Best tours of Hobart

Hobart is the capital of Tasmania and the most important city of the island, so there you can find many excursions to discover this place and the natural beauty of its surroundings. Here are the best activities to choose from.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

10 min read

Best tours of Hobart

Embarcaciones en el puerto de Hobart |©Karen

If you plan to visit Hobart, you will find yourself in the capital of Tasmania, the southernmost Australian island territory in the country. Here you can discover the local history and its past as a penal colony, but you will also have the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful protected areas in Australia.

Some of the best things to do in Hobart include taking a historic streetcar tour of the city's main sites, taking a cruise on the Derwent River, participating in a kayaking experience, touring the city center aboard the local tour bus, seeing the Iron Lighthouse on a boat tour and marveling at Mount Wellington on an organized tour.

1. Sightseeing tour of Hobart on a historic streetcar tour

Hobart Green Tram|©milantram
Hobart Green Tram|©milantram

Hobart stands out for its colonial spirit and also for being the oldest city in Tasmania, so one of the best alternatives to get to know its essence is to take a sightseeing tour on the historic streetcar of this destination. During the tour you can stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets of the city center, but also know many of the most famous buildings and monuments of the city.

Along the way you will see sites such as the historic Salamanca Place warehouse district, Battery Point, the Cascade Brewery, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and the local harbor. Although the tour does not include stops or hop on-hop off service, you will be able to contemplate the panoramic views of this port city from the streetcar.

This itinerary will not only allow you to discover the architecture and the colonial essence, but it will also provide you with information about each site you visit or in the surroundings with an audio guide in several languages. Through it, you will discover the rich evolution of Hobart from its colonization days to the modern metropolis it is today.

During the tour, you will also hear local musicians and street performers join the tour, providing live entertainment and a window into the melodies of this destination.

Details of interest

  • Price: Approximately 34 euros per person.
  • Duration: About 3 hours.
  • Advantages of these excursions: You will be able to live a traditional experience aboard one of the recreation of one of the first means of transport that the city had.
  • Disadvantages of these excursions: It is not an option with hop on-hop off stops or free tours, so you will not have time to visit the sites on your own.

Buy a ride on the historic streetcar

2. Derwent River Cruise

Derwent Water|©Steve Sedgerton
Derwent Water|©Steve Sedgerton

Hobart, being a port city, intertwines its history inseparably with the Derwent River, which meanders along the coast and complements the surrounding mountainous profile. While it is possible to admire the tributary from the estuary, one of the most recommended alternatives is to participate in one of the city's best cruise excursions.

These Hobart cruises will not only give you the opportunity to cruise the iconic river, but also to get a close-up view of the diverse wildlife along its banks. From seabirds to riparian forest areas, every corner of the Derwent River is home to a sample of local wildlife. You can also discover Hobart's colonial history at the old docks and dockyards.

In addition, these Derwent River cruises offer unique perspectives of iconic historic sites, such as the Tasman Bridge and Salamanca Place, a warehouse district that rose to prominence in the late 19th century with the international trade that made the city famous. During the tours, you will usually be assisted by an expert local guide who will tell you about Hobart's maritime and cultural heritage.

Details of interest

  • Price: approximately 19 euros.
  • Duration: Between 1 and 2 hours.
  • Advantages of these excursions: You will be able to get to know the Derwent River, which is one of the main sites around which the city and its port were built.
  • Disadvantages of these tours: During the winter the boat tours can be windy and hinder your experience of bonding with the environment.

Join a Derwent River Cruise Tour

3. Kayak tour in Hobart

kayaking in Hobart|©Alison & Simon Stubbs
kayaking in Hobart|©Alison & Simon Stubbs

If you want to get to know the natural areas near Hobart's waterfront and want to do so on an experience that ties in with the city's cruise tours, you can join a kayak tour. Accompanied by an experienced guide, you will have the option to choose from several itineraries to suit your preferences.

