Quick facts for kids
Location of Hobart within Australia
|• Total||1,357 km2 (524 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+10 (ACST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+11 (ACDT)|
|Website||City of Hobart website|
Hobart is the capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. It is the least populated state capital in Australia. Founded in 1803 as a penal colony, Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. The modern history of Hobart (formerly 'Hobart Town', or 'Hobarton') dates to its foundation as a British colony in 1803. Prior to British settlement, the area had been occupied for possibly as long as 35,000 years, by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe. The descendants of the indigenous Tasmanians now refer to themselves as 'Palawa'.
Since its foundation as a colonial outpost, the city has grown from what was approximately one square mile around the mouth of Sullivans Cove to stretch in a generally north-south direction along both banks of the Derwent River, from 22 km inland from the estuary at Storm Bay to the point where the river reverts to fresh water at Bridgewater. Hobart has experienced both booms and busts over its history. The early 20th century saw a period of growth on the back of mining, agriculture and other primary industries, and the loss of men who served in world wars was counteracted by an influx of immigration after World War II. In the later years of the 20th century, migrants increasingly arrived to settle in Hobart from Asia. Despite the rise in migration from parts of the world other than the United Kingdom and Ireland, the population of Hobart remains predominantly ethnically Anglo-Celtic, and has the highest percentage per capita of Australian born residents of all the Australian capital cities.
In June 2015, the city had a greater area population of approximately 221,000. The city is located in the state's south-east on the estuary of the Derwent River, making it the most southern of Australia's capital cities. Its harbour forms the second-deepest natural port in the world. Its skyline is dominated by the 1,271-metre (4,170 ft) kunanyi/Mount Wellington, and much of the city's waterfront consists of reclaimed land. It is the financial and administrative heart of Tasmania, serving as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations and acting as a major tourist hub, with over 1.192 million visitors in 2011/2012. The metropolitan area is often referred to as Greater Hobart, to differentiate it from the City of Hobart, one of the five local government areas that cover the city.
The first European settlement began in 1803 as a penal colony at Risdon Cove on the eastern shores of the Derwent River, amid British concerns over the presence of French explorers. In 1804 it was moved to a better location at the present site of Hobart at Sullivans Cove. The city, initially known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, was named after Lord Hobart, the British secretary of state for war and the colonies.
The area's indigenous inhabitants were members of the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe. Violent conflict with the European settlers, and the effects of diseases brought by them, dramatically reduced the aboriginal population, which was rapidly replaced by free settlers and the convict population. Charles Darwin visited Hobart Town in February 1836 as part of the Beagle expedition. He writes of Hobart and the Derwent estuary in his Voyage of the Beagle:
...The lower parts of the hills which skirt the bay are cleared; and the bright yellow fields of corn, and dark green ones of potatoes, appear very luxuriant... I was chiefly struck with the comparative fewness of the large houses, either built or building. Hobart Town, from the census of 1835, contained 13,826 inhabitants, and the whole of Tasmania 36,505.
The Derwent River was one of Australia's finest deepwater ports and was the centre of the Southern Ocean whaling and sealing trades. The settlement rapidly grew into a major port, with allied industries such as shipbuilding.
Hobart Town became a city on 21 August 1842, and was renamed Hobart from the beginning of 1881.
Hobart is located on the estuary of the Derwent River in the state's south-east. Geologically Hobart is built predominantly on Jurassic dolerite around the foothills interspersed with smaller areas of Triassic siltstone and Permian mudstone. Hobart extends along both sides of the Derwent River; on the western shore from the Derwent valley in the north through the flatter areas of Glenorchy which rests on older Triassic sediment and into the hilly areas of New Town, Lenah Valley. Both of these areas rest on the younger Jurassic dolerite deposits, before stretching into the lower areas such as the beaches of Sandy Bay in the south, in the Derwent estuary. South of the Derwent estuary lies Storm Bay and the Tasman Peninsula.
The Eastern Shore also extends from the Derwent valley area in a southerly direction hugging the Meehan Range in the east before sprawling into flatter land in suburbs such as Bellerive. These flatter areas of the eastern shore rest on far younger deposits from the Quaternary. From there the city extends in an easterly direction through the Meehan Range into the hilly areas of Rokeby and Oakdowns, before reaching into the tidal flatland area of Lauderdale.
