Review: Hobart Historical Walking Tour with Hobart Historic Tours inner banner

Review: Hobart Historical Walking Tour with Hobart Historic Tours

Nothing brings the history of a destination to life like expert insights from a local guide. This Hobart walking tour will transport you back in time to the colonial era.
Hobart Historical Walking Tour
Hunter Street, Sullivans Cove, Hobart. Image: Tourism Tasmania/Kathryn Leahy
Review: Hobart Historical Walking Tour

Even by Tasmanian standards, it’s a cold midwinter day.

Only a select few have braved the chill to join this Grand Hobart Walk — one of the informative guided strolls offered by Hobart Historic Tours. We meet our guide Jenny and begin a three-hour ramble around the city’s heart — starting in Sullivans Cove, where the British established a settlement in 1804.

After pointing out Hunter Street’s strip of heritage warehouse conversions, Jenny reveals an early 19th century picture of the same spot, then little more than a narrow causeway and tiny island. Later, she indicates the original shoreline, now many metres from the Derwent River.

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

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

★ Did you enjoy this video? Help us make more by hitting the subscribe button! It will help us get more destinations on board. Thank you! ★Welcome to Top Oz …

One of Hobart’s top attractions is the nearby Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). Some of the earliest colonial buildings still stand here, including the 1810 Commissariat Store. Jenny draws our attention to this structure’s obscured vault entrances and remnants of a waterside ramp, all evident in her copy of an early 19th century sketch.

Hobart Historical Walking Tour
Hobart Historical Walking Tour. Image: Adam Ford

She shares the stories behind several other historic Hobart buildings, including whitewashed Ingle Hall, which has been part of some shady deals over the years according to records. We admire Hobart Town Hall’s Victorian grandeur, and learn how the interior was returned to its former glory in the late 20th century. Sadly, being Sunday, we’re not able to go inside and see the grand ballroom, but it sounds like a worthwhile venture for another time.

Hobart Historical Walking Tour
Hobart Historical Walking Tour: Ingle Hall. Image: Patricia Maunder

Instead, we’re led into the walk’s most surprising building: the Hobart Real Tennis Club, established in 1875. Jenny explains that ‘real’, or ‘royal’, tennis is the original version of the sport, which dates back to the days of Henry VIII. Behind a high stone wall, we encounter an incongruous Tudor-style indoor court and watch a boy being coached in this familiar game in an unfamiliar setting.

Tasmania tours

Tasmania Tours, Activities & Attractions

Directly across Davey Street from the Club is tranquil St David’s Park, which was a cemetery until the 1870s. Jenny points out funerary monuments scattered among the trees. She then leads us along the park’s curving walkway, where low stone walls are embedded with scores of old tombstones. It’s sobering to think that hundreds of people, including many children, are buried here, just metres from where the Salamanca Market takes place every Saturday.

Hobart Historical Walking Tour
Hobart Historical Walking Tour: St Davids Park. Image: Patricia Maunder

In Franklin Square, Jenny reveals the unimpeded view to the handsome Greek Revival St George’s Church. Its spire was critical to semaphore signalling (as far as the Port Arthur penal settlement) in colonial times, so to this day it would take an act of British Parliament to build a structure blocking the view.

We head toward the historic Battery Point district, pausing in Salamanca Place by a cast iron pot once used to boil down whale blubber. There’s also a monument to Abel Tasman, whose name inspired the post-convict-era re-branding of Van Diemen’s Land.

According to Jenny, the Salamanca Place warehouses were derelict by the 1970s and only saved by the eponymous market’s unexpected rise to prominence. Today they form Hobart’s most recognisable streetscape and are the place to wine and dine. Galleries and gift shops also abound.

Hobart Historical Walking Tour
Hobart Historical Walking Tour. Image: Adam Ford

We walk through a gap between these former warehouses and up Kelly’s Steps. Reminiscent of the timeworn stone stairs in The Rocks district in Sydney, this is the only part of the tour that may pose a problem for those with restricted mobility.

Jenny leeds us among Battery Point’s remarkably well preserved 19th century residential architecture, including the picturesque circle of little cottages that form Arthur Circus, and more grand affairs such as Lenna — a 19th century whaling merchant’s Italianate mansion. We enter the building, now a boutique hotel, and walk upstairs to see the water views so important to its original owner.

Hobart Historical Walking Tour
Hobart Historical Walking Tour: Jackman and McRoss. Image: Adam Ford

Upon request, Jenny stops at Battery Point’s renowned Jackman and McRoss bakery. Coffee and delectable cake are just what’s needed after more than two hours of walking.