From a short 2.5-hour tour from downtown Hobart to a more extensive 7-hour exploration that will take you past cliffs, caves and beaches, or even an epic 10-hour journey that will take you around the island of Tasmania, you will find options to suit all tastes. In addition, kayak tours are ideal if you want to live an adventurous experience.

During these tours you will not only paddle through various sections of the Derwent River, but you will also learn about the rich Aboriginal and maritime history of Hobart and Tasmania. Equipped with everything you need, including life jackets and lunch, this tour is run in small groups to ensure a more personalized experience.

Details of interest

  • Price: Approximately 74 euros per person.
  • Duration: About 2 and a half hours.
  • Advantages of these tours: You will get to know a different profile of Hobart and live an adventurous experience.
  • Disadvantages of these tours: While this is an experience available for all levels, the current of the Derwent River could complicate the experience for novice paddlers.

Buy a kayak tour

4. Hobart sightseeing bus tour

Hobart, Hop On, Hop Off,|©Bernard Barnwell
Hobart, Hop On, Hop Off,|©Bernard Barnwell

If you want to explore Hobart in a comfortable way and at your own pace, you can opt for the hop on-hop off sightseeing bus tour of the city. This tour will take you through the most important points of this destination and will give you the opportunity to hop on and off as many times as you want in its itinerary through the 18 established stops.

During the tour through the streets of this port city you will be able to see iconic sites such as Salamanca Place and the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, but also other more distant areas such as South Hobart and Victoria Dock. The itinerary that you can hire is one or two full days, in which you can use the hop on-hop off service as many times as you want and enjoy one of the best tour buses in the city.

Along the route, you can also visit some of the most important museums in Hobart, such as the Tasmanian Maritime Museum or the Penitentiary Museum.

Stops included in the tour bus

  • Brooke Street Pier
  • Salamanca Place
  • Princess Park
  • Battery Point
  • St. George's Anglican Church
  • Saint Georges Terrace
  • Wrest Point Hotel Casino
  • Sandy Bay Road
  • Cascade Brewery
  • Cascades Female Factory
  • South Hobart
  • Village Cinemas Hobart
  • Hobart CBD
  • Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
  • Hobart Convict Penitentiary
  • Doone Kennedy Hobart Aquatic Centre
  • Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
  • Victoria Dock

Details of interest

  • Price: Approximately 27 euros per person, for the 24 hours free stop service option.
  • Duration: You can choose services with a duration of 24 or 48 hours, but if you decide to do the full tour it has an approximate duration of 1 hour and a half.
  • Advantages of these tours: You will be able to see the main sites of the urban area of the city and the surrounding area at your own pace.
  • Disadvantages of these excursions: The winter frequency of the services is approximately one hour between each of the buses, which could delay your tours.

Buy tickets for the sightseeing bus

5. Iron Lighthouse Cruise in Hobart

Iron Pot lighthouse|©Liv Ellingsen
Iron Pot lighthouse|©Liv Ellingsen

One of the maritime architectural wonders you can discover in Hobart is the Iron Pot Lighthouse. This famous Tasmanian lantern, which holds the title of being the oldest in Australia, will allow you to learn about the complexities that navigators of the past had to go through in one of the most dangerous bays in the world. For this experience, you can opt for a 2.5 hour cruise on the Derwent River with the assistance of an expert local guide.

Along the way, in addition to learning about the history of the Iron Lighthouse, you will have the opportunity to spot native birds, such as the popular white-bellied sea eagle, from the deck of the boat, and you can also discover views of Mount Wellington on the horizon. This experience, which is usually for small groups of up to 12 people, is considered one of Hobart's best cruise excursions.

From the Derwent River to the iconic Hope Beach, these cruises give you the opportunity to take in not only the local architecture, but also the natural richness of the region. In addition, an expert guide's detailed explanations of Tasmania's Aboriginal history will also give you an insight into the interrelationship of this site with the island's past.

