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When most people think of an Australian road trip, a dusty jaunt through the red sands of the Outback comes to mind, or possibly a sunny coastal trip punctuated with a spot of whale watching. Most people don’t think about the fact that there’s a rich temperate wilderness to the south of Victoria, just waiting to be explored. Tasmania is an awesome playground of a state that’s often forgotten about, and a car hire from Hobart can give you front row seats to this unique place. Hobart itself has heaps of attractions to keep you busy, but with the wilds of Tasmania on your doorstep it probably won’t be long before you’re itching to hit the road and get a taste of southern paradise.
Of course before you can go gallivanting off around Tasmania, you’ll need a car to do it in. Finding a good car rental that suits your trip can be a real pain, so to cut down on hassle AirportRentals.com.au brings all your Hobart car rental options together into one easy to search spot. You can be done and dusted in just a few minutes.
Getting a cheap car rental in Hobart sorted on AirportRentals.com.au is a breeze. All you have to do is put in a handful of basic details about your trip, click the big yellow “Search” button and you’ll have a bunch of relevant rental options from different brands served up to you, just like that. From there, you can scroll through, filter a bit if you like, pick the best one for you and book it in a matter of minutes without ever leaving the site. We did say it was easy.
There’s no shortage of rental brands to choose from at Hobart Airport. Brands like Avis, Hertz, Budget and Europcar are household names in car rental that you’re probably familiar with, but you can also snag some excellent deals with lesser known brands like RedRibbon and Redspot.
The domestic and international terminals at Hobart Airport were joined up in 2007, meaning there’s just one big super-terminal to deal with. Jetstar, QantasLink, Skytraders, Tigerair Australia and Virgin Australia all make use of Hobart Airport.
Hitting the road in Hobart and Tasmania in general isn’t too far removed from what you’d expect pretty much anywhere else in Australia. Always keep an eye out for speed limit signage, but if there’s no signs the default limits are 50 in urban areas, 80 on unsealed roads in the country and 100 in the country when the roads are sealed. If by some chance you’re reading this from outside Australia then you should know that in Hobart, Tasmania and the whole rest of Australia too, people drive on the left hand side of the road. This is the opposite side to most other countries, but once you get your head around intersections you’ll be driving like a local in no time. For a good overview of the ins and outs of driving in this country, check out our Australia driving guide.
Hobart Airport is a little ways from the Hobart city centre itself, but it’s not tricky at all to get there. Just head out to the west along Holyman Ave, then turn onto Tasman Highway (A3) at the roundabout. The A3 will take you all the way, across the River Derwent, into the Hobart city centre.
As we mentioned before, the bog standard speed limit in Hobart is 50 km/h, but that may vary a bit so always keep a look out for signs. Tasmania has a legal blood alcohol limit of under 0.05, which in layman’s terms essentially means that it’s better not to drive if you’ve had even one drink. And if you’re on a learner or provisional licence, there’s absolutely zero tolerance.
This isn’t something you’ll have to concern yourself with on the way out of the airport - your Hobart car hire should come with a full tank of petrol to get you on your way with no fuss. When it comes to returning your car hire to Hobart Airport though, you’ll have to fill it up before turning it in, so taking note of nearby service stations could come in handy. BP Hobart Airport on Holyman Ave is the closest option, obviously, but if you’d rather go for a petrol station that’s potentially less hectic, you could opt for Caltex Cambridge on Kennedy Drive or the BP station on Cambridge Road.
Picking up a car rental in Hobart gives you the freedom to set out on all kinds of Tasmanian adventures. Positioned in the southeastern corner of the island, there are all kinds of absolutely stunning spots within easy reach - and if you have a bit of time to play with, your options get even more exciting.
While the name may sound a little grim, the experience is anything but. After driving northeast out from Hobart, you’ll come across one of the most picturesque towns in Tasmania: Richmond, a settlement full of beautifully restored Georgian architecture - not to mention the oldest gaol in Australia. Continuing your journey into past, you can turn southeast for the notorious former convict settlement of Port Arthur, passing along numerous scenic coastlines on the way.