Hobart has access to a number of beach areas including those in the Derwent estuary itself; Sandy Bay, Cornelian Bay, Nutgrove, Kingston, Bellerive, and Howrah Beaches as well as many more in Frederick Henry Bay such as; Seven Mile, Roaches, Cremorne, Clifton, and Goats Beaches.
Hobart has a mild temperate oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb). The highest temperature recorded was 41.8 °C (107.2 °F) on 4 January 2013 and the lowest was −2.8 °C (27.0 °F) on 25 June 1972 and 11 July 1981. Annually, Hobart receives 40.8 clear days. Compared to other major Australian cities, Hobart has the fewest daily average hours of sunshine, with 5.9 hours per day. However, during the summer it has the most hours of daylight of any Australian city, with 15.2 hours on the summer solstice.
Although Hobart itself rarely receives snow during the winter (the city's geographic position keeps temperatures from plummeting far below zero), the adjacent kunanyi/Mount Wellington is often seen with a snowcap. Mountain snow covering has also been known to occur during the other seasons. During the 20th century, the city itself has received snowfalls at sea level on average only once every 15 years; however, outer suburbs lying higher on the slopes of Mount Wellington receive snow more often, owing to cold air masses arriving from Antarctica coupled with them resting at higher altitude. These snow-bearing winds often carry on through Tasmania and Victoria to the Snowy Mountains in northern Victoria and southern New South Wales.
|Climate data for Hobart (1881–2015)|
|Record high °C (°F)||41.8
|Average high °C (°F)||21.7
|Average low °C (°F)||11.9
|Record low °C (°F)||3.3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||47.6
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||10.9||9.4||11.3||12.3||13.6||14.4||15.4||15.5||15.3||16.2||14.1||12.8||161.2|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
At the 2011 census there were 211,656 people in the greater Hobart area and the City of Hobart local government area had a population of 48,703. According to the 2011 census, approximately 17.9% of greater Hobart's residents were born overseas, commonly the United Kingdom, New Zealand and China.
The most common occupation categories were professionals (21.6%), clerical and administrative workers (16.1%), technicians and trades workers (13.8%), managers (11.5%) and community and Personal Service Workers (10.6%). The median weekly household income was $869, compared with $1,027 nationally.
In the 2011 census, 58.6% of residents specified a Christian religion. Major religious affiliations were Anglican (26.2%), Catholic (20.3%), Uniting Church (3.4%), and Presbyterian and Reformed (1.9%). In addition, 29.3% specified "No Religion" and 8.6% did not answer.
Hobart has a small Mormon community of around 642 (2011), with meetinghouses in Glenorchy, Rosny, and Glen Huon. There is also a synagogue where the Jewish community, of around 111 (2001), or 0.05% of the Hobart population, worships. Hobart has a Bahá'í community, with a Bahá'í Centre of Learning, located within the city.
In 2013, Hillsong Church established a Hillsong Connect campus in Hobart.
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is a popular recreation area a short distance from the city centre. It is the second-oldest Botanic Gardens in Australia and holds extensive significant plant collections.
Hadley's Orient Hotel, on Hobart's Murray Street, is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Australia.
kunanyi/Mount Wellington, accessible by passing through Fern Tree, is the dominant feature of Hobart's skyline. Indeed, many descriptions of Hobart have used the phrase "nestled amidst the foothills", so undulating is the landscape. At 1,271 metres, the mountain has its own ecosystems, is rich in biodiversity and plays a large part in determining the local weather.
The Tasman Bridge is also a uniquely important feature of the city, connecting the two shores of Hobart and visible from many locations. The Hobart Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Australia and a rare surviving example of an Egyptian Revival synagogue.
Hobart is known for its well-preserved historic architecture, much of it dating back to the Georgian and Victorian eras, giving the city a distinctly "Old World" feel. For locals, this became a source of discomfiture about the city's convict past, but is now a draw card for tourists. Regions within the city centre, such as Salamanca Place, contain many of the city's heritage-listed buildings. Historic homes and mansions also exist in the suburbs.
