Hobart is Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney. As such, this is a place rich with history. Make a beeline for the bustling Saturday Salamanca Market (8.30am-3pm every Saturday). Held all year long, come rain or shine, at the historic Salamanca Place, more than 300 stalls offer fresh local produce and handicrafts. Wander between the cafés and the sandstone warehouses now restored as art galleries and listen to the live buskers entertain.
Afterwards, take a short stroll across the Salamanca Lawns to Constitution Dock, where fishermen haul in their daily catch. Pop into Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum (corner of Argyle and Morrison St, +61 3 1300 551 422; mawsons-huts-replica.org.au. Open 9am-6pm, Oct 1-Apr 30; 10am-5pm, May 1-Sep 30), which sits just off the dock. The replica hut is modelled on the 1911 to 1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition to the South Polar region led by Douglas Mawson. The story of the men who went, how they lived (or in some cases died) and the struggles they endured is fascinating.
Just up the road sits Australia’s second oldest museum, the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery (Dunn Pl, +61 3 6165 7000; tmag.tas.gov.au. Open 10am-4pm, Tue-Sun), set in a historic building that has recently undergone a $185 million redevelopment. Particularly sobering are permanent exhibitions dedicated to the indigenous population, many of whom were wiped out by settlers in the brutal Black War of the 1820s-30s, and the now extinct Tasmanian tiger.