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Five of the Most Historic Places to Stay in Hobart

Historic hotels add another dimension to any holiday. No longer is your hotel just a place to sleep; it’s part of the very fabric of your chosen destination. Choose from these five heritage-rich accommodation options in Hobart.
Historic places to stay in Hobart
Five historic places to stay in Hobart. Image: Islington Hotel

Hobart offers no end of opportunities to do a spot of time travel.

Settled by Europeans in 1804, there are connections with the past on display across Australia’s second oldest capital city — including its wealth of grand Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian architecture. ‘Oohs’ and ‘aahs’ roll off the tongue as you explore heritage precincts like Salamanca and Battery Point, and you’ll often find yourself longing to step inside a particular building just to get a glimpse of its hidden character.

You can make even more of the architecture links with yesteryear by opting to stay in one of the city’s heritage hotels, guesthouses, and pubs. Each has a tale to tell, and you’ll generally find the owners and staff more than happy to share it with you.

Here are five of the most historic places to stay in Hobart.


Hobart Tours & Experiences

Hobart Tours, Activities & Attractions


1. Woodbridge on the Derwent (New Norfolk)

So known because of an influx of Norfolk Island residents resettled here in the early 1800s following the first closure of the island’s penal colony, New Norfolk is located in the picturesque Derwent Valley, about 30 minutes drive from the centre of Hobart. It’s home to some very fine wineries, country pubs, antique stores, and the Woodbridge on the Derwent boutique hotel, which literally oozes heritage charm. The property takes its name from the original wooden bridge that spanned the Derwent River here. The main building, which dates back to 1825, has had a number of incarnations over the years. It was fully restored in 2005 as a guesthouse.

Historic places to stay in Hobart
Image: Woodbridge on the Derwent

Each of the eight suites has river views and the shared drawing and tea rooms are a delight. A continental breakfast and three-course set dinner menu are served in the Pavilion (but must be pre-booked).

2. The Henry Jones Art Hotel

Housed in a converted 19th century jam factory (H Jones and Co Pty Ltd, IXL) on the Hunter Street waterfront, The Henry Jones Art Hotel offers 56 rooms and suites — all of which blend contemporary finishes with period features. Think raw stone (hewn by convict hands), hulking timber beams, bricked archways, and wrought iron industrial what-nots. Adding contrast and colour are the 400+ pieces of art on display throughout the property (a mix of contemporary works by emerging and established Tasmanian artists) — the perfect precursor to a visit to the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona).

Historic places to stay in Hobart
Image: The Henry Jones Art Hotel/Adam Gibson

The hotel’s onsite eateries — Peacock and Jones, and Landscape (where this name comes from will soon become clear) — take inspiration for their menus from the finest seasonal Tassie produce. Enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail in the atmospheric IXL Long Bar, which often has live music. Many of Hobart’s main attractions and the Mona Brooke Street Ferry Terminal are within comfortable walking distance of the hotel. Book well in advance.

Watch our video of ten top things to do in Hobart:

10 Top Things to Do in Hobart, Tasmania, 2022 | Hobart Travel Guide

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3. Hadley’s Orient Hotel

Convict blood, sweat, and tears were the true cornerstones of many of Hobart’s grand Georgian buildings and Hadley’s Orient Hotel is one of them. Built by convicts in 1834 (and later actually owned for a spell by an ex-con) this is one of the oldest heritage hotels in the country. It offers oodles of old world charm and a superb location right in the heart of the city. The hotel was extensively refurbished in 2014, but has unashamedly retained its connection with yesteryear. A decadent high tea is served from 12.30 t0 4pm (with the last sitting at 2pm) from Friday to Sunday, and Hadley’s Orient Bar is a cracker of a spot for a nightcap.

Historic places to stay in Hobart
Image: Hadley’s Orient Hotel

4. Islington Hotel

Located in South Hobart (about 20 minute’s walk from the harbour), Islington Hotel is possibly Hobart’s best boutique accommodation option. The original structure dates back to 1847 and was built as a country home in the Regency style — which was a little unusual for the Hobart of the day. Described at the time of completion as a ‘commodious and genteel residence’, today the hotel effortlessly blends the old and new. There are just eleven suites, elegantly populated with custom-made king-size beds, gorgeous soft furnishings, and some serious objets d’art. Some look over the garden, while others offer superb views of Mount Wellington.

Historic places to stay in Hobart
Five historic places to stay in Hobart. Image: Islington Hotel

5. Historic Hobart pubs

Hobart is not short of classic colonial-era pubs; there’s one on just about every corner and most of them appear to have some claim to a spot on the leader board of Australia’s oldest watering holes. Many offer accommodation and if you really want to immerse yourself in Hobart’s early history, this is a good way to do it!

Try the Customs House Hotel near Salamanca, which has a variety of nicely presented rooms (some located right over the bar, so pack your earplugs). A tunnel once connected the hotel with Parliament House across the street, so that the great-and-the-good-of-the-day could come and go discretely.

Five historic places to stay in Hobart
Five historic places to stay in Hobart: Customs House Hotel. Image: Adam Ford

Over in beautiful Battery Point, the Shipwrights Arms Hotel (‘the Shippies’ to the locals) was built in 1846 and offers three different room types — including a popular budget option. The three-bedroom apartment is ideal for visiting families or groups of friends, and comes complete with a fully equipped kitchenette.

The writer travelled as a guest of Woodbridge on the Derwent.

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Do you have any suggestions to add to our list of historic places to stay in Hobart? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

Cover image: The Henry Jones Art Hotel/Adam Gibson

Adam Ford

About the writer

Adam Ford is editor of Top Oz Tours & Travel Ideas, and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger, and photographer. He has travelled extensively through Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, and the Middle East. Adam worked as a travel consultant for a number of years with Flight Centre before taking up the opportunity to travel the world himself as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten. He loves to experience everything a new destination has to offer and is equally at home in a five-star Palazzo in Pisa or a home-stay in Hanoi.

 

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  1. Wonderful images you have used to drag users to your blog! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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