Details of interest

  • Price: Approximately 85 euros per person.
  • Duration: About 2 and a half hours.
  • Advantages of these excursions: You will be able to get to know one of the most emblematic sites of Hobart's maritime tourism, a city-port that was built around navigation and commercial exchange.
  • Disadvantages of these tours: If you plan to visit Hobart during the summer, which is a rainy season, these experiences may be postponed or suspended due to the copious rainfall that characterizes the region.

Book an Iron Lighthouse Cruise

6. Mount Wellington Excursion

Mount Wellington|©PsJeremy
Mount Wellington|©PsJeremy

There's no way to really get to know Hobart without visiting Mount Wellington, so if you're an adventure travel enthusiast you can't miss a hike to this distinctive site on the region's skyline.

These experiences usually include a round-trip transfer with hotel pick-up and a professional hiker to guide you, so you can rely on their expertise to take in the panoramic views that span the entire island.

From the top of Mount Wellington, which rises more than 1,200 meters above sea level, you can see Hobart and the entire Derwent River. The tour will also guide you through fascinating alpine environments, giving you the opportunity to admire the varied wildlife that inhabits the region. On the way down, you will be able to visit the Cascades district, making it one of the best and most complete tours from Hobart.

Details of interest

  • Price: Approximately 35 euros per person.
  • Duration: Between 3 and 4 hours.
  • Advantages of these tours: You will get to know one of the highest points in Tasmania and also the mountain that is present from any observation horizon in Hobart.
  • Disadvantages of these tours: It is a very intense tour, not recommended for the elderly or people with reduced mobility.

Join a guided tour of Mount Wellington

How to book a tour in Hobart?

people on the computer|©PsJeremy
people on the computer|©PsJeremy

You can book any of these experiences in advance online or book them once you are in the capital of the island. In any case, if you plan to visit Hobart during the summer, which is the high season, I advise you to book before your arrival to secure your place and also get better prices, as rates are dynamic.

Also, if you book in advance you will have the opportunity to put together an itinerary that will allow you to get the most out of your visit and combine tours around the city or along the nature trails with cultural experiences in Hobart's best museums or guided tours of the city center which is noted for its picturesque colonial architecture.

What will I see on this type of tour?

Hobart from above|©Richard Kirk
Hobart from above|©Richard Kirk

The answer will depend mainly on the tour you choose, but in general you will have the opportunity to discover the main tourist sites of this destination. In addition to some of the most outstanding natural attractions, such as Mount Wellington or the Derwent River, you can also learn about the local history, its most emblematic monuments and buildings, and participate in adventure excursions.

In addition, you can also choose between several means of transport to make guided tours or on your own through the city, so you can opt for the Hobart hop on-hop off tourist bus, for cruises that travel through the maritime attractions of the region and even for a historic streetcar, which will allow you to rescue the most significant stories of the Tasmanian past.

Tips for a tour in Hobart

Streets in Hobart|©Keith Midson
Streets in Hobart|©Keith Midson

If you plan to visit Hobart and want to opt to discover the city on an organized tour, I advise you to book in advance, which will allow you to secure your place and also get better rates, which may increase for last minute bookings. I also suggest that, if you travel during the summer, you check the weather, since the temperature is warm but the region is very humid and the rains are very frequent.

On the other hand, I advise you to do a thorough research before visiting the historical sites of the city, which will allow you to make the most of the visits to the buildings and museums near the points of the tour, such as the Cascades Female Factory or the Tasmanian Maritime Museum.

Why is it advisable to take a guided tour in Hobart?

Hobart Harbor|©Andrew S
Hobart Harbor|©Andrew S

Although Hobart is a well-signposted city, as well as the busiest points of the whole island, and therefore you will have the opportunity to move around without too many problems on your own, if you opt for a guided tour you will be able to make the most of the visits and optimize your time. Usually, the local expert guides will tell you about the mysteries and secrets of each historical site, which will be difficult for you to find out on your own.

In addition, the same guides will recommend places to eat, attractions to visit and even save you money, because they will make the margin of error much smaller during your tour and will enhance your experience on the island.