On the fringes of Hobart's city centre, lined by popular Salamanca Place, Battery Point is Hobart's oldest and prettiest suburb, with a palpable sense of colonial history among its cute cottages and cafés.
By Andrew Bain
Draped across a promontory that protrudes from Hobart's docks, Battery Point was, in the early 19th century, the site of a battery of guns that protected Hobart. It has grown to become the city's premier address. Historic buildings abound, cafés and restaurants line central Hampden Road, and welcoming pubs and bars are dotted throughout its streets. Take time to wander through a chunk of Hobart's history before settling in for a drink or dinner.
HOW TO GET THERE
Battery Point is a 15 minute walk from Hobart's city centre. Follow Murray Street to the docks and Salamanca Place then either head up Montpellier Retreat, or find the signposted Kelly's Steps along Salamanca Place.
- Settle in with an herbal tea before the wood fire at Pollen Tea Room
- Discover Errol Flynn's Hobart origins on Battery Point's Sculpture Trail
- Grab a beer in a bus at Preachers
Battery Point highlights
TOP THINGS TO DO IN BATTERY POINT
Walk the Battery Point Sculpture Trail
For a unique interpretation of local history, follow the Battery Point Sculpture Trail as it winds through the suburb. Each of the nine sculptures is a number representing a moment in Battery Point history. The trail will take you into the slipyards, where a floating "313" tells of the number of ships built here in the yard's 19th-century heyday. It ends at a beachside "1909", commemorating the year of Errol Flynn's birth in Battery Point. The walk should take about an hour.
Brunch on Hampden Road
Hampden Road is Battery Point's main artery and one of Hobart's finest café strips. The tiny Pollen Tea Room takes the word "cute" to a new level, with its indoor tables wrapped around a wood fire. You can pick from almost a dozen herbal teas, or grab a healthy breakfast. Nearby Milli Vinilli is a café-cum-wine-bar serving all day breakfast, with an emphasis on jaffles (toasted sandwiches filled with the likes of smoked salmon, crème fraîche and dill) and the neat touch of offering a free apple with your coffee. It also has a small range of quality Tasmanian wines.
View the convict-designed St George's Church
The rounded sandstone spire of St George's Church is a prominent presence across much of Hobart, but its finest feature is its history. The church stands on Cromwell Street atop the promontory and was built in the 1830s. The spire was added in the 1840s and was designed by a convict, James Blackburn, who was transported to Australia for forgery. Convict labour was also used in its construction.
Visit Narryna Heritage Museum
Head to the city end of Hampden Road, and you'll find a gorgeous Greek Revival sandstone mansion that houses the Narryna Heritage Museum. This museum offers a peek into the wealthy side of 19th century residential life in Battery Point. The large fountain out front sets the scene of colonial opulence, rounded out by the period-decorated rooms and the colonial artworks and artefacts that liberally furnish the house.
Eat at Da Angelo
Ask any Hobartian for their favourite local restaurant, and the answer is likely to be Da Angelo. On a corner site along Hampden Road, the Italian restaurant is invariably full – be sure to book ahead – and doling out wonderful pizza and handmade pasta, including gnocchi prepared by the mums of the two owners. The personal touch is huge here. If you don't know owner Angelo before you walk in, you probably will by the time you walk out.
Drink at Preachers and Society Salamanca
Tucked behind Salamanca Place, just a few steps apart, is a pair of fine, contrasting Battery Point bars. Inside a colonial-era house, Preachers pours microbrews from around Tasmania and Australia. On a summer night the garden here is arguably the finest place to be in Hobart, and when it cools you can always take your drink aboard the bus parked in the yard. If spirits are more your tonic, Society Salamanca looks part gentlemen's club, part casual café. More than 300 bottles of spirits line the wall, but whisky and gin are the star attractions. Unique tasting platters feature four local whiskies or gins.
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