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Hobart sits in the foothills of snow-capped Mount Wellington, which makes a breathtaking backdrop for city life. Known to the indigenous people as Kunyani, it stands 1,271m tall and is just 14 miles from town, making it a must-see. Take a trip to the observation centre at its summit for sweeping views of the city and Derwent Valley. Thankfully, it is accessible by road, meaning it's not only super fit hikers and bikers who get to appreciate its glory.
A history lesson:
Tasmania's penal past is a sombre but significant truth. Of the 11 Australian Convict Sites collectively recognised on the UNESCO World Heritage List, four are found here. Touring the derelict sites which ran during the first half of the 1800s can be an emotional but rewarding experience. Learn about the thousands of female convicts and children imprisoned at the Cascades Female Factory, or visit Port Arthur on the south east peninsula. Around 60 miles from Hobart, re-offenders were sent to this remote settlement and punished with hard manual labour and mental subjugation.
Soaking up Tasmanian culture:
Creativity isn't hard to find in Hobart, with galleries, festivals and live performances in abundance. Support local artists and artisans with a trip to the Salamanca Arts Centre, or appreciate the innovative Aboriginal work on display at Art Mob. View colonial and contemporary pieces at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, or head up the river to the eccentric Museum of Old and New Art (Mona). This extraordinary experience showcases innovative art in a vineyard setting.
Hobart's reclaimed harbour is a popular destination for curious tourists, but also for laid-back locals as they watch the world go by. Enjoy the eateries of Constitution Dock, which is known for its part in the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, then watch fishermen bring in their haul at Victoria Dock. A short walk from the waterfront, up the 177-year old Kelly's Steps is Battery Point, home to the historic houses from the area's first European settlement.
A spot of meandering:
Admire the Georgian architecture of Salamanca Place as you sip a cappuccino and take in the relaxed atmosphere. Historic sandstone warehouses have been transformed into chic cafés, studios, friendly restaurants and boutique shops where an array of unique products are on offer. If you're lucky enough to visit on a Saturday, visit the bustling Salamanca Market where everything from books and jewellery to organic fruit and gourmet produce is sold.