Wednesday October 31, 2007 (Day 15)
Hobart is the state capital and the most populous city of the Australian island state
of Tasmania. Founded in 1803 as a penal colony, it is Australia's second oldest
and eleventh largest city, with a metropolitan population of approximately 202,000.
The city is the financial and administrative heart of Tasmania, and also serves
as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations. Hobart is
Australia's smallest capital city and one of the most picturesque.
The first settlement was started 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 Sullivan's Cove. The city, initially known as Hobart Town
or Hobarton, was named after Lord Hobart the Colonial Secretary. The area's
original inhabitants were members of the semi-nomadic Mouheneer tribe.
A series of bloody encounters with the Europeans and the effects of diseases
brought by the settlers forced away the aboriginal population, which was rapidly
replaced by free settlers and the convict population.
Since the Derwent River was one of Australia's finest deepwater ports and was
the centre of the Southern Ocean whaling and seal trade, Hobart rapidly grew
into a major port, with allied industries such as shipbuilding. Hobart Town became
a city in 1842, and was renamed Hobart in 1875.
Hobart has a mild temperate oceanic climate, with four distinct seasons.
The highest maximum temperature recorded was 40.8°C on 4 January 1976 and
the lowest minimum was -2.8°C on 25 June 1972. Compared to other major Australia
cities Hobart has the 2nd least daily average hours of sunshine, with 5.9 hours.
Melbourne has the least. The city rarely receives snow in winter, however the
adjacent Mount Wellington is often seen with a covering in winter, and has received
un-seasonal snowfalls in all seasons including summer.