By Andrew Bain
Stand on Hobart's docks on the Derwent River, and Tasmania's capital city comes to life. The imposing bulk of Mount Wellington rises beyond the city centre, and a line of restaurants, art galleries, museums, hotels and an inviting weekly market await exploration. Take a few hours to wander the waterfront and you'll find a fascinating snapshot of Hobart and its connection to the sea among the fishing boats, yachts, polar research vessels and floating fish punts that fill the docks.
HOW TO GET THERE
The waterfront runs along the very edge of Hobart's city centre. Simply follow Murray Street or Elizabeth Street out of the city.
- Stroll among the hundreds of stalls at the busy Salamanca Market on a Saturday
- Kayak into the docks for a floating feed of fish and chips
- Brunch beside the water at Brooke Street Larder
TOP THINGS TO DO ON HOBART'S WATERFRONT
Brunch at Brooke Street Larder
The floating Brooke Street Pier is the newest addition to Hobart's waterfront, and down the stairs from the entrance, at water level, the casual Brooke Street Larder is a combined café and grocer specialising in Tasmanian produce. Brunch is best enjoyed on the wooden rear deck with its wraparound view of the docks.
Eat at Mures
Hobart's waterfront is lined with superb restaurants, such as Aloft, Frank, and Peacock and Jones, but, commanding centre stage on the docks is Mures, a Hobart seafood institution. Mures' seafood comes direct from its own fishing boat, guaranteeing the freshest catch. Dine in style at Mures Upper Deck, or in the relaxed, bistro-style Lower Deck.
Drink at Lark Distillery
Sample single-malt whisky from Tasmania's oldest distillery, as well as more than 150 other premium whiskies, at Lark's inviting waterfront cellar door and bar. Tasmanian beer and wine is also available, along with local cheese platters, and you can get a peek at the distilling process on one of Lark's daily tours of the distillery.
Visit Mawson's Huts Replica Museum
Sitting beside Lark Distillery, this replica of the huts built in Antarctica by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition in 1912 serves as a reminder of Hobart's historic connection to Antarctic exploration. Numerous expeditions have sailed into the city's docks on their way to Antarctica. The replica is fitted out exactly like the original huts.
Shop at Salamanca Place
In the row of historic sandstone warehouses along Salamanca Place, stores and studios such as Spacebar Gallery, Artefacts Inc and Handmark Gallery showcase local designers and artists. Each Saturday Salamanca Place is also transformed into the Salamanca Market, Tasmania's most famous market, with more than 300 stalls selling arts, crafts, produce and homewares.
Kayak with Roaring 40s Kayaking
The best view of the waterfront is from the water itself, and the gentle Hobart City Kayak tour from Roaring 40s Kayaking provides the most intimate look. On this half-day trip you'll paddle into the docks, kayaking among the yachts with a water-level view of the city and boats. You'll also paddle up to one of the floating fish punts and grab a meal of fish and chips to eat in your kayak.
Get festive at the Taste of Tasmania
Summer in Tasmania is festival season, and one of the biggest and best is the Taste of Tasmania, in and around the Princes Wharf No.1 shed. This week-long festival on either side of new year brings together producers and restaurateurs to showcase Tasmanian produce, wines, beers and ciders. It coincides with the finish of Australia's most prestigious yacht race, the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, when Hobart's docks fill with some of the world's most impressive racing yachts.
Stay at the Henry Jones Art Hotel
Australia's first dedicated art hotel commands prime position at the northern end of Hobart's docks. Occupying a former jam factory, the Henry Jones Art Hotel combines a palpable sense of history with a fine collection of modern art and super-stylish rooms. Join one of the hotel's weekly tours of its art collection, and wind down in the evening with one of the dozen cocktails on the menu at its relaxed IXL Long Bar.