Kelly's Steps were built in 1839 by shipwright and adventurer James Kelly to provide a short-cut from Kelly Street and Arthur Circus in Battery Point to the warehouse and dockyards district of Salamanca Place. In 1835, John Lee Archer designed and oversaw the construction of the sandstone Customs House, facing Sullivans Cove. Completed in 1840, it was used as Tasmania's parliament house, and is now commemorated by a pub bearing the same name (built in 1844) which is frequented by yachtsmen after they have completed the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
Hobart is also home to many historic churches. The Scots Church (formerly known as St Andrew's) was built in Bathurst Street from 1834–36, and a small sandstone building within the churchyard was used as the city's first Presbyterian Church. The Salamanca Place warehouses and the Theatre Royal were also constructed in this period. The Greek revival St George's Anglican Church in Battery Point was completed in 1838, and a classical tower, designed by James Blackburn, was added in 1847. St Joseph's was built in 1840. St David's Cathedral, Hobart's first cathedral, was consecrated in 1874.
Arts and entertainment
Hobart is home to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, which is resident at the Federation Concert Hall on the city's waterfront. It offers a year-round program of concerts and is thought to be one of the finest small orchestras in the world. Hobart also plays host to the University of Tasmania's acclaimed Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute (AISOI) which brings pre-professional advanced young musicians to town from all over Australia and internationally. The AISOI plays host to a public concert season during the first two weeks of December every year focusing on large symphonic music. Like the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the AISOI uses the Federation Concert Hall as its performing base.
Hobart is home to Australia's oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal, as well as the Playhouse theatre, the Backspace theatre and many smaller stage theatres. It also has three Village Cinema complexes, one each in Hobart CBD, Glenorchy and Rosny, with the possibility of a fourth being developed in Kingston. The State Cinema in North Hobart specialises in arthouse and foreign films.
The city has also long been home to a thriving classical, jazz, folk, punk, hip-hop, electro, metal and rock music scene. Internationally recognised musicians such as metal acts Striborg and Psycroptic, indie-electro bands The Paradise Motel and The Scientists of Modern Music, singer-songwriters Sacha Lucashenko (of The Morning After Girls), Michael Noga (of The Drones), and Monique Brumby, two-thirds of indie rock band Love of Diagrams, post punk band Sea Scouts, theremin player Miles Brown, blues guitarist Phil Manning (of blues-rock band Chain), power-pop group The Innocents are all successful expatriates. In addition, founding member of Violent Femmes, Brian Ritchie, now calls Hobart home, and has formed a local band, The Green Mist. Ritchie also curates the annual international arts festival MONA FOMA, held at Salamanca Place's waterfront venue, Princes Wharf, Shed No. 1. Hobart hosts many significant festivals including winter's landmark cultural event, the Festival of Voices, Australia's premier festival celebration of voice, and Tasmania's biennial international arts festival Ten Days On The Island. Other festivals, including the Hobart Fringe Festival, Hobart Summer Festival, Southern Roots Festival, the Falls Festival in Marion Bay and the Soundscape Festival also capitalise on Hobart's artistic communities.
Hobart is home to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. The Meadowbank Estate winery and restaurant features a floor mural by Tom Samek, part funded by the Federal Government. The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) opened in 2011 to coincide with the third annual MONA FOMA festival. The multi-storey MONA gallery was built directly underneath the historic Sir Roy Grounds courtyard house, overlooking the Derwent River. This building serves as the entrance to the MONA Gallery.
The city's nightlife primarily revolves around Salamanca Place, the waterfront area, Elizabeth St in North Hobart and Sandy Bay, but popular pubs, bars and nightclubs exist around the city as well. Major national and international music events are usually held at the Derwent Entertainment Centre, or the Casino. Popular restaurant strips include Elizabeth Street in North Hobart, and Salamanca Place near the waterfront. These include numerous ethnic restaurants including Chinese, Thai, Greek, Pakistani, Italian, Indian and Mexican. The major shopping street in the CBD is Elizabeth Street, with the pedestrianised Elizabeth Mall and the General Post Office.
Hobart is internationally famous among the yachting community as the finish of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race which starts in Sydney on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas Day). The arrival of the yachts is celebrated as part of the Hobart Summer Festival, a food and wine festival beginning just after Christmas and ending in mid-January. The Taste of Tasmania is a major part of the festival, where locals and visitors can taste fine local and international food and wine.
