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Hobart, the capital of Tasmania and Australia's smallest state capital is a charming harbour city. It is Australia's second oldest city, founded in 1803 as a penal colony. Hobart lies at the foot of Mount Wellington and on the banks of the Derwent River. The waterfront areas Macquarie Wharf, Constitution Dock, Salamanca Place and Battery Point are just gorgeous with their Georgian buildings and the looming presence of Mount Wellington in the background. The locals are very relaxed, super friendly and have none of the snobbery of Sydney and Melbourne inhabitants.
The climate is extremely variable with high fluctuations in temperature and wind speed during the average week. Summer lasts from December to February and has an average maximum temperature at sea level of 21 °C. Winter lasts from June to August with an average maximum temperature at sea level of 12 °C. Still, it can be around 35 °C on some summer days and below zero during some winternights. Although rain is possible in every month, the wintermonths of June to August tend to be somewhat wetter.
|Avg Max||22.2 °C||22.1 °C||20.3 °C||17.7 °C||15.1 °C||12.4 °C||12.3 °C||13.7 °C||15.4 °C||17.3 °C||18.9 °C||20.4 °C|
|Avg Min||12.6 °C||12.6 °C||11.4 °C||9.4 °C||7.6 °C||5.3 °C||4.9 °C||5.7 °C||6.9 °C||8.3 °C||9.9 °C||11.3 °C|
|Rainfall||44.4 mm||36.3 mm||39.3 mm||44.2 mm||36 mm||42.9 mm||47.3 mm||60.5 mm||58.7 mm||56.1 mm||48.6 mm||57.1 mm|
Hobart International Airport (HBA) is located 20 kilometres east of the city and services flights to and from other airports in Tasmania and the rest of Australia. Although it's called an 'international' airport, it has not served a regular international flight since the early 1990s.
The five main airlines flying to Hobart International Airport are:
Getting from the airport to the city:
To get to the city centre from the airport, you can drive along the Tasman Highway. The city is on the opposite side of the Derwent River. Alternatively, you can catch a taxi ($40+) or take the Airporter Shuttle Bus, which costs $17 one-way for an adult.
Hobart can be easily reached from all other cities and towns in Tasmania by car. Driving from Launceston via National Highway 1 takes around 2.5 hours with car hire available from the airport or in the Launceston itself. You can also take a car from mainland Australia via Devonport, with a ferry departing nightly from Melbourne. The journey from Devonport takes around 3.5 hours.
Hobart offers a beautiful deep-water port with cruise ship berths in the heart of the historic Salamanca area of the city. Large cruise ships dock at Macquarie Wharf. Volunteer greeters meet the cruise ships, answer questions, and point the way. The immediate area, which includes Constitution and Victoria Docks, was once the heart of Hobart's shipping industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
To see areas further afield, a car is useful. Roads are generally not congested, although you can expect to pay for parking in the city areas. Avoid driving in the Salamanca area on a Saturday, due to road closures and traffic snarls due to the markets.
There are plenty of companies you could choose to hire a car from, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty. Car hire is often not available to drivers under 25, or if it is, it's more expensive for younger drivers.
Hobart has a sufficient public bus system. The main interchange is in front of the GPO (General Post Office). Ticket prices depend on the distance and start slightly above a dollar. Services are considerably less frequent on Sundays. Timetables are all available online from the MetroTas website.
Walking is the best way to explore the downtown area. It is easy to walk between the city centre, Salamanca, and the port/harbour area. If you are staying in the Salamanca area, you may not need any other form of transport. Between the City Centre and Sandy Bay via Battery Point is only half an hour to walk (although there are some hills).
Hobart is hilly any which way you choose to head, so bike riders should be prepared for hills. There is a poorly developed network of off-road cyclepaths, but Hobart drivers tend to be tolerant of cyclists, and most roads tend to be wide enough to accommodate them. One old railway line from the city as far as Claremont has been converted to a first-class cycle and walking path (take care from motor vehicles at intersections).
Numerous ferries, sightseeing harbour cruises and a water taxi service operate from the Hobart docks (Brooke St Pier) to outlying attractions including MONA at Berriedale. Some of these include dining on board, while others may terminate at a site with a restaurant such as Peppermint Bay and MONA.
Hobart has a profusion of eating establishments ranging from the cheap to the luxuriously expensive. Freshly caught seafood is a specialty of the region, and there are several excellent seafood restaurants. Deep-sea Trevalla is unique to Tasmania and must be tried. Tasmanian lobster is also excellent. Scallop pie is also unique to Tasmania and can be easily purchased from the Salamanca Market food stalls. Restaurants are concentrated in the Salamanca and North Hobart areas.
|City View Motel||30 Tasman Highway||hostel||-|
|Hobart Apartments||369 Brooker Avenue/Highway Lutana||Apartment||-|
|Hobart Hostel||41 Barrack Street, Hobart, 7000 Corner Barrack and Goulburn Streets||Hostel||75|
|Central City Backpackers||138 Collins Street||Hostel||-|
|The Pickled Frog||281 Liverpool St Tasmania||Hostel||85|
|Transit Backpackers||1st Floor, Hobart Transit Centre 251 Liverpool Street||Hostel||76|
|Tassie Backpacker @ The Brunswick Hotel||67 Liverpool Street Hobart||Hostel||77|
|Hobart Huon Quays||Hobart||HOSTEL||-|
Internet cafés are very common in the larger Australian cities and popular tourist destinations. However, once you leave the major population centres, you might have trouble finding somewhere to log on. Free wifi is getting more and more common (either with or without a code) in places like restaurants, some bars and coffee places and hotels. Sometimes a fee is required.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Australia. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.
To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.
Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area. Below are Australia's area codes:
000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.
Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. Opening times are mostly from around 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm though larger ones keep longer hours sometimes. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail. You can also use use private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL as they are competitive and reliable.
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