History and Heritage in Hobart
Hobart may be Australia's smallest capital city, but it makes up for it's relatively diminutive population in many other ways. Situated near the mouth of the wide and smooth Derwent River and with the stunning Mount Wellington towering over as a backdrop, Hobart's picture-perfect vistas make it one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Being Australia's second oldest city it also has a rich history, which often takes visitors by surprise as they aren't expecting the old Georgian style architecture and the rich fishing heritage when they touch down in Hobart. And as you will discover on your visit the surprises just keep coming in this charming holiday destination!

Hobart is situated on the West Bank of the Derwent River, close to where it flows into the Southern Ocean. Essentially a port city, the waterfront here is a central attraction with its wide range of restaurants, bars and eateries. Salamanca Place used to be known as the place to hang out for sailors in the early days of the city, and now it is the premium entertainment precinct in Hobart. On the weekends it really comes alive when hundreds of outdoor stalls are set up for the Salamanca Markets, which are a fun and interesting place to hunt down a bargain. Nearby to Salamanca is Sullivans Cove, the first area of settlement in the city and a historical landmark well worth checking out.

To further immerse yourself into the history of Hobart take a stroll through the suburb of Battery Point, which is also located very close to the waterfront. Here you will find beautifully preserved old mansions, quaint boatyards and ancient, cosy mariners cottages. A variety of restaurants, pubs and boutiques complete the walk back in time and help create the special ambience of Battery Point. To find out more about Tasmania's history since settlement and also it's Aboriginal heritage pay a visit to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, where the comprehensive exhibits will entertain and inform you.

But Hobart isn't just about the history. The scenic beauty of the surrounds and the wealth of nearby natural attractions means this city is perfectly adapted to outdoor pursuits of all kinds. Climbing Mount Wellington is a favourite activity, and the fairly easy walk or cycle to the top is rewarded with amazing views of the city spread below you, the Derwent River and the whole of Blackman's Bay. The Alpine vegetation that surrounds you here has an enchanted feel to it, which is enhanced by the aquatic setting of Hobart below you. In the winter there is usually a light dusting of snow on the peak, making for some special kodak moments.

The Derwent River itself is where much of the recreation in the city occurs. You cannot come to Hobart and not go on a cruise of it, as this is the best way to experience the city's waterways, travelling past places like Government House, the Tasman Bridge, the Botanical Gardens and Aboriginal rock caves. Of course if you are feeling a touch more energised you can hire a canoe or a kayak and see the city from a quieter vantage point. You are bound to pass a number of anglers trying their luck for the fish that populate the river. Many will head further up the Derwent Valley to test their fly fishing skills, attracted by the natural beauty of the region.

A popular tourist activity in Hobart is to go on a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate factory. This is a rewarding experience where you will see the production process of chocolate, enjoy free samples and meet some of the people responsible for the impact that Cadburys Chocolate has had on all our lives in Australia. Another interesting tour to take is of the Cascade Brewery, where you are able to see how some of Australia's favourite beers are made. There is a half hour tasting session at the end of the hour long tour, and you can have a bite to eat in the visitor centre at the end of it all.

No matter how you choose to spend it, your holiday to Hobart will leave you relaxed and refreshed, and chances are you will be back in the future to do everything you missed out on the first time round! The great thing about Tassy is its compact beauty- there are so many amazing things to see and do at a fairly close distance to each other. A hirecar from Rent New Cars is your ticket to exploring Hobart and the rest of the island state affordably and comfortably!

Gavin Wyatt