Basking on the edge of the Derwent River, Tasmania's pretty capital retains a village atmosphere, making it one of the most charming towns to visit in Australia. The main reason for this charm is Hobart's predominantly Georgian architecture: little fishermens cottages line the streets of the Battery Point area and old warehouses converted into cafés and shops lie along the waterfront.

The magnificent harbour is at the heart of town, historically the main incentive for settlers who came here in their droves in the 19th century - taking advantage of the many opportunities provided by the then-flourishing whaling and shipbuilding industries. Most visitors today are drawn to the attractions of Salamanca Place, with its waterside cafés and galleries and weekly craft market, the yachts and ships moored here providing an almost Mediterranean ambience.

Dominating the other side of town is Mount Wellington, popular with hikers, although many people are happy to drive up just far enough to gain a spectacular view over the city. Especially beautiful at dawn or dusk, on a clear evening you can see the city's lights casting reflections over the water.

Anyone with even a passing interest in Australian history should visit nearby Port Arthur, the infamous 19th-century penal colony, which is open to the public and provides a fascinating insight into the harrowing lives of the prisoners sent out to Tasmania.

Australia's smallest and southernmost city is lively and picturesque, providing a perfect city experience as well as being a great base for exploration into the wilderness of Tasmania.

The Waterfront
Battery Point
Port Arthur
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
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