Taking a walk through central Hobart


Tasman Bridge across the Derwent River

Tasman Bridge across the Derwent River

I have been into Hobart CBD on several occasions. It is an easy bus ride from the east side, over the Derwent River on the graceful Tasman Bridge, past the Botanic Gardens, turn right past the few hi-rise buildings and in 15 minutes the bus deposits you in the colonial heart of downtown Hobart.

I do not come to buy things, not even to window shop (well maybe a little bit of window shopping) but I come to wander the streets and admire the architecture and soak up the atmosphere.

Hobart has retained many of the original colonial Georgian buildings, each a work of art, standing proud and tall a credit to the craftsmanship of the stone masons of long ago.

The jewel in the crown of these buildings is the Town Hall. Impressive and graceful it was built in 1864. The transportation of convicts from England had ceased in 1853 and Hobart wanted to turn its back on its tainted convict past. The Town Hall made a statement when it opened in 1866 it symbolized the hope of future greatness for the city.


Walking past the Post Office building and into the Elizabeth Street shopping Mall the beautifully renovated colonial buildings now house the multinational stores you can find everywhere around Australia.

Further down Elizabeth Street on the fringes of the CBD I discover an old-fashioned shop run by the CWA (Country Women’s Association). The shelves are stocked with homemade jams, chutney and preserves. Hand knitted beanies and baby clothes jostle with home-baked cakes fresh from country kitchens and an array of craft work all presided over by two friendly CWA volunteers who look wholesome and healthy as though they had just arrived from the farm.

Next door a quaint, small café looked very inviting and enticed me in with an aroma of coffee and fresh-baked bread. I placed my order, smoked Tasmanian salmon, poached egg and a potato rosti on a bed of rocket and of course a cup of coffee. Then I climb the steep, narrow stairs to the upper level and sit at my table eavesdropping on 4 business people on the next table as they discuss sales strategies.  


Re-energized with food and caffeine I explore the arcades, a tangle of covered alleyways that join from street to street going in all directions. I browse through them, yes window shopping, Elizabeth Arcade, Wellington Walk, Centre point, Cat and Fiddle Arcade (now where did that name come from?).

Time passes and eventually I come to the end and out onto a street with no idea where I am. I do not want to go back through the arcades so stand looking at a street map, turning it this way and that trying to get my bearings.

I think I have previously mentioned I am very directionally challenged.

Well within minutes a couple come over to help and point me in the right direction for Elizabeth Street and the buses.

I like that attitude in a city, people have time to stop and help. Travelling on a crowded bus I have had a younger person offer me their seat and seen other people both male and female get up for elderly people. Many passengers say “thank you” to the bus drivers as they get off. A man opening a door into a store for his partner also holds it open for me and gives me a smile as I pass him. People seem to walk slower; more people say “Hello” and smile. Just little things but an accumulation of these positive things give this city of Hobart a good feeling for me, I like this city, I enjoy discovering its secrets, it is a pedestrian friendly city, walking gives time to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings, of the autumn leaves and how they are now giving way to the stark, bare branches of winter.

Winter is here but the bare branches look beautiful against a blue sky.

Winter is here but the bare branches look beautiful against a blue sky.

Time is slipping by. We have been here 5 weeks and only 3 left now. Still some things to do before we fly back to the Goldcoast.


Categories: Australia, Hobart, photos, Tasmania | Tags: , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Taking a walk through central Hobart

  1. I want to visit even more now!!!


    • Definitely worth a visit. I think I would come March to May next time, before winter sets in.


      • Are the winters bad? Or just horrid and wet?


        • Not as bad as UK for example, not really wet in Hobart, this is the 2nd driest capital in Australia. But certainly quite cool at night. Depends on what you compare it with. We compare it with Queensland and that is a tropical climate. So we feel the cold… 😦


          • Sounds ideal for my husband who doesn’t like the heat! Mind you, he was in Queensland a year ago and he coped alright!


            • I find the climate perfect for me because I am originally English, but Jack struggles a bit with the cold as he is an Aussie….


              • Where in England did you come from? We’re in the south-west where it’s quite warm compared to other areas


                • I was born in Hull but left in 1961. It didn’t get extreme weather back then I would not want to leave Australia now


                • I think if we were younger we might head your way! My husband fell in love with Australia!


                • There’s a lot to love about this fantastic country


  2. It’s so nice to hear there are still communities that are polite and civilized. Thanks for the walking tour. It was lovely.


    • I think it is because Hobart is still a smaller city, but of course they do still have some problems that the media love to focus on


  3. poppytump

    Golly that time seems to have gone quickly PP ! Loved walking round with you here . So cosmopolitan .. I don’t know quite why it wouldn’t be though Lol . Such a clean looking place . If only we could all slow down and remember manners and helpfulness a bit more …
    Your cafe brunch looks so nice and healthy and yummy .. savoured whilst eavesdropping … MARVELLOUS 😉


    • I am just bowled over by Hobart it really goes under the radar in the tourist brochures but I’ve found it has so much going for it.
      Yes the time has just flown by. Must admit the winter weather is now setting in and time to fly north, but like a Lancashire lady said to me, “It never gets as cold as the UK” she had lived here 5 years and had moved from Queensland (my home state) were she had lived since 1972. She moved because Queensland was too hot and humid for her.


  4. You have Target stores there??? Hmm…
    Lovely photos other than being surprised at recognizing that shop.


  5. Oh thanks for the stroll. I would love to wander there myself one day.


  6. Really enjoyed this, Pauline. Some lovely sites of traveling around Hobart. I especially liked the cafe and the stairs you climbed to have your lunch and eavesdrop. How fun! 🙂


    • Coming back down I needed to clutch the hand-rail to stop falling head first… lol good job I drank coffee and not wine…


  7. Lovely photos, Pommepal. Thanks for the tour.


  8. It looks a lovely homey place. I love to wander without worrying how to “get back”. Sometimes a challenge. 🙂


    • Hi Jo thanks for dropping by. Yes, for a city it has a country town feel and I always carry a street map in my bag, I notoriously always turn the wrong way.


  9. Are there steep steps in Hobart that lead up to a quiet residential area of charming old houses with roses and apple trees? I have the photos and my husband in pretty sure it was in Horbart. They were steep concrete steps.
    What a beautiful place and wonderful post!


    • Yes your husband has a good memory the steep steps lead to Battery Point. If you put that in the search box it will bring up about 3 posts I have done on that area with photos of the very charming, colonial style cottages. You can compare them with your photos


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