Hobart, Tasmania (Australia)

2017-04-17 13:29:01 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Hobart is the capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. It is the least populated state capital in Australia. Founded in 1803 as a penal colony, Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. The modern history of Hobart (formerly 'Hobart Town', or 'Hobarton') dates to its foundation as a British colony in 1803. Prior to British settlement, the area had been occupied for possibly as long as 35,000 years, by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe. The descendants of the indigenous Tasmanians now refer to themselves as 'Palawa'.

Since its foundation as a colonial outpost, the city has grown from what was approximately one square mile around the mouth of Sullivans Cove to stretch in a generally north-south direction along both banks of the Derwent River, from 22 km inland from the estuary at Storm Bay to the point where the river reverts to fresh water at Bridgewater. Hobart has experienced both booms and busts over its history. The early 20th century saw a period of growth on the back of mining, agriculture and other primary industries, and the loss of men who served in world wars was counteracted by an influx of immigration after World War II. In the later years of the 20th century, migrants increasingly arrived to settle in Hobart from Asia. Despite the rise in migration from parts of the world other than the United Kingdom and Ireland, the population of Hobart remains predominantly ethnically Anglo-Celtic, and has the highest percentage per capita of Australian born residents of all the Australian capital cities.

In June 2015, the city had a greater area population of approximately 221,000. The city is located in the state's south-east on the estuary of the Derwent River, making it the most southern of Australia's capital cities. Its harbour forms the second-deepest natural port in the world. Its skyline is dominated by the 1,271-metre (4,170 ft) kunanyi/Mount Wellington, and much of the city's waterfront consists of reclaimed land. It is the financial and administrative heart of Tasmania, serving as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations and acting as a major tourist hub, with over 1.192 million visitors in 2011/2012. The metropolitan area is often referred to as Greater Hobart, to differentiate it from the City of Hobart, one of the five local government areas that cover the city.

History

The first European settlement began in 1803 as a penal colony at Risdon Cove on the eastern shores of the Derwent River, amid British concerns over the presence of French explorers. In 1804 it was moved to a better location at the present site of Hobart at Sullivans Cove. The city, initially known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, was named after Lord Hobart, the British secretary of state for war and the colonies.

The area's indigenous inhabitants were members of the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe. Violent conflict with the European settlers, and the effects of diseases brought by them, dramatically reduced the aboriginal population, which was rapidly replaced by free settlers and the convict population. Charles Darwin visited Hobart Town in February 1836 as part of the Beagle expedition. He writes of Hobart and the Derwent estuary in his Voyage of the Beagle:

The lower parts of the hills which skirt the bay are cleared; and the bright yellow fields of corn, and dark green ones of potatoes, appear very luxuriant... I was chiefly struck with the comparative fewness of the large houses, either built or building. Hobart Town, from the census of 1835, contained 13,826 inhabitants, and the whole of Tasmania 36,505.

The Derwent River was one of Australia's finest deepwater ports and was the centre of the Southern Ocean whaling and sealing trades. The settlement rapidly grew into a major port, with allied industries such as shipbuilding.

Hobart Town became a city on 21 August 1842, and was renamed Hobart from the beginning of 1881.

Economy

Hobart is a busy seaport. Its economy is heavily reliant on the sea and it serves as the home port for the Antarctic activities of Australia and France. The port loads around 2,000 tonnes of Antarctic cargo a year for the Australian research vessel Aurora Australis. The city is also a hub for cruise ships during the summer months, with up to 40 such ships docking during the course of the season.

The city also supports many other industries. Major local employers include catamaran builder Incat, zinc refinery Nyrstar, Cascade Brewery and Cadbury's Chocolate Factory, Norske Skog and Wrest Point Casino. The city also supports a host of light industry manufacturers. Hobart also supports a huge tourist industry. Visitors come to the city to explore its historic inner suburbs and nationally acclaimed restaurants and cafes, as well as its vibrant music and nightlife culture. Tourists also come to visit the massive weekly market in Salamanca Place, as well as to use the city as a base from which to explore the rest of Tasmania.

The last 15–20 years has also seen Hobart's wine industry thrive as many vineyards have developed in countryside areas outside of the city in the Coal River Wine Region and D'Entrecasteaux Channel, including Moorilla Estate at Berriedale one of the most awarded vineyards in Australia.

Distinctive features

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is a popular recreation area a short distance from the city centre. It is the second-oldest Botanic Gardens in Australia and holds extensive significant plant collections.

Hadley's Orient Hotel, on Hobart's Murray Street, is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Australia.

kunanyi/Mount Wellington, accessible by passing through Fern Tree, is the dominant feature of Hobart's skyline. Indeed, many descriptions of Hobart have used the phrase "nestled amidst the foothills", so undulating is the landscape. At 1,271 metres, the mountain has its own ecosystems, is rich in biodiversity and plays a large part in determining the local weather.

The Tasman Bridge is also a uniquely important feature of the city, connecting the two shores of Hobart and visible from many locations. The Hobart Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Australia and a rare surviving example of an Egyptian Revival synagogue.

Arts and entertainment

Hobart is home to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, which is resident at the Federation Concert Hall on the city's waterfront. It offers a year-round program of concerts and is thought to be one of the finest small orchestras in the world. Hobart also plays host to the University of Tasmania's acclaimed Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute (AISOI) which brings pre-professional advanced young musicians to town from all over Australia and internationally. The AISOI plays host to a public concert season during the first two weeks of December every year focusing on large symphonic music. Like the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the AISOI uses the Federation Concert Hall as its performing base.

Hobart is home to Australia's oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal, as well as the Playhouse theatre, the Backspace theatre and many smaller stage theatres. It also has three Village Cinema complexes, one each in Hobart CBD, Glenorchy and Rosny, with the possibility of a fourth being developed in Kingston. The State Cinema in North Hobart specialises in arthouse and foreign films.