1. Visit the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum
Visit our very own museum! Preserving Australia’s Antarctic history, the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum is home to a replica of the main hut which Sir Douglas Mawson’s team built during the 1911–14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition. This hands-on museum, which is great for kids and adults alike, is located on Hobart Waterfront – just 200 metres from where Mawson’s expedition departed in 1911!
2. Explore the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Housing a collection of more than 800,000 objects, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is one of Australia’s most historically significant sites. Displaying everything from fossils to fine art, TMAG has hands-on and educational exhibitions that are great for families, plus school holiday programs and a brand new gallery, mapiya lumi | around here, which was developed just for kids.
3. Take a tour of Bruny Island
Home to abundant wildlife, spectacular scenery, and brimming with farm gates and cellar doors, Bruny Island – just off the coast of Hobart – is well worth a visit or a stay. You can meet the island’s wild inhabitants (including fairy penguins, fur seals, dolphins, migrating whales and sea birds) through an eco-cruise or guided nature tour. You can hike the islands plentiful trails from short walks to moderate treks. Be sure to take in the island’s history with a visit to the Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration (discovertasmania.com.au/attraction/blighmuseumofpacificexploration) and with a tour of Cape Bruny Lighthouse. Finally, food and wine lovers can take a full-day tour of the island’s foodie venues – or you can venture out on your own to discover all the gastronomic delights the island has to offer.
4. Spend your Saturday at Salamanca Markets
Every Saturday, more than 300 stalls come together in historic Salamanca Place to put on these lively outdoor markets. With everything from artisan goods and local produce to one-off fashion, jewellery and art designs, the Salamanca Markets never cease to have a bustling and vibrant atmosphere. The markets also have an online store for those who can’t attend in person!
5. Attend the Australian Antarctic Festival
This exciting biennial event brings together world-leading scientists, researchers and explorers with expertise in the Antarctic region! For four days in August 2022, the Australian Antarctic Festival (AAF) will celebrate science, history and art through an Antarctic lens. There are several highlights including: the CSIRO and other scientific institutions holding open houses; a display of thousands of stunning Antarctic photographs as part of the AAF’s international photography exhibition; the Antarctic Expo showcasing impressive artefacts and equipment from Australia’s history of Antarctic exploration; Hobart’s historic, 100-year-old, State Cinema presenting the beauty and mystery of Antarctica through film.
6. Engage your artistic side at Dark Mofo Festival
Held in mid-winter each year, Dark Mofo presents an artistic and eccentric display of Tasmanian art, music, food and film. Hobart is transformed into a playground designed to inspire and challenge its visitors artistically. Key not-to-be-missed events include the carefully curated film program, the Winter Feast, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra performance, and the Nude Solstice Swim.
7. Learn about Tassie’s convict history at Port Arthur
A trip to the World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site is the perfect day out for history lovers. The site became a penal settlement in 1830 and is one of eleven Australian Convict Sites to tell the story of Australia’s convict heritage. Entry to Port Arthur provides visitors with: a guided walking tour of the site; a harbour cruise; access to the site’s more than 30 buildings, ruins and gardens; and entry to the Port Arthur Gallery – which incorporates interactive exhibits and displays that tell the Port Arthur Historic Site’s story.
8. Take a historical waterfront walk to discover Hobart’s rich Antarctic history
Hobart is rich in Antarctic history and has supported international and Australian Antarctic exploration since the 1800s. Today, Hobart is both a pre-eminent Antarctic gateway city and a major centre for Antarctic research. Taking a historic walk around Hobart’s docks and waterfront precinct can provide visitors with a fantastic appreciation for the city’s historic Antarctic links. Along your waterfront walk be sure to visit: the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s Antarctic collection; the Maritime Museum of Tasmania’s displays on Hobart’s role as a southern outpost; the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museums with heritage displays from Sir Douglas Mawson’s historic huts – still preserved to this day on the shores of Cape Denison in Antarctica; Mawson Place, which honours Mawson’s contribution to Australian Antarctic exploration; the docks where crowds gathered in 1911 to wave off Mawson’s team aboard the Aurora. Here you’ll also find the Bernacchi Tribute, commemorating the life of scientist and explorer Louis Charles Bernacchi.
9. Feast at the Taste of Tasmania Festival
Presenting the absolute best in Tasmanian food, wine, beer, music and more, The Taste of Tasmanian Festival is one of Hobart’s most exciting annual events. Tasting tables and food stalls fill Hobart’s Princes Wharf alongside equally impressive arts, crafts and decorative artisan stalls. Family-friendly activities are set up around the festival, and at night, the sounds of talented Tassie musicians fill the air while fireworks displays fill the skies.
10. Take a step back in time with a walking tour of Salamanca and Battery Point
Steeped in fascinating early colonial history, the best way to explore Hobart’s Salamanca and Battery Point districts is by taking a walk! Settled in the early 1800s, these waterfront districts began as maritime villages. Key sites to see along your self-led historic walk in Battery Point are: the Narryna Heritage Museum, home to an impressive collection of colonial furniture and artefacts; Arthur Circus, which shows the exterior of cottages dating to the earliest days of the colonial settlement; and Battery Square, where the Prince of Wales Battery was historically housed.
In Salamanca, be sure to: head down the historic Kelly’s Steps, constructed in 1839; and to spend some time exploring Salamanca Place and Salamanca Square, home to bustling shops, cafés, art galleries and weekly markets (see details above).