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Hobarts History

Settled back in 1804 by Lieutenant Governor Collins, the history of Hobart is a long and colourful one with many defining moment etched in time. The second oldest city in the country was named after Robert Hobart, who was back then the Secretary of State of War and the Colonies and was home to British and Irish convicts who committed serious offenses once they arrived in Australia and where sent to the penal colony in Hobart and other surrounding locations around the island. Along with convicted convicts, Hobart was also home to free settlers who saw promise with the close proximity to the Derwent River and soon with the construction of the harbour came exports of wool and fruit to other countries. Soon Hobart was thriving with activity and the city started to take shaped so in 1856 the name Van Diemen’s Land was erased and was finally changed to Tasmania in hopes that the reputation of the island would be a brighter one.

By 1827 Hobart was a thriving port city and had a population of around 5,000 and was one of the deepest harbour’s which back then exported things such as sealskins, whale oil, wool, wattle extract and whale hides. Month after month the port of Hobart saw ships from Europe, China, Batavia, Singapore and United States come in, exporting many different goods to all over the world but because of the surrounding lands the city was not able to exist on its current trades and soon the port saw less and less ships dock to export, though the whaling trade was still alive, the seal trade was almost nonexistent along with many others. So in the 1830’s the development of shipbuilding was born as the introduction of Tasmanian hardwoods where released and then by the 1850’s Hobart was constructing more ships than all of the other ports in Australia, combined. But with time saw new developments with ships and vessels were being made out of steel and driven by steam which in turn saw the decline of the timber based ship building industry.

Through the years and history of Hobart, many buildings and developments where created which can still be seen today such as the Cadbury Factory which has been making chocolate since the 1920’s, Parliament House which opened its doors back in 1840 on September 1 and the famous Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race which begins every Boxing Day from Sydney Harbour and sees the boats finishing in the port of Hobart some days later. Once home to soldiers, whalers, new settlers and convicts, Hobart is now a beautiful city that boasts restored old heritage buildings, waterfront warehouses, dining, shopping, entertainment and more! The history of Hobart only makes this city even more interesting, can be seen in the buildings that line the streets, galleries and museums that all have stories from the past to tell.

There are numerous attractions such as nearby Port Arthur, Cascade Brewery, wineries, Constitution Dock, the Hobart Goal and more that you can visit to soak up the history and heritage that is Hobart.

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