Nestling between the lofty heights of Mt Wellington and the sparkling estuary of the Derwent, Hobart is a city that's shaped and defined by hills, bushland and water.
Sunshine on convict-chipped stone, whitecaps riffling the breezy river, the twinkle of lights in the branches of Salamanca's plane trees, a spectrum of fine flavours from southern Tasmania's wonderful food and wine - they're just some of the things that make a short break in Hobart a great idea.
The video below provides a snapshot of the lifestyle Hobart offers to visitors and locals.
Hobart's City Centre is a great place to shop - easy to park, easy to get around and a wide range of shopping options from designer boutiques to major chains.
Visit the One City Centre - Shop Hobart website for a complete listing of retail businesses in the city centre.
City parking is a breeze - there are several multi-storey car parks close to the heart of town. Best news of all - the first 90 minutes parking is free in Council's off-street car parks.
On Saturday's, the free HobartHopper shuttle bus connects Hobart City Centre with Salamanca - and everything in between. Shuttles run every ten minutes from 8.30am to 4pm in a continuous loop.
If you're visiting with kids or you just want to keep up with your fitness program, call in to the Hobart Aquatic Centre, on the edge of the city near the Cenotaph. This world-class complex includes two main pools, waterslide and fun pool, toddler pool and a range of resort-style facilities including health 2 fitness centre, café and child care - all indoors in a pleasant sub-tropical environment, all year-round.
The best way to see a maritime city is from the water - cruise boats leave from Watermans Dock in the city, heading upriver to Moorilla Vineyard, downriver to Wrest Point Hotel-Casino and beyond to the D'Entecasteaux Channel.
Seafood is a Hobart specialty - Hobart chefs delight in using the best of fresh-caught scalefish, shellfish and crustaceans.
North Hobart's restaurant strip offers a feast of flavours and aromas - Italian and Mexican, Thai and Indian, mod-Oz and yum cha - you'll find them all along a few blocks of Elizabeth Street.
If you haven't visited Hobart for a while, you'll be surprised to discover the host of alfresco dining throughout Elizabeth Mall and the surrounding City Centre.
To Market to Market
Every Saturday, the sandstone warehouses of Salamanca Place look down on the buzz, bustle and colour of Australia's best outdoor street market. Salamanca Market is the place see what's hot and tasty from the food stalls, rummage through loads of treasure to find a bargain, browse the galleries to see the best of local art 2 craft, select fresh vegetables and pause to listen to the buskers - kids on violins, rippling harp strings, tribal drumming and the music of the southern Andes - trilling pipes, mandolins, guitar chords in a minor key - all floating out from Salamanca on the sea breeze.
For a wide view of this scenic city, take a drive to the summit of one of Hobart's mountains. Mt Nelson is a 10 minute drive from the city - the Signal Station on top was one of a chain of semaphore masts that relayed messages between Hobart and Port Arthur. For a much wider panoramic view of the city, river and estuary, it's a half-hour drive through alpine forest to the 1271 metre pinnacle of Mt Wellington - on a clear day the view extends from Ben Lomond in north-east Tasmania to the ranges of the Southwest.
Hobart is handy to a host of acclaimed cool-climate vineyards. Joining a winery tour from Hobart means that you can enjoy your tastings and let someone else take the wheel.
Hobart's famous Cascade beers and ales are brewed in an historic brewery that nestles on the edge of Mt Wellington's forested foothills. Visit the brewery museum and sample the tipples that have won international praise. Some experts say they're almost as good as James Boag's famous ales - that's a big call.
One of the city's most fascinating walks explores the route of the waterway that convinced Lieutenant David Collins to base his settlement in Sullivans Cove. The Hobart Rivulet fully-guided aboveground tour follows the course of the Rivulet beneath the City's central business district. The Rivulet played a key role in the historical development of the City of Hobart since the early 1800's. A unique opportunity to see some of Hobart's hidden history.
The Hobart Rivulet Tour occurs every Thursday, from 4.15pm - 6.15pm. Alternate days can be arranged for groups of six or more. For bookings, contact the Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre, Cnr Davey and Elizabeth Street, Hobart Phone: 1800 990 440.
Back in the open air, take a stroll through Hobart's oldest residential precinct - from Salamanca Place, climb Kelly Steps and walk up to Hampden Road, with its village atmosphere, coffee shops, galleries and bistros. Find your way to Arthur Circus, where Hobart's oldest Georgian-era cottages peep shyly at each other across a circle of green. The city blends into its fringing bushland - grab a free copy of the Hobart City Council's outstanding walks guide and explore Bicentennial Park on Mt Nelson, Knocklofty Reserve in West Hobart or the network of tracks on Mt Wellington.
On Hobart's historic Hunter Street, imaginative architecture and interior design has transformed a waterfront jam factory into art hotel.
For details on the city's events, tours and attractions, check www.discovertasmania.com.au. In Hobart, call in to the Hobart Visitor Information Centre on the corner of Elizabeth and Davey Streets, close to the docks precinct.