The modern history of the Australian city of Hobart in Tasmania dates to its foundation as a British colony in 1804. Prior to settlement, the area had been occupied for at least 8,000
years, but possibly for as long as 35,000 years, by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe. The descendants of the indigenous Tasmanians now refer to themselves as ‘Palawa’.
The first European settlement in the Hobart area began in 1803 as a penal colony and defensive outpost. In 1804 it was moved to the present site of Hobart at Sullivans Cove, making it the second oldest city in Australia.
Tasmania has an estimated population of 512,000. This makes Tasmania the 6th most populous state in Australia. The population of Hobart, the State’s capital remains predominantly ethnically Anglo-Celtic, and has the highest percentage per capita of Australian born residents of all the Australian capital cities. According to Australia census, approximately 17.9% of greater Hobart’s residents were born overseas. The top five ancestries for people in Hobart are: Australian, English, Irish, Scottish and German. The top five languages (other than English) spoken are: Mandarin, German, Italian, Greek and Dutch. The religious makeup of is: 58.6% of inhabitants are Christian.
From the occupation prospective, the population comprises: Professionals 21.6%, Clerical and Administrative Workers around 16.1%, Technicians and Trades Workers comprising of 13.8%, Managers 11.5% and Community and Personal Service Workers 10.6%.
Hobart has experienced a boom in tourism. The low cost of living and relaxed way of life have attracted mainland Australians and new migrants to move to the city. Hobart has a stable population, a reasonably strong economy, a clean environment, a healthy sports, arts and culture scene.
The major industries of Tasmania, have been: mining, agriculture, aquaculture, fishing, forestry; and tourism. Mining has including copper, zinc, tin, iron and gold. Food production has included salmon, beef, chicken, pork, dairy and lamb farming, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables. Apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, carrots and many varieties of potatoes are produced.
Tasmania is known for its wild abalone and crayfish.
The “Apple Isle”
Tasmania has developed a reputation for sustainable, clean and green food production. You would expect a place known as “the Apple Isle” to produce fruit in abundance, and Tasmania does that.
However, small-scale, boutique-style farmers now produce a lot more than fruit. Fresh ingredients from Tasmania satisfy demand from interstate and international restaurants, and also from the local market.
Tasmania has a strong food and wine culture with an emphasis on a wide variety of simply- prepared, fresh ingredients, has mainly come about through migrants from mainland Australia and overseas.
The old Mercury Newspaper building in Hobart has been transformed into the headquarters of Detached Cultural Organisation, the arts
foundation set up by Penny Clive AO and Bruce Neill in 2008.
The entire ground floor, where the industrial spaces that housed the old printing presses have been reused to house the works of art.
Fostering a culture of curiosity, as expressed through art, science, education, and democracy, Detached offers a platform for the development, presentation, and preservation of artworks and cultural projects.
It provides opportunities and support for artists, curators, critics, and scholars to contribute to contemporary society, through the questioning of, and engagement with our cultural heritage.Construction of a new dock was begun in 1847, under the direction of Governor Denison.
Convicts labourers were used to excavate rubble and soil from nearby banks and quarries to create walls out into the water.
The work was completed in 1850 and Governor Denison opened the dock on 3rd December, the public holiday for the Hobart Anniversary Regatta. This was a tragic day for Hobart. Eight crew were on board the British Queen which capsized during one of the last races of the day. Only one man survived.
Governor Denison named Constitution Dock after the new Australian Constitutions Act 1850.
This Act was vitally important for the colony as it established an elected Parliament in Van Diemen’s Land now Tasmania.
Constitution Dock is famous for being the rallying point and party venue for the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, held from Boxing Day until the yachts complete their 630 nautical mile journey from Sydney.
The Museum of Old and New Art
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) opened in January 2011, and was immediately hailed by some as a new beginning for museums and derided by others as the end of art.
Located just up the river from Hobart, Mona’s subterranean architecture showcases the highlights the private collection of David Walsh and his partner Kirsha Kaechele’s $110m private collection of art and antiquities. Set on a small peninsula, the four-storey complex is close to twice the size of New York’s Guggenheim.
MONA has become Tasmania’s foremost tourist attraction and a significant driver of its economy. In the most recent data, MONA continues to be the second most visited tourism attraction in Tasmania, behind Salamanca Market.
Lonely Planet listed Hobart as one of the world’s top ten cities to visit largely because of MONA. MONA hosts two festivals. Each January, the summer festival, Mofo, unleashes an eclectic mix of music and art. In June, Dark Mofo winter festival delves into centuries-old winter solstice rituals and celebrates the dark through art, music, food, film, light and noise.