I'm a freelance writer just returned to Tassie from 8 years on the mainland. I've been writing honestly about personal experiences since school and now I'm sharing my experiences, opinions, passions and wicked sense of humour with the world.
Published August 22nd 2019
All this for absolutely nothing
I grew up in Tasmania, so I can confidently say I've experienced its beauty. I'm always on the hunt for free things to do so I've compiled a list of what I think is the best. There's nothing on this list I haven't done myself if not once several times! Take advantage of my local knowledge and make a day to escape and explore around Hobart.
1. Walk over the Tasman Bridge Any local can tell you this bridge is famous for its collapse in 1975. When a ship with a cargo of 10,000 tons of zinc concrete crashed into the bridge it collapsed. 12 people died, including seven of the ship's crewmen and five motorists. Since then, it has been reconstructed and is the most used bridge used by locals. Taking around 60 - 90 minutes return trip, the 3km stretch can be a bit of challenge, so best try to avoid going on a windy day and peak hour traffic.
2. Head to the Mount Nelson Signal Station
700 Nelson Road, Mount Nelson Just 5 minutes from Hobart, this was the first signal station constructed in Tasmania in 1811. Take in the breathtaking 180-degree views whilst learning fascinating facts about colonial history. The heritage-listed site boasts interpretive descriptions of the history of signal communication from Mount Nelson to Port Arthur. Look out across the southern Tasmanian coastal landscape from the city of Hobart to the Tasman Peninsula, the Dentrecasteaux Channel and beyond. It is also the destination for several of Hobart's walking tracks. Fancy a bite? Grab yourself something from the all-day breakfast menu or one of the other beautiful dishes made with quality seasonal produce. See more of their menu and services on their website.
By Peter Campbell - www.greenlivingpedia.org/Image:2011-04_Mt_Nelson_Hobart.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15006441
3. Begin or end it at the beach There are so many beautiful beaches to choose from in close distance from Hobart. 15km from Hobart is the quiet and non-crowded Seven Mile Beach, known for the beautiful wildlife you can see. Closer to town is Long Beach, where there is calm waters, a diving pontoon with changing pavilions and cafes. Kingston Beach is less than 15 minutes drive away and is popular for swimmers and dog walkers. This beach has some great bushwalking tracks for the walkers.
4. Walk along Franklin Wharf Take a stroll around the wharf and docks area with new cafes and restaurants opening up all the time it's a great place for seafood lovers. Just looking at the sailing and fishing boats docked in the water is worthwhile. A family favourite of mine is the seafood institution, Mures, where the fish comes fresh from their own fishing boats. For a drink, head to Tasmania's oldest distillery, Lark Distillery, and sample their single malt whisky or one of the 150 other premium whiskies. Right next door you can check out Mawson's Huts Replica Museum from 1912 (entry fee is required.
5. Go to Tasmania's Royal Botanic Gardens Across 14 acres these gardens are showcasing 6,500 species and varieties of plants, including over 400 Tasmanian species. It hosts the largest public conifer collection in the southern hemisphere. Be sure to check out the beautiful Lily Pond, the styled Japanese garden, the stunning Conservatory, and the Subantarctic Plant House. Also, stop for a coffee on the balcony of the visitor centre. See their website for the latest exhibits and events happening.
By Barrylb at en.wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18688299
6. Must do Mount Wellington Walk, ride or drive through this natural playground to get to this mountain top. Look out for waterfalls as you make your way through fern glades and gullies. Make sure it's a clear day to take advantage of the most spectacular views of Hobart and the Derwent River. I recommend the standard Tassie of coat and wear a puffer jacket. Check out their website for more information and updates on any tracks closed due to weather.
7. Browse Salamanca Markets
Open every Saturday from 8am - 3pm Salamanca Place, Hobart These markets, first held in 1972, have been around my whole life. Amongst the beautiful sandstone buildings, you'll find artisans, organic-food purveyors and tie-dye-toting hippies selling their goods. The road is closed to cater for 300 stalls selling all sorts of gifts, homewares, produce, souvenirs, and handmade clothing. This is a good place for free tastings and samples. For more information on the market, head to their website.
8. Visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Open Daily, except Monday, 10am - 4pm
Dunn Place, Hobart
Yep, this museum and art gallery is entirely free to enter! TMAG is a combined museum, art gallery and state herbarium with the broadest collection compared to anything similar in Australia. The museum and art gallery hosts a number of permanent and temporary exhibits. It explores the journey of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, fascinating species and environments including the story of the Tasmanian Tiger. Discover the power of change as it takes you through national and international significance and influence of the twentieth-century Tasmanian life. It also examines the definitions, perceptions and mythology of Antarctica. Plus medals and coins and so much more.
9. Head down to Richmond
I live in Richmond and I can personally attest to its beauty and serenity of the place. OMG...where do I start? The town's most photographed landmark is the Richmond Bridge. It is also the oldest bridge in Australia as it was built the convicts in the 1820s. Walk over it and under it or sit by in the perfect picnic spots to have a BBQ on the grassy banks of the Coal River. With more than 50 Georgian buildings, many of them have been restored and are now cafes, restaurants, galleries and accommodation. Check out more things to see and do in Richmond on the website.
By Michael fromholtz - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46000307
10. Museum of Old and New Art
655 Main Rd, Berriedale
Open daily 10am - 5pm except for Tuesdays when they are closed.
If you are Tasmanian or under 18 the MONA is free to enter*. This tourist attraction has the biggest range of controversial ancient, modern and contemporary art. With a subterranean architectural design, it is the home to David Walsh's private collection of art and antiquities worth $110 million. There's also bars, cafes and a cemetery people are dying to go to!!
For everyone else, tickets are $28 for adults and $25 concession.