Battery Point is truly one of the most fascinating historic regions in all of Australia with pretty winding streets and colonial-style stone buildings. The earliest settlers in Hobart in the early 1800’s established this picturesque suburb. Its historical landscape and various charming little coffee shops and restaurants take its tourists back to a Victorian Dickensian time.
Battery Point is best explored on foot to soak in the history and beauty of this mystical suburb. Park your car in Salamanca and follow the wharf onto Kelly’s steps to Battery Point.
St. George’s Church
St George’s Battery Point is one of the earliest Anglican churches in Tasmania built in 1830s. Situated at the highest location in Battery Point, it can be seen from many parts of Hobart, especially with its tall three-tiered bell tower. The church has an unusual layout, with two side aisles instead of a single central aisle. It is recognised as a heritage building with architectural, historical and spiritual significance.
Narryna Heritage Museum
Narryna is Australia’s first folk museum established in 1955. A babbling fountain fronts this elegant Greek-revival sandstone mansion built in 1836. It contains many rare Tasmanian colonial paintings and furniture, and provides a rare peek into Australia’s colonial architecture.
Visitors will step into a time when there was still no electricity or plumbing – all lighting was first provided by candles and lanterns, and toilet was outside, commonly called an “out house”. Most families only bathed on a Sunday night with good washes by hand in between Sundays.
Markree House Museum and Garden
Think of the Markree House as a time capsule of an unusual family in 1920s. You’ll find original 1910s-20s furnishings – older portraits, family heirlooms, toys etc – from Ruth Baldwin’s family who had come to Hobart in the 1820s as merchants, civil servants and lawyers. The 1920s garden has an informal Arts and Crafts Movement style.
Combined tickets for Narryna and Markree House and Gardens can be purchased. If you’re wanting to visit Markree, please confirm ahead as they are only open on special occasions.
The cute Hampden Road is the “main Street” of Battery Point. It joins Sandy Bay Road with the eastern end of Battery Point and curves downhill to show off the frontages of some wonderful old buildings to perfection.
Close to Narryna, you’ll see the old Queen Alexandra Hospital (80 Hampden Road) which was Hobart’s first maternity hospital from 1908-1980. A few steps further at 6 Stowell Avenue, is Stowell, one of Battery Point’s earliest homes, today revamped as private apartments, but still retaining a lot of its former charm.
Hampden Road shops – the village – existed at the intersection with De Witt and Waterloo streets. These were like a meeting place for all the housewives because there was no refrigeration in those days. Most of the old shopfronts on Hampden Road are still commercial meeting places and some residents refer to ‘the village’ even today.
Fusilier’s Cottage at 64 Hampden Road is a typical Georgian cottage, built with bluestone and sandstone. Further down at 52 Hampden Road stands the 1850s Congregational Sunday School, now functioning as Battery Point Community Hall.
Few other streets – Derwent Lane, Marine Terrace and Clarke Avenue – also provide beautiful views of River Derwent and more extraordinary houses.
Arthur Circus (Hampden Road)
Arthur Circus is a circle of charming old cottages dating from the earliest days of Old Hobart Town. Its the only circus in Australia and arguably one of the cutest streets in Battery Point. Constructed for the officers of the garrison, these cottages are small dwellings, probably consisting of just two main rooms when they were originally built in the 1800s.
The small blocks and the configuration of the blocks around the central greenery give the area a real friendly and unique community feel. Nearly all the original cottages are still there and although some house have been altered inside, the outside of the cottages and Arthur Circus looks much the same like in its earliest days.
Battery Point Sculpture Trail
You can follow a map/brochure to complete a self-guided tour linking nine large numerical sculptures telling you a story about that place. The easy stroll goes past some of Hobart’s oldest and most impressive residences and locations of various Tasmania’s first industries. It’s a 2km long walk providing plenty of photo opportunities.
The name of the suburb, Battery Point, comes from three defense batteries built at various times on the point on today’s Prince’s Park. The Prince of Wales Battery was housed on this site. The guns have been only used to fire salutes on ceremonial occasions and never to evade any attacks.
Princes Park was built to honour the men who served in the batteries of the area. Guided walks can take visitors to the well-preserved tunnels and underground rooms. The park has commanding views of the Derwent River and overlooks the finish line for the Sydney to Hobart annual yacht race.
It also has a colorful children’s playground with a big boat to let kids run around and play. There are two smaller slides and another big tall slide. Kids would also enjoy the sloping grasslands to roll down and run riot.
Have we missed something? Please comment and let us know.