You might want to work Richmond and Port Arthur into this trip too, but don’t stop there! Tasmania’s east coast is particularly famous for its picture-perfect beaches and long stretches of golden sand. Freycinet National Park is a must-see destination along the way, as is the isolated Bay of Fires further to the north.
If you’re seeking relaxation, you can’t do much better than a trip to this idyllic valley. This rural journey will have you driving northwest of Hobart to discover the quaint settlements and historic buildings which cluster around the winding Derwent River. Once you’ve explored around New Norfolk, the unofficial capital of the Derwent Valley area, you can continue northwest into the mountains for Mount Field National Park to transition from rolling countryside to Tasmanian bush.
While you’re in Tassie, why not go whole hog and dive into all the best that the island has to offer? One way to do this is to head up the Derwent Valley, then west for the port of Strahan. Devonport and Launceston await in the north, before driving on to St. Helens and the Bay of Fires, then down through Freycinet National Park and Port Arthur before arriving back in Hobart! It’s only 16 hours of driving time, but you’ll want to take a wee bit of time so you can take things at a leisurely pace and really appreciate the different sides of Tasmania.
Okay, that title might sound like a yawnfest but just hang in there: this won’t take long and you could glean some very helpful info here. All the available car hire brands you’ll find on AirportRentals.com.au are based in-terminal at Hobart Airport. Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot, Thrifty and Bargain have their own rental desks, while Red Ribbon works from the Bargain counter, Keddy is serviced by Europcar and Auto Europe may be working out of one of several of the desks mentioned above.
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Setting off on far flung adventures is obviously an ideal way to spend your time in Tasmania but if you just need a way to get around Hobart and somewhere near the airport to stay, this section is for you. When it comes to proximity to the airport, there’s no way you can beat Travelodge Hobart Airport. It’s set virtually on top of the airport on Holyman Ave and has a very reasonable reputation for clean and spacious rooms. If you’re willing to splurge a bit for a little luxury, Wyndham Vacation Resort Seven Mile Beach is a great option. It’s right across the road from a stunning beach, the facilities are modern and it’s a super quiet location. BEST WESTERN Foreshore Motel and Tavern doesn’t look too fancy from the outside, but the prices are reasonable and many reviewers say it’s unusually good for a suburban motel.
It’s easy to forget that Hobart is more than just a starting point for exploring the rest of Tasmania, but in reality this city is brimming with things to do and events to jump into. If you’re keen to unleash your inner foodie, make sure you’re around over New Years for Taste of Tasmania. This is a massive food and beverage festival where you can wrap your tastebuds around all kinds of different tasty treats. And as a nice bonus, there’s no charge for entry.
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is a big deal in Hobart - the boats set out from Sydney on Boxing Day and arrive in Hobart about 2 days laters to the excitement of the crowds onshore. The atmosphere is always buzzing, and even if you’re not a huge boating aficionado it’s still worth heading down to the waterfront to get caught up in the spirit of the thing.
If you fancy the country life, try to work your visit around the Royal Hobart Show, a long running event similar to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Rides, wood chopping, fireworks and livestock judging are just a handful of the attractions on offer, and if you’re bringing the little ones along, families traditionally go on the Saturday, the last day of the four day event.
Music lovers won’t want to miss the Falls Music & Arts Festival (known simply as Falls by the locals). Held annually over several days in the New Year period, this fest celebrates a wide range of musical styles from rock to roots, blues to hip hop and indie to electronic. Remember to bring your tent along, as camping at the beachside location in Marion Bay is the traditional way to enjoy Falls.
Although cities like Sydney and Melbourne tend to get all the hot press when it comes to cuisine scenes, Hobart is no slouch in that department either. Salamanca Place in particular is a fine place to go for good eats and a convivial atmosphere. During the day on Saturdays it’s home to the Salamanca Market (more on that under “Attractions”) but even when night falls this is still a happening place, as bars and eateries fill up with hungry patrons.
