After our few days in Strahan we moved on to Hobart, Tasmania’s state capital. Hobart is in the south-east of Tasmania, on the estuary of the Derwent River, and in the shadow of Mount Wellington. It was founded in 1804, like many places in Tasmania, as a penal colony, named Hobart Town, or Horbarton after Lord Hobart the Colonial Secretary. As the River Derwent was deep, easily accessible, and well used for the whaling and sealing trade, it soon became a major port, and ship building industries grew up around it. In 1842, Hobart Town became a city, and in 1881 was renamed Hobart. Hobart is a vibrant, modern city, home to a thriving and varied music industry, Australia’s oldest theatre – the Theatre Royal, and is of course internationally famous as the finish of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
On the Saturday morning, we visited the hugely popular Salamanca Market on Hobart’s waterfront area, with stalls selling anything from Tasmanian leatherwood honey, huon pine goods, local crafts, books, posters, Tasmanian lavender, and plenty of food from various cultures.
While staying in Hobart we visited Port Arthur (more about that later), and took a trip to Richmond which has the oldest bridge in Australia, built using convict labour in 1823. We also visited some local wineries, including Coal Valley Vineyard, and Craigow Vineyard, and the beautifully named ‘Puddleduck vineyard’, where we sampled some very nice wines of Tasmania.
It was good to spend a few days in Hobart, and the food – especially the fresh, locally caught seafood – and wine were great but I think I preferred the laid back wilderness of Strahan to the urban hustle and bustle of Hobart.