11 ways to stay warm (and have fun) in Hobart

So you’re in Hobart, Tasmania for the coldest months of the Australian winter? These tips should help you ‘de-chill’ the island capital and make merry.

1 – Find a good pub

A great Hobart pub will warm you up in body and spirit during the colder months

So you’ve just arrived… Chilly? Hobart hovers around 5 to 9 Celsius degrees during the day in June through August, which is “pretty cold” by Australian standards. Given this, it is going to be essential that you find a few decent “go to” pubs while you’re here. Two “must haves” for the best pubs in Hobart are, in my opinion:

  1. free pool
  2. giant open wood fires

My suggestion? Head waterside and try the Hope and Anchor Tavern, Australia’s oldest pub, for a bevy, pool and a huge fire. Or you could check out North Hobart and try the Homestead for free pool and good band. If you want to go gonzo with the locals, the Homestead also has a cracking quiz night.

Image credit: Charlie Brewer  

2 – Bring warm things

Hobart demands some wool and some good layers

A good one to get sorted early. We are talking here several jackets, jumpers, leggings, giant socks, good shoes and layers… And I mean layers, forget about trying to look good and  just go with a mish mash of over sized jumpers, singlets under Flannelette shirts. Don’t worry, you’ll fit in.

Image credit: Maria Godfrida 

3 – Go shopping even if you don’t need anything

Steal some heat from the Hobart shopping malls (called "shopping centres" in Aussie)

If you are strolling around the center of town in the early hours of the morning (potentially after a big night), you may find it really freezing. Try popping into one of those giant malls. They are heated! And too big for anybody to care whether you have been wandering around for hours stealing all their heat. When you are suitably warm and ready for the world again, you can be on your merry way.

Image credit: Toblin 

4 – Climb the foothills

It's a fresh climb up to the Cascade Brewery... something to keep you warm

I have discovered that, although cold, Hobart is an extremely pleasant town for wandering. Head south and meander up to the old Cascade brewery, which is very beautiful and rambling route. There are bush tracks all around and you have the mountain looming in the distance. If you get brave enough, climb Mount Wellington and you’ll be able to behold the town, bush and waterside from above, a very beautiful moment on a clear day… Bearing in mind it is a lot crisper up here. My tip from experience: sport your layers and a keep good pace.

Image credit: MemoryCatcher 

5 – Eat in or out…

If you can cook, do so, and preferably share with new friends

Just get a whole lot of veggies and make a massive stew… This can last days and means you can have a few days in to hibernate and live on the cheap. If you’re in a hostel with a good kitchen set up, you can potentially get a crew together on this, cook in bulk and pair it with a healthy supply of cask wine (or “goon” as the Aussies refer to it).

You’ll need to take a break from this, eventually of course. There are also great food options around town and most very well priced (if you’re used to mainland prices).

You probably can’t go wrong with fish and chips. While being on the pricey side, Fish Frenzy has the best in Australia (so says Time Magazine) and is open every day of the year from 11am.

Image credit: bykst  

6 – Find good accommodation

The Pickled Frog is an excellent hostel choice in Hobart

When you go somewhere cold, it seems to me like finding good accommodation should be a priority. As you may find you end up having a substantial amount of time inside or at least when you are inside you’ll want to be as warm and comfortable as possible. A lot of the Bed and Breakfasts around town have a permanent wood fire running which can be a good option. Or, if you’re after something cheaper, many of the hostels or backpacker joints have fires and good heating (not a given, though: Australia doesn’t as a rule have central heating). In this scene, The Pickled Frog is a great bet, with fireplace, kitchen, library and a genuine social atmosphere to boot. A$ 25 to 31 for a bed in a dorm.

For me, another personable option for winter is to go with short term accommodation on stayz.com or Airbnb. Places are pretty dirt cheap in Tasmania and so you may be pleasantly surprised, particularly if you arrange it ahead of time and scrutinize your options. You’ll be “living like a local” and all that too.

Image credit: The Pickled Frog, Hobart 

7 – Forget Beer, Drink Whiskey

Beat back the Hobart winter chills with a whiskey

Here is my hardcore tip. Note it down because it’s important for survival in this freezing but beautiful little town. Even if you’re more of a beer drinker, now is the time to ditch it and move onto something more warming. The Tasmanian choice of dark beers won’t get you through. Try a whiskey and soda or even better a hot whiskey! If you need to pace yourself, a mulled wine is a decent compromise. All the spices will help ward off any nasty winter flu.

Image credit: kaicho20  

8 – Slippers

Slippers are a must for any Tasmanian winter - pack them!

My biggest regret for visiting Tasmania was forgetting to bring my beloved sheepskin mokinsens. If anywhere in Australia is the place for such things, Tassie is definitely it.

Image credit: Life Of Pix 

9 – Museums

You'll be spoilt with these two museum experiences in Hobart

One cannot visit Hobart without going to The Mona Museum of Old and New Art. It costs about A$ 25 per person but you are guaranteed to get swept away into a world of whimsy and languor for an entire day. I have never been so stimulated by any museum in my whole life.

Still cold? How about distracting yourself with some maritime history. Head down to the Maritime Museum of Tasmania for a rich collection of marine artifacts (at the very least, reading about naval rum rations will give you a thirst to be resolved).

Image credit: Skitter Photo 

10 – Botanical Gardens

The botanic gardens are a good option, and the greenhouse is nice for a read and some coffee

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are a great way to pass the time and soak in the tranquil atmosphere of over 6,500 different species of plants. There’s also a kiosk for coffee and a relaxing sun room, perfect for listening to jazz and reading classics… Another day well spent and a great way to avoid any down pours of rain.

11 – Coffee and Baked goods

Daci and Daci bakers offer great backed treats to warm you up in Hobart!

It doesn’t matter what you feel like, Daci & Daci Bakers (11 Murray Street, Hobart) is a fantastic bakery slash cafe where you are bound to have an enjoyable coffee, not to mention Queenly choice among many delicious baked goodies. It’s also set on the nice side of town close to the water. Highly recommended. The smell of coffee and the smiles of the staff will be warming for your bones.

Image credit: Daci and Daci Bakers

What are your friendly tips? Don’t be shy. Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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