History of Hobart

History of HobartHobart was established in 1804 at the mouth of the Derwent River, a year after Tasmania’s first settlement at nearby Risdon Cove. Only a collection of tents and huts then, its population consisted of 178 convicts, 25 Royal Navy marines, 15 women, 21 children, 13 free settlers, and 10 civil officers.

Hobart is Australia’s second oldest city and has an incredible waterfront location. From Old Wharf, where the first arrivals settled, round to the fishing village of Battery Point, the area known as Sullivan’s Cove is still the hub of this cosmopolitan city.

Attractions include the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Criminal Courts and Penitentiary Chapel, Battery Point, and Salamanca Place.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery was built in 1863 and designed by the city’s best known colonial architect, Henry Hunter. The gallery now houses an excellent collection of early prints and paintings of Tasmania, Aboriginal artifacts, as well as botanical displays of native flora. The Criminal Courts and Penitentiary Chapel showcases underground passages, solitary confinement cells, and an execution yard.

Battery Point is a maritime village located near the early settlement and wharves. A site with narrow gas-lit streets lined with tiny fishermen’s and worker’s houses, cottage gardens, colonial mansions and pubs, this village is a reflection of early colonial days. The strategic site, with its views down to the Derwent River, was originally home to a gun battery, which was positioned to ward off potential enemy invasions. The old guardhouse, built in 1818, is just a few minutes walk from Hampden road and has a range of antique shops, art galleries, tearooms, and restaurants.

Salamanca Place was once the site of early colonial industries ranging from jam making to metal foundry. Today, the beautiful row of sandstone warehouses is now the heart of Hobart’s lively art and creative centre. There is a range of art and craft galleries, antique furniture stores, and antiquarian bookshops housed in these old buildings. This place is also famous for its Saturday morning market and the Salamanca Market, where many stalls filled with arts, crafts, and fresh food are displayed.

Click here to view the map by A Mault showing the features of the original settlement with modern streets overlaid.

It is taken from a survey by Surveyor-General Harris. The original was discovered in the NSW Lands Office and presented to the Tasmanian Lands Office.