You’d have to take a little drive to get to most wineries from Hobart, but don’t worry - there are quite a number of cellar doors within easy reach. The Southern Wine route combines the Derwent, Coal River and Huon Valleys, and is definitely reachable from Hobart - just make sure you draw straws for designated driver before you start! A Tassie wine tour is especially promising for those with a bit of a sweet tooth - thanks to the cooler climate, varietals like Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer all flourish here.
Hobart is set at the mouth of the Derwent River as it runs into the Tasman Sea. Although it’s an urban area that is home to more than 215,000 people, you don’t have to go far to find yourself in the middle of Tasmanian nature. Wellington Park is just to the west of the city, a reserve where visitors can enjoy tranquil walks and maybe even glimpse bandicoots, platypus and echidna. The landscape immediately north of Hobart is dominated by the Derwent River and its valley.
In spite of being a relatively small city compared to Australia’s other capitals, Hobart has a rich cultural scene. The country’s oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal, has its home in Hobart as do a number of other respected theatrical venues. The city is also known for its thriving musicscape. There are strong followings for all kinds of different musical genres here, so make sure to check out the local scene while you’re in town.
Most of Hobart’s residents are of Western European descent, with English, Irish and Scottish ancestry most common, although there are small Chinese and Greek communities (among a scattering of other minorities) as well.
Planning your trip around one of Hobart’s events is a great idea, but unfortunately it’s just not always practical. That’s okay though, because this city is bursting at the seams with great things to see and do all year round.
Every Saturday between 8:30am and 3:00pm, Salamanca Place comes alive with market stalls and tens of thousands of visitors on the hunt for fresh and gourmet produce, arts and crafts. In the more than 30 years since its inception, Salamanca Market has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tasmania, and is a brilliant place to pick up some goodies for a delicious weekend feast.
Museums are a dime a dozen, something you’ll find in every major city, but the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum stands out from the bunch, offering a distinctly different spin on the experience. Featuring meticulously reconstructed versions of the huts that the members of the 1911 Australasian Antarctic Expedition used, this is one of the most immersive ways to get to grips with the hardships and extreme challenges braved by early polar explorers.
If you’re just looking a lovely spot to take an afternoon stroll, you can’t do better than Battery Hill. This charming corner of Hobart is chock full of old houses (from little cottages to elaborate mansions) and sprinkled with places to stop in for a coffee, a bite to eat or even a refreshing pint.
The Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens rates pretty well on the strolling front too, but this is also a place where you can linger for a while and simply soak up the tranquil vibes. You could even stop in for a spot of lunch in the restaurant which is open 7 days a week or pick up a little something from the gift shop as a memento of your time here.
You’ve probably heard of Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) but if you haven’t actually been yet, you need to put this on your itinerary. MONA doesn’t really bother with famous names or trending art styles, but its exhibitions never fail to pack a punch. Some of the art may confront you, some might surprise you, but it’s pretty unlikely you’ll be walking away from MONA without something to think about.
Seeing as you’re picking up a car hire in Hobart, you might not need to muck around with public transport, but there’s always a chance you’ll need a way to get around the city without driving yourself. Metro Tasmania has you sorted in this regard, with a network of bus routes around Hobart (and a number of other major Tassie centres). It’s easy to get to pretty much all of Hobart’s big attractions by bus, so if there’s any reason you can’t or don’t want to use your car rental for zipping around Hobart, there is a viable alternative.
Hobart’s weather is a bit different to most other Australian cities, thanks to its southerly location. Temperatures are quite moderate all year round, dropping as low as 5 degrees in the winter (courtesy of Antarctic winds) and rising to a little over 20 degrees in the summer. The summer months are a popular season for travel both to Hobart, and Tasmania in general, as northern Aussies flee southward to escape the blistering heat.
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