The city is the finishing point of the Targa Tasmania rally car event, which has been held annually in April since 1991.
The Australian Wooden Boat Festival is a biennial event held in Hobart celebrating wooden boats. It is held concurrently with the Royal Hobart Regatta, which began in 1830 and is therefore Tasmania's oldest surviving sporting event.
Most of Hobart's sporting teams in national competitions are statewide teams rather than exclusively city teams.
Cricket is a popular game of the city. The Tasmanian Tigers cricket team plays its home games at the Bellerive Oval on the Eastern Shore. A new team, Hobart Hurricanes represent the city in the Big Bash League. Bellerive Oval has been the breeding ground of some world class cricket players including the former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
Despite Australian rules football's huge popularity in the state of Tasmania, the state does not have a team in the Australian Football League. However, a bid for an Tasmanian AFL team is a popular topic among football fans. The State government is one of the potential sponsors of such a team. Local domestic club football is still played. Tasmanian State League football features five clubs from Hobart, and other leagues such as Southern Football League and the Old Scholars Football Association are also played each Winter.
The city has two local rugby league football teams (Hobart Tigers and South Hobart Storm) that compete in the Tasmanian Rugby League.
Tasmania is not represented by teams in the NRL, Super Rugby, netball, soccer, or basketball leagues. However, the "Oasis Hobart Chargers" team does represent Hobart in the South East Australian Basketball League. Besides the bid for an AFL club which was passed over in favour of a second Queensland team, despite several major local businesses and the Premier pioneering for a club, there is also a Hobart bid for entry into the A-League.
Hockey Tasmania has a men's team (the Tasmanian Tigers) and a women's team (the Van Demons) competing in the Australian Hockey League.
The city co-hosted the basketball FIBA Oceania Championship 1975.
Five free-to-air television stations service Hobart:
- ABC Tasmania (ABT)
- SBS Tasmania (SBS)
- Southern Cross Television Tasmania (TNT) - Seven Network affiliate
- WIN Television Tasmania (TVT) - Network Ten affiliate
- Tasmanian Digital Television (TDT) - Nine Network affiliate
Each station broadcasts a primary channel and several multichannels.
Hobart is served by twenty-eight digital free-to-air television channels:
- ABC (ABC broadcast in HD)
- ABC ME
- ABC News 24
- SBS HD (SBS broadcast in HD)
- SBS Viceland
- Food Network
- SCTV (on relay from Melbourne)
- 7HD (Seven broadcast in HD)
- TDT Nine (on relay from Melbourne)
- 9HD (TDT broadcast in HD)
- WIN (on relay from Melbourne)
- WIN HD (WIN HD broadcast in HD)
The majority of pay television services are provided by Foxtel via satellite, although other smaller pay television providers do service Hobart.
Commercial radio stations licensed to cover the Hobart market include Triple M Hobart, Hit 100.9 and 7HO FM. Local community radio stations include Christian radio station Ultra106five, Edge Radio and 92FM which targets the wider community with specialist programmes. The five ABC radio networks available on analogue radio broadcast to Hobart via 936 ABC Hobart, Radio National, Triple J, NewsRadio and ABC Classic FM.
|Energy FM||87.8 FM||Commercial|
|Triple J||92.9 FM||Government funded|
|ABC Classic FM||93.9 FM||Government funded|
|Hobart FM||96.1 FM||Community|
|Edge Radio||99.3 FM||Community|
|Hit 100.9||100.9 FM||Commercial|
|7HO FM||101.7 FM||Commercial|
|SBS Radio||105.7 FM||Government funded|
|Triple M Hobart||107.3 FM||Commercial|
|ABC Radio National||585 AM||Government funded|
|ABC NewsRadio||747 AM||Government funded|
|936 ABC Hobart||936 AM||Government funded|
|TOTE Sport Radio||1080 AM||Racing/Narrowcast|
|Rete Italia||1611 AM||Italian radio|
|NTC Radio Australia||1620 AM||Community|
Hobart's major newspaper is The Mercury, which was founded by John Davies in 1854 and has been continually published ever since. The paper is currently owned and operated by Rupert Murdoch's News Limited.
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