Experience the History of Hobart, Australia
Founded in 1804 as a penal colony, Hobart is the second oldest city in Australia after Sydney. Over the centuries, there have been countless events that have shaped the city. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of preservationists, tourists can “relive” some of those events. In addition to a thriving historical scene, Hobart has been praised by Lonely Planet for having excellent food, scenery and culture. In fact, it was ranked number seven in Lonely Planet’s “Best Travel in 2013.”
Make the Necessary Reservations
The best way to arrive in Hobart is by plane. Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways all offer regular flights from major cities to Hobart International Airport. A shuttle bus runs from the airport into town, and reservations are highly recommended as space can fill up quickly on these shuttles. Alternatively, you can hire a taxi at a higher rate.
If you wish to drive, Hobart is a two-hour drive from the Launceston airport. It is a three- to four-hour drive from the ferry at Devonport. This makes air transit a much more attractive option. Book your airfare far in advance to be sure you receive the best price.
After you’ve booked your airfare, make reservations for your accommodations. Find an affordable hotel, hostel or guesthouse that has a vacancy for the duration of your holiday in Hobart. Hobart is a relatively small town and lodging can fill up quickly, so make reservations as soon as possible.
Take In the Unique History of Hobart
The city boasts several historic buildings and landmarks. While a stroll down any street provides a unique insight into the history of Hobart, there are several key landmarks that warrant your attention:
- Salamanca Place – This prime example of Victorian architecture consists of a number of warehouses dating back to the 1830s that were built when whaling was a prominent part of Hobart’s economy. These days, Salamanca Place is a truly unique Saturday morning market. The sandstone warehouses have been converted into a labyrinth of gift shops, restaurants and art galleries. You could easily spend all of your Saturday browsing the various shops and tasting the local cuisine.
- Battery Point – Located behind Salamanca Place, this district is full of old buildings that showcase the diversity of Hobart’s architecture over the centuries. A number of these old buildings are constructed entirely of sandstone, creating a distinctive atmosphere in this picturesque district. This area was originally the quarters for the whalers, and it offers more than 60 buildings that are classified as historical landmarks.
- Shot Tower – The Taroona Shot Tower, on the southern edge of Hobart, is the oldest circular sandstone shot tower in the world. It was built to produce lead shot for guns in 1870. With a height of 48 metres, this historic attraction showcases the process of creating shot. It contains a 259-step circular staircase that reaches the top of the tower and provides an impressive view of Derwent River. There is also a café and museum that features its history at the base.
- Mount Nelson Lookout – Located near the Shot Tower on the southern edge of Hobart, this mount was the site of a chain of semaphore stations. These stations were designed to relay messages to and from Port Arthur. The cottage that housed the signalman is still standing. Presently, it is the site of a restaurant and picnic area that features a beautiful vantage point to view all of Hobart.
Begin Planning Your Historical Holiday
Do not delay planning your historical holiday to Hobart. The city offers many diverse attractions to delight and enthrall history appreciators from all walks of life. Begin by deciding how you will reach Hobart. Then, make the necessary reservations for transit and lodging. You are now prepared to decide on your travel itinerary for this outstanding city.
About the author: Alfred Bixby is a contributing writer and high-school history teacher. He has visited many historical landmarks; however, he specifically enjoys touring Hobart due to its historical significance.
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