Capital and principal port of Tasmania, Australia; population (2001) 126,050. Hobart is situated on the southeast coast of the island, at the mouth of the River Derwent. Industries include zinc processing, brewing, electronics, engineering, fruit and vegetable processing, chocolate making, shipbuilding, and the production of textiles, paper, furniture, and newsprint. Hobart is a centre for yachting, fishing, and trading; exports include fruit, textiles, and processed food. The University of Tasmania (founded in 1890) is located here.
Australia's second-oldest city after Sydney, Hobart was founded in 1804 and named after Lord Hobart (1760-1816), then secretary of state for the colonies.
Hobart lies at the foot of Mount Wellington (1,260 m/4,134 ft) and has a deep, sheltered, natural harbour. The River Derwent is spanned by the Tasman Bridge, which links the city with the mainly residential eastern shore. Hobart's oldest building is the Commissariat Store (1810); the Theatre Royal (1837) is Australia's oldest surviving theatre; other notable buildings include the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (1863), and Hobart Town Hall (1864). The Battery Point area contains many well-preserved 19th-century buildings and houses. Australia's first legal casino, Wrest Point, was established here in 1973. The city is the base for the international division of the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, and for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's Marine Research Laboratories. The airport is at Cambridge, 26 km/16 mi northeast of the city. A yacht race from Sydney to Hobart is held annually.
The original settlement in 1803 was a penal colony at Risdon Cove on the east shore of the River Derwent. The settlement moved to its present site on Sullivan Cove 10 km/6 mi south, on the other side of the river, in 1804. Originally named Hobart Town (until shortened to Hobart in 1881), it became capital of Tasmania in 1812 and gained city status in 1842. It is the see of an Anglican bishop and a Roman Catholic archbishop.
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