Without being consciously aware of doing so, I continually scour the streets of Oz for a pub that resembles the ones I frequented in my country of origin. I know that I’m never going to find the likes of one of my haunts that dated back to the year 1189 AD but the Shipwright’s Arms Hotel in Trumpeter Street, Battery Point, Hobart has won my heart for now.

Drinking - Shipwright's Arms Hotel
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Shipwright’s Arms Hotel: Battery Point, Hobart Tasmania

Shipwright’s Arms Hotel, Battery Point

by Roger Findlay

This pub was established in 1846 and is truly loved by the residents of Hobart and visitors alike. If you pass through the doors on a Friday or Saturday evening, you will know the reason why. You won’t hear the sound of pokies or gaming machines. No, you will be delighted by the sound of voices enjoying light conversation and banter.

Drinking - Shippies Main Bar
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Main bar: Shipwright’s Arms Hotel, Battery Point

I have been in Shippies several times but it was only on the last occasion that I decided to book a room. It was around lunchtime on a Friday in July when I arrived laden with a large cargo bag and daypack. I squeezed through the side door and made my way to the bar.

Drinking a Welcome Ale

In no time I was drinking a complimentary Coopers 150 Year Celebration Ale from a wine glass so that I could sample it like you would a Penfolds Grange. I took my time and chatted with two others while the barmaid prepared to show me to my room. I followed her through a lockable gate and up the staircase to the landing where we entered a narrow corridor of doors until we reached my room.

Drinking - Restaurant
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Eating and drinking: dining room

A standard room was just big enough for a double bed and bedside cabinets but no more. You will find it clean and comfortable but may not like the inconvenience of walking along the corridor to shared toilet and bathroom facilities during the early hours. It was just the one night for me and quite a novelty but I would upgrade to an en suite room on my next visit.

Drinking - Standard Room
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Clean and comfortable accommodation

West Coast Eagles v North Melbourne Kangaroos

Friday night and the West Coast Eagles were in town for the clash with North Melbourne. I was perched on a stool, drinking more of the choice ale from a wine glass. All around there was a hum of noise and jocular laughter from the men and women who let their hair down after the working week.

Drinking - Shippies Bar
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Ideal place for a quiet bit of drinking

Choose Your Poison: Eating or Drinking

Those with sense had chosen to eat in the packed restaurant where a comprehensive range of nicely priced meals are served to well-behaved patrons.

Drinking - Dining
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Shippies: both drinking and dining

Nautical themes adorn the walls and ceilings of the Hobart pub. I can imagine what it will be like when the Sydney to Hobart yachties are in town. I know there’s a good thing on New Year’s Eve starting in the afternoon with jazz.

Drinking - Bar's Nautical Theme
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Shippies bar: nautical theme, Sydney to Hobart

It was time for bed. I could still hear the noise from the bar downstairs but was soon asleep. It wasn’t long before I had to tootle along the corridor to the loo.

Drinking - Guest Lounge
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Lounge upstairs for overnight guests

Bed and Breakfast at Shippies

A small kitchen at the end of the corridor had ample basic supplies for a breakfast of cereal, toast, jam, tea or coffee. It was clean and comfortable to sit in. Back the other way, close to the stairs, was a lounge room with magazines and a bay window that looks down Trumpeter Street to the Derwent.

Drinking - View from Upstairs
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Drinking in the views: Derwent River

After a quick shower I left through the side door and into the cold morning air. Later that morning I returned to collect my bags and enjoyed a quiet one at the bar while I waited for my ride.

Roger Findlay spends all his holidays in Tasmania, then writes about the experience for Think Tasmania. If you’d like Roger to visit you in the name of research (so we can publish information about your business), please contact us.

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Map: Shipwright’s Arms Hotel, Battery Point

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