Macquarie Street has always been Hobart’s main thoroughfare, its classical buildings adding an air of sophistication. The area is now populated by government offices, lawyers’ premises and consulting rooms.
Franklin Square is a peaceful city park and bus terminal. On sunny days it’s a popular spot for city workers to eat lunch and a favourite meeting place for young people. Hobart’s first Government House was built in Franklin Square but by 1858 the timber and thatch building was almost collapsing, so it was replaced by this park. At its centre a formal fountain supports a statue of Sir John Franklin, Arctic explorer and Governor of Tasmania (1837–43).
Corner of Macquarie and Murray streets
A short walk up Macquarie Street from Franklin Square, this remarkable intersection has a historic sandstone building on every corner. It was once the administrative centre of Hobart and today offers panoramic views down Macquarie Street’s elegant heritage streetscape past the Georgian Ingle Hall , built in 1814, and the Art Deco Mercury newspaper building, to the Cenotaph in the distance.
On one corner St David’s Cathedral , rebuilt several times, stands where there have been churches since 1817. The present cathedral was substantially rebuilt in 1909 and its bell tower was completed in 1936. Across Murray Street, Hadleys Hotel stands on the site of a hotel dating back to the 1830s. Dating to the same era, the Treasury Buildings are still used as government offices today. The 1875 Derwent and Tamar Building used to have a set of punishment stocks outside the front door as the Hobart Gaol was once its neighbour.
St David’s Park
On Davey Street, at the city end of Salamanca Place, this formal English-style walled park still has old headstones displayed in the lower section – a reminder that this was the colony’s first burial ground. It was made into a park in 1926, with a rotunda and sweeping lawns shaded by huge English trees. Cnr Davey St and\ Sandy Bay Rd.
On the hill at the top of Davey Street is Australia’s oldest military establishment still in use. There is a military museum to explore, some elegant Georgian buildings and a pair of 1770s bronze cannons. Davey St; (03) 6237 7160; g rounds open daily; museum open 9am–1pm Tues and Thurs; tours 11am Tues.