Hobart is an Australian city located in the south-east part of Tasmania Island where Tasmanian Sea merges with the South Pacific Ocean. Nestled below Mount Wellington and protected from the sea storms, this place located on the estuary of River Derwent was chosen by the first settlers to establish Hobart as a British colony in 1804. Its deep water harbour was very suitable for whale and seal hunting ships back in the days (such hunts are no longer done) as well as shipbuilding. Currently Hobart has a population of around 200 thousand people and is the capital of the island state of Tasmania. It is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful historical buildings, surrounding vineyards, marvelous landscape and perfect yachting conditions.
The city harbour is located in the historical Sullivans Cove area on the western bank of River Derwent. It is now called Macquarie Wharf where part of the harbour was renovated and near Salamanca Place. This is the most visited place in Hobart. Salamanca Place is named after the Spanish region of Salamanca to honor a battle won there by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington in 1812. This area of Hobart has many sandstone buildings and former warehouses turned into restaurants, galleries, shops and offices. Salamanca Market is organized every Saturday between 8.30h and 15h and it is very attractive both for the locals and the tourists. The Market offers fantastic handmade souvenirs of glass and Tasmanian wood, stylish clothing, art pieces, ceramic and leather goods and all sorts of food and drinks.
Salamanca Arts Centre includes one of the oldest theaters in Australia – the Theatre Royal which is located near Salamanca Place. The entire city of Hobart is full of history. The steps of the narrow streets towards the harbour remind the visitors of the Australian explorer and whaler James Kelly who constructed the steps in 1839. The steps are thereafter called Kelly’s Steps. The old Cascade Brewery was built in 1824 and is still open for customers. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart was open in 1818 and is famous for one of the few Sub-Antarctic Plant House in the world where plants from colder climate zones grow in climate-controlled environment.
The unorthodox building of the Museum of Old is the biggest private funded museum in the Southern hemisphere owned by David Walsh and has collections of contemporary and modern art. The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies was built in Hobart and serves as a stopover for the scientists traveling to the icy continent. Hobart is the main mooring place for the French icebreaker L'Astrolabe which provides regular deliveries to the French Southern and Antarctic Lands and Antarctica.
Hobart is hosting many annual art and music festivals. However, the most popular event is the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race when hundreds of yachts start their journey from Sydney on Boxing Day (26th of December) and finish three days and 628 sea miles later south from Hobart. Amateur sailors compete with experienced professionals and the vessels vary from 9-meter wooden boats from 1932 to high-tech carbon giants reaching 30 meters in length. The racers’ departure gathers thousands of spectators piled up on both shores of the Sydney Harbour who want to see the memorable show. A few days later the final of the race attracts huge crowds at the Battery Point regardless what time of the day the racers reach the end of their exhausting journey.
Though remote from the rest of Australia, Hobart is a city enjoying vivid cultural, economic and tourist life. The best time to visit is from October to April when the weather is most pleasant. A curious fact about Hobart is that it is the birthplace of Mary Elizabeth Donaldson born in 1972 who becomes Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark after meeting the Denmark royal heir Frederik at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.