From here we amble back to the waterfront, passing a semaphore telegraph, the remnants of ship builders’ slipways, and the point where Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race winners are clocked each December.

Hobart Historical Walking Tour
Hobart Historical Walking Tour. Image: Adam Ford

This Hobart Historical Walking Tour concludes in Salamanca Place, where fairy lights glow in the twilight and warm bars beckon. Weary but delighted by all we’ve seen and learned thanks to Jenny’s relaxed, informative guidance, I wonder if she can provide one final insight — a good place to kick back here amongst Hobart’s history?

After farewells and good wishes, I’m soon sipping a hot cider and wondering what tales Irish Murphy’s hefty old stone walls could tell.

The writer travelled as a guest of Hobart Historic Tours.

Popular Hobart tours and experiences

Use promo code and save 10%
Gift Voucher
36 months
From $50.00
5.0 rating
Top selling tour
From $40.00
4.5 rating
Great reviews
From $55.00
5.0 rating
Top selling tour
From $40.00
5.0 rating
Top selling tour
From $152.00
4.6 rating
Top selling tour
From $99.00
5.0 rating
Top selling tour
Hobart Historical Walking Tour
2 hours (approx.)
From $38.00
5.0 rating
Lunch included
From $280.00
4.9 rating

Browse our full range of Hobart tours and experiences here. We offer a Best Price Guarantee.

Additional images: Bigstock

Patricia Maunder

About the writer

Patricia Maunder is a freelance travel writer and arts journalist, and has worked in print, radio, and digital media. Currently based in Melbourne, she considers the Canadian city of Montreal to be her ‘other’ hometown — having lived there from 2012 to 2016. Patricia has visited all but one of the continents, and Antarctica continues to beckon — as it has done since she was a child. She enjoys culturally themed journeys and nature-based adventures.



Travel essentials

You can book many aspects of your holiday on the Top Oz Tours & Travel Ideas website, including flights, hotels, car hire, travel insurance, and more. When you purchase a product or service using the following links from our partners, we receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay, and it enables us to continue to provide readers with amazing travel inspiration.


Compare airlines, flights, and fares in one place with They don't charge any credit card fees and you can always see exactly what you’re paying for in the price breakdown. You can book one-way, round-trip, and multi-city flights, and change your travel dates with ease when you opt for a flexible ticket option (an additional cost applies). It all adds up to a great flight! Search for flights with


If you're looking for a great deal on your next hotel or homestay, look no further than Their mission is to make travel affordable and accessible to more people, and to deliver seamless accommodation experiences that complement your holiday. Search for hotels and homestays with

Car hire

Discover Cars is an award-winning (World Travel Awards) car rental comparison website, which helps customers find, compare, and hire cars at the most competitive prices globally. You’ll get access to meticulously maintained cars, 4WDs, and minibuses from the world’s leading brands, and at the best possible price. Search for car hire with Discover Cars

Campervans & motorhomes

Make Jucy your first choice for campervan and motorhome hire. Since 2001, this progressive company has had a vision to be world-famous for enabling experience seekers to discover happiness on the road. The Jucy crew live and breathe their core values of passion, pride, family, and fun, and these values influence every one of their interactions with customers. They’re ready to help you find 'your happy'. Search for campervans and motorhomes with Jucy

Day tours & experiences worldwide

Search and book day tours, guided experiences, and attraction tickets and passes worldwide with Top Oz Tours and Viator. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book through us, and you’ll have access to the widest choice of activities and most competitive prices. Search for tours and experiences

Multi-day tours & trips worldwide

Travelling on an extended tour with a local guide is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the destination of your choice. Top Oz Tours has joined forced with Tour Radar to bring you a fabulous range of multi-day tours and trips from the world's leading operators. Travel with like minded people and get the best possible price on the holiday of your dreams. Search for multi-day tours and trips

Travel insurance

World Nomads aims to be a part of every traveller’s journey by providing a reassuring range of travel insurance services. Travellers can buy insurance, extend their policy, and claim online, 24/7, on the road or from home. Travel insurance benefits include coverage for emergency medical and evacuation or repatriation, lost baggage, trip cancellation, and more than 150 adventure activities. Get an insurance costing from World Nomads

Subscribe to our newsletter for the chance to win a $100 voucher




Please leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Your Cart
Your Cart Is Empty
error: This content is protected.