Hobart is the state capital of Tasmania (the island to the south of mainland Australia). A trendy, cosmopolitan spot, Hobart has also had a great number of tourism facilities added in the last decade. On the River Derwent, where the river flows into Storm Bay and thus the Tasman Sea, this city of 220,000 sits in the shade of 4,170-foot-high Mount Wellington—residents refer to it simply as "The Mountain"—and is a great base for adventures in the mountainous wilderness of this beautiful place. Hobart MICE event venues entertain groups with the city’s quirky history and natural beauty.
The closest airport is Hobart International Airport (HBA), which is 10 miles northeast of the city and has service only to other Australian cities (the closest international airport is in Melbourne).
Chief among MICE venues, Hobart Function & Conference Center has six function rooms, the largest of which is able to host 240 persons. The Grand Ballroom can fit 600.
MICE hotels in Hobart mostly are small, boutique-y and wonderful. Choices in which to set up camp include the 243-room Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, which has 11 meeting areas for up to 1,100 persons; the 242-room Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel, which is an former warehouse, as its name suggests, and has seven meeting spaces, the largest able to host 200 persons; the 60-room Salamanca Inn All-Suite Hotel, which is boutique in style and has meeting space for up to 150 persons; the upscale, 56-room Henry Jones Art Hotel, which also occupies an old warehouse, one that today houses an art collection of more than 300 pieces, and has such spaces for events as The Jones & Co. Room for 150 persons; and the 50-room Lenna of Hobart, which is in an 1874 property on Australia’s national register of important buildings and which has meeting space for 50 persons and function space for 200.
Unique event locales take advantage of Hobart's outdoor splendor. Select from Wrest Point, which is a veritable city in itself, with a conference center, a casino, guest rooms, bars, and restaurants (including one revolving and one with a Derwent River site); Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, which can host parties of up to 500 persons; and visits to three types of distillery—for wine, Moorilla Wine Centre, which has spaces such as the Barrel Room and Cellar Door, which has views of vines, Mount Wellington, and the Derwent River, too; for beer, Cascade, Australia’s oldest brewery, which has the Museum Gallery for 100 persons and the Degraves Room for 250; and for single malt whisky, Lark Distillery, which has the Lark Cellar Door & Whisky Bar, with patio, which can cater to 90 persons.
Restaurants perfect for groups in Hobart include the Rockwall Bar & Grill, which has a modern, eclectic menu and space in three areas for 50, 30, and 20 persons, respectively; The Drunken Admiral Seafarers Restaurant, which sits riverside and caters to groups of up to 120 persons; Cornelian Bay Boat House, a few miles north along the Derwent River, with room for 110 persons; Smolt, which specializes in fresh, local ingredients in a neat but informal area; and across the Derwent River and along the Tasman Highway to Pitt Water, Barilla Bay Oyster Farm, which has stunning views and architecture, thousands of oysters and room for events of also up to 110 persons.
Hobart is one of the best, if not the best ports, in Tasmania, and being closer than other parts of Australia to the Antarctic, it does a thriving business supplying those icy wastes. Other noticeable attributes are its iconic Tasman Bridge and the fact that it houses Australia’s oldest synagogue.