Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony, Hobart is Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. In 2011, the city had a greater area population of approximately 211,656. A resident of Hobart is known as a “Hobartian”. The city is located in the state’s south-east on the estuary of the Derwent River. The skyline is dominated by Mount Wellington at 1,271 metres (4,170 ft) high. The city is the financial and administrative heart of Tasmania, also serving as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations.
Hobart was named Australia’s 6th most sustainable city, by the Australian Conservation Foundation in 2010. For economic and social innovation, Hobart was the 11th placed in Australia in 2009, and listed as an innovation influencer city in the Innovation Cities Global Index scoring equal with Reykjavik. In 2012, Hobart was praised for its arts, food and scenery by the travel giant Lonely Planet, placing at number 7 for their “Best in Travel 2013” publication, and was the only Australian city to feature in the list. Lonely Planet had previously ranked the city as the 91st ‘Best City in the World’ in their publication “The Cities Book” in 2009.
As of 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.
As at June 2013, the city had a greater area population of approximately 217,973. The city is located in the state’s south-east on the estuary of the Derwent River. The skyline is dominated by Mount Wellington at 1,271 metres (4,170 ft) high. The city is the financial and administrative heart of Tasmania, also serving as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations.
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, 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.
Designed by the prolific architect Sir Roy Grounds, the 17-storey Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Sandy Bay, opened as Australia’s first legal casino in 1973.
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 a large number of 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.