History in Hobart

Edit This
Hobart was originally settled by Lietenant John Bowen in 1803, making it Australia's second oldest capital city. Bowen actually established his settlement on the eastern shore north of the present day center. However this site, Risdon Cove, proved unsuitable and the settlement was moved to Sullivans Cove, the present-day center, three years later. The earliest building in Hobart is no longer standing, but the very earliest docks are still present. Hobart developed as an important base for the British Navy, as well as a busy dock for the shipment of materials. In the mid nineteenth century the "new docks" were built at Salamanca Place, and these warehouses now form an important part of the city's cultural centre. Hobart in the nineteenth century was a somehat rowdy town. Australia's oldest operating theatre and a bustling waterfront district called Wapping provided many entertainments for visiting sailors. At one point the town was in danger of being struck off the list of visitable ports for the British Navy on account of rampant venereal disease! However, the establishment acted to curb such excesses, and the town continued to grow.

In the twentieth century Hobart's development spread upriver with the establishment of several key industries - the Boyer Newsprint mill at New Norfolk, the Pasminco Electrolytic Zinc Co. on New Town Bay, and the Cadbury's Factory at Austins ferry. Meanwhile, the district of Wapping declined, and the areas south of the city became home to those of better means.

The eastern shore of the river was relatively undeveloped, but the construction of the Tasman Bridge in 1964 hastened it's growth. On 5 January 1975, a zinc freighter collided with the ninth span of the bridge, causing it to collapse with the loss of 12 lives. This tragedy was a major disruption to the city, and a host of ferry services were established to assist commuters - the only other route across the reiver being a temporary bridge near Risdon Cove that added 20 km to the trip. Paradoxically, the disaster helped foster the growth of local businesses on the eastern shore.

Today, Hobart is tamer than it's past but nevertheless a relatively busy town. The most recent difficulties have been pollution of the River Derwent, which had been abused for many years by poor sewage treatment and inustrial outflows. Although the upriver bays are still polluted, recent improvements (especially by the city councils) have made the river an enjoyable place again.

Where World66 helps you find the best deals on Hobart Hotels

Destinations in Hobart