Stop for breakfast at a café on the Brooke St Wharf or in historic Salamanca Place, enjoy the art galleries and if it’s Saturday, spend the morning shopping for art, crafts and souvenirs at the Salamanca Market. Shopping at the market is one of the most fun things to do in Hobart and one of my favourites.
Then climb the convict-built “Kelly’s Steps”, take a stroll around historic Battery Point and enjoy the pretty Georgian cottages and winding streets in one of Hobart’s oldest suburbs.
Stop for lunch at a quaint café then return to the waterfront and take a ferry ride on the Derwent River to the famous MONA Museum of Old and New Art. Spend the afternoon viewing the controversial modern art and enjoy an evening meal in a historic pub like the Shipwrights Arms on Battery Point.
What is Hobart most known for?
- Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
- MONA – Museum of Old & New Art
- Salamanca Market
- Battery Point
- Female factory – UNESCO world heritage historic site
- The Penitentiary
- Cascades Brewery
- Port Arthur & Richmond UNESCO world heritage historic sites
- Delicious food & fresh local produce
- Mount Wellington, Kunyani & Wellington Park
Is 2 days enough in Tasmania?
It’s definitely worth spending more than 2 days in Tasmania. The capital Hobart is a cultural centre with famous art galleries, and historical sites and beyond the city there are stunning wilderness areas to explore across Tasmania. And there’s great food with a wide variety of local produce to enjoy. There’s so much to see and do that 2 weeks is a better amount of time to stay in Tasmania.
Do you need a car in Hobart?
Hobart is Australia’s smallest capital city, and you can easily visit without a car. The city centre is pleasant to walk around, and while it’s always more convenient to drive, a network of buses connects the city and the rest of the island. On a short stay, the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus will take you to see a great selection of fun things to do in Hobart. There’s also a good choice of tours to take you on day trips outside of the city.
Is Hobart cheap or expensive?
The cost of living in Hobart is generally cheaper than in other capital cities in Australia.
Is Port Arthur worth a visit?
Yes, it’s definitely worth visiting Port Arthur. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic site is one of Australia’s most important convict settlements and tells the stories of the many convicts who lived and died there.
The Tasman Peninsula is a wild and beautiful part of Tasmania, and the scenery is wild and dramatic. Near Port Arthur you can stroll through the lavender fields, meet a Tasmanian Devil face-to-face at the Unzoo or stop at an open cellar door for wine tasting. With 3 days in Hobart, you won’t regret spending a day at Port Arthur.
Can you do a day trip to Port Arthur from Hobart?
Port Arthur is perfect for a day trip from Hobart. It takes around 90 minutes to drive there, and you can see the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Historic site in a few hours. But there’s so much to see and do on the stunning Tasman Peninsula that it’s worth staying at least one night in the area if you have the time. Visiting Port Artur and the Tasman Peninsula is one of the most fun things to do in Hobart Tasmania on a day trip.
Is Launceston or Hobart better?
Both Hobart and Launceston have lots to offer visitors but Hobart is the largest city in Tasmania. It’s also one of the oldest cities in Australia and is steeped in convict history. A centre of art, culture, colonial history, and great food, Hobart has a picturesque waterfront, an international airport and lots of other facilities for visitors.
Three hours away from Hobart, Launceston is located beside the stunning Cataract Gorge and the Tamar Valley, a famous wine-growing region of Tasmania. On the north side of the island, Launceston has its own airport and is just an hour’s drive from Devonport where the ferry to mainland Australia docks. Launceston is also one of Australia’s oldest cities and is popular with foodies. It’s a wonderful gateway to Cradle Mountain and Tasmania’s stunning north coast.
#1. A Travel Guide for Tasmania or Australia. I rarely travel without my trusted Lonely Planet Guide.
#2. I always use Travel Insurance so I can concentrate on enjoying my trip without worrying about something going wrong.
Beautiful Tasmania Road Trip – 2-Week Itinerary
15 Things You’ll LOVE to do In & Around Launceston
8 Great Day Trips from Hobart, Australia
Why Port Arthur in Tasmania is So Fascinating
Three Capes Track in Tasmania – The Best Time of Year to Go
Why You’ll Love Visiting Wineglass Bay in Tasmania
Why You’ll Love Solo Travel in Australia
This looks like a gorgeous little hidden gem! The views from Mt. Wellington are stunning (and the rest of your photos as well)! Thanks so much for sharing, looks like I need to add another place to my bucket list, haha!
What an incredible action packed 3 days – I’m keeping this for when I get to Hobart. I’m looking forward to those markets!
Thanks Sharyn! The Salamanca Markets are great!
I love finding new places, and you just introduced this beautiful destination that I would love to visit. Great guide with all the details anyone needs to visit the beautiful historic Hobart.
Hobart sounds like a great place to visit. I’d love to visit the MONA Hobart and the Waterfront. Sample the local wine and gin at Salamanca Market is lovely too.
I would absolutely love to go back to Australia and visit Hobart too. It sounds and looks like a lovely place. I definitely want to visit The Salamanca Market, and I would love to try the local wine, beer and gin.
Hope we can all explore the beauty of Australia soon again.
Staying in an old restored pub sounds perfect!
You’ve definitely captured the best of Hobart. I absolutely love visiting this city at any time of year and these are great tips for people wanting to plan their trip. A whisky or gin tasting at Lark Distillery is another great suggestion for those fond of a tipple. 🙂
A great suggestion thanks Emma!
I’ve been wanting to visit Tasmania since I first visited Australia a few years ago. Hoping I can visit when borders eventually open up!
Never heard of Hobart before – will definitely check it out when I go!
Sounds like so much to do in Hobart! I love hop on, hop off buses and the market sounds great.
Hobart looks really pretty, and wow so much to do. I love how much history there seems to be there. I’m really into historical sites and museums so Hobart is perfect for that. I’d be interested in visiting Port Arthur too
I can’t believe I have not been to Tasmania yet! It’s been on my list for ages & on my last trip, although I was planning a visit, I ended up in New Zealand. I didn’t realise how long it would be before I was able to return to Australia. Really useful info for when I finally do make it…fingers crossed!
Hobard sounds like a wonderful place to visit.
Wow looks like a beautiful place ? I loved the pictures .hope to visit sometime soon . Thanks for sharing
I don’t know too much about Hobart, so I found this really interesting to read! I had no idea that it was such a historic city either, which is ideal for me because I love history!
I have been dreaming about visiting this part of the world. Thank you so much for sharing this useful guide.
I’d love to visit Hobart some day. My friend stayed there for a few years and it sounded amazing!
I had never heard of Historic Hobart, but it looks lovely. I haven’t explored Australia yet, so I am saving your post for future trip inspiration. I hope they open international travel next year. Thank you for sharing!
Wow, there’s so much to see and do in Hobart! And the panorama from Mt. Wellington is just beautiful!
Wow, I visited Australia a while back, and just didn’t have time for Hobart. I can’t resist a historic centre. Also, that woman’s prison, I bet those walls have some horrific tales to tell. Saving this for when I go.
Hobart looks like such a charming place to visit! I absolutely love Australia and can’t wait to go back when the borders open. Historic Hobart is definitely on my list now. Thanks for sharing 🙂