We recently toured the Hobart waterfront with Captain Fell’s Historic Ferries. It got me thinking about just how lovely the docks precinct really is. With the Taste Festival and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race about to come around again, I thought you might like to see some of the Hobart waterfront photos I’ve collected over the past few years. Nothing as snazzy as those taken by professional tourism photographers, but they tell a story just the same.

Hobart Waterfront - Captain Fell's Historic Ferries
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Captain Fell’s Historic Ferries: Hobart waterfront

Hobart Waterfront: Picture Perfect

The May Queen, an 1867 trading ketch, is moored at the Hobart docks. She belongs to the Maritime Museum of Tasmania. The floating exhibit is sometimes open for inspection during the warmer months, but is easily visible from the street.

Hobart Waterfront - May Queen
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May Queen: Maritime Museum of Tasmania

The Australian Wooden Boat Festival is held on the Hobart waterfront every two years. The next event is scheduled for February 2013, when historic Sullivans Cove will again become a hive of activityWooden boats of all shapes and sizes, along with model boats, trade exhibitions and the usual collection of festival stalls and demonstrations will frequent the city.

Hobart Waterfront - Wooden Boat Festival
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Australian Wooden Boat Festival (photo by Mike Fry)

Thousands of Australian and international tourists descend on the Hobart waterfront, when the cruise ships come to town over the summer months. Often visiting Burnie and Port Arthur en route to Hobart, the passengers give the tourism industry a real boost. Bus-loads of visitors take off to the Huon Valley, the Coal River Valley and the Derwent Valley… eating & drinking; shopping and spending their way around.

Hobart Waterfront - Cruise Ship
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Hobart waterfront: cruise ships bring international tourists

If you don’t own your own kayak, but you’d like to go for a paddle on the Derwent River, there are options available to you. Either hire a kayak from an outdoor adventure supply company, or join a guided trip with a tour company.

Hobart Waterfront - Kayak Tour
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Hire a kayak and see the Hobart waterfront

Wild Thing Adventures is one of the options offered by tour company Hobart Cruises. Tempting, but we opted for the more sedate, leisurely Peppermint Bay lunch cruise on a luxury catamaran to Woodbridge.

Hobart Waterfront - Wild Thing
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Get in touch with your wild side: Hobart Tours

Visit the Hobart waterfront at the conclusion of the Sydney to Hobart race and be amazed by the size of the yachts. Competitors join in the festivities and swap war stories! The colour and grandeur of the boats on Constitution Dock add to the atmosphere, while the Taste Festival also draws a crowd. (See our article about 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours winner, Investec Loyal.)

Hobart Waterfront - Sydney to Hobart
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Loyal, Sydney to Hobart yacht: Constitution Dock

Looking for a place to eat with a nice view on the side? Elizabeth Street Pier is one option, but Hobart restaurants are many and varied. From a casual lunch to an up-market dinner, the Hobart waterfront can cater for a wide range of tastes.

Hobart Waterfront - Elizabeth Street Pier
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Dining on the Hobart waterfront

From one extreme to the other! On the one hand, a tall ship sailing experience on the Hobart waterfront, gliding up and down the Derwent River. Also docked in Hobart to take on supplies, is the Aurora Australis, the flagship of Australian Antarctic missions.

Hobart Waterfront - Aurora Australis
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Aurora Australis docks in Hobart: Antarctic voyages

While fishing boats make up a large proportion of vessels moored at the marina, luxury cruisers and large catamarans are not uncommon. And if you can sail anywhere you like, why wouldn’t you choose the Hobart waterfront? It seems like a pretty good spot to me.

Hobart Waterfront - Catamaran Rainbow
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Hobart waterfront: magic in any weather

For the rest of us who don’t own our own boats, the yellow Hobart water taxi might be an option. If you’re looking for a way to travel from the Hobart waterfront to Bellerive (to Blundstone Arena for the cricket, for example) a boat ride would add to the experience.

Hobart Waterfront - Water Taxi
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Travel by water taxi: Hobart to Bellerive

Also refueling before heading to the Antarctic, the Steve Irwin (a sister ship to the Bob Barker) sometimes docks in Hobart. The Sea Shepherd anti-whaling organisation occasionally allow the public to tour the ships for a gold-coin donation to raise funds for their environmental campaigns.

Hobart Waterfront - Steve Irwin
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The Steve Irwin refuels in Hobart

Attention budding photographers!  If you have a photo of the Hobart waterfront that you’d like to share with the world contact Think Tasmania and we’ll make it happen.

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