A very brief and ill-informed Hobart suburb guide #1

Punk. I’ve been asked several times for a suburb run down. Where should a punk live if Paddington is their place in Sydney (Sandy Bay or Battery Point)? Where should a punk put down roots if Fitzroy is their hood in Melbs (North Hobart or West Hobart)?

You need to know something about me, punk. I’ve been in Hobart for 20 months. This is apparently why I still have rose coloured glasses about certain suburbs, appaz. What I think that time gives me is the ability to see the good stuff about a suburb, without a Tasmanian childhood colouring it in*.

For example, I live on the ‘Eastern Shore’, across the Tasman Bridge in a place called Bellerive. Bellerive is spectacular. It’s surrounded by water, it’s got a beaut little village, it’s got great access to health care, a burgeoning cafe culture and terrific pet friendly services.

Still, I can’t tell you how many long term Tasmanian’s have told me they wouldn’t move to the Eastern Shore because it’s, well ‘the eastern shore’. When I probe more, it ends up that those I’ve spoken to brought up in inner Hobart see it as bogan, those from the northern suburbs see it as snobby. Figure that out, punk!?

So, this little suburb guide is purely my point of view. It’s what I’ve experienced in each suburb, either visiting friends in this suburb, or utilising a service there (usually for my dogs!).

I am sproglet free, so can’t offer advice over schools (only that I once interviewed the Principal of The Friends School and I pretty much wanted to be a Quaker afterwards). Oh, and Rosny College put on really good musicals.

I’m also  going to share what my Tassie friends say about their suburb at the end of this, and encourage them to post in the comments about suburbs I’ve not talked about.

And, I’ll add to this over the coming weeks. These are just central Hobart.

Bellerive
As I said before, this is where I’m very happy to live. In fact, my frolleague who moved late last year is still grieving not being here. He moved to be closer to good schools, so there’s that.
Pros: very close to the ocean, most places have water views.
Cons: the Tasman bridge at peak time can add a whole ten minutes to your commute.
You’ll like it if you like: Northern Suburbs of Sydney

Battery Point
If you want to live in a storybook, in a place by the water very close to town, this is the suburb for you. It’s quite the tourist hotspot, so you’ll find most businesses around cater to tourists, not residents. It’s a very expensive place to live these days, so you’ll mostly find professionals there with grown up kids and lovely dogs. It’s not really the place with a young, hip community.
Pros: it’s walking distance to everywhere, good capital gain on property.
Cons: you don’t always get the best sunlight, and feel a little like your home is on display constantly to tourists.
You’ll like it if you like: Paddington, Woolhara, Kirribilli, Balmain, Toorak

North Hobart
I love North Hobart and if I was to live anywhere else but Bellerive, it would be here. The location is terrific – it’s a walk into town and there’s a terrific restaurant strip on Elizabeth Street. It really comes alive at night. It’s also home to a great art gallery, cinema, bookstore – all your basic needs. The houses range in size, and are mostly ye olde renovated jobbies with more space than Battery Point, and a slightly smaller price tag.
Pros: you’re close to everything including terrific food
Cons: there’s still a lot of industry among ye olde houses, but these sites have been rezoned for housing, so there’s every chance you won’t be hearing drills and hoses until the end of time.
You’ll like it if you like: Darlinghurst, Kings Cross, Surry Hills, Redfern, Newtown, Erskineville (probs the best comparison), Brunswick, Fitzroy

West Hobart
West Hobart is divine, and sensational for your butt. Why? It has hills so steep there are railings on the footpaths. There’s a little more room in WeHo than in NoHo, and it’s a really prized spot for young families. It’s very convenient to the city (again, in most parts you can walk to town and improve your butt muscles) and to nature – there’s the beautiful Knocklofty Reserve at your doorstep.  There’s also great local shopping – the local butcher and grocery store are really the most delightful treat to visit.
Pros: great community atmosphere, especially for young families
Cons: did I mention the hills?
You’ll like it if you like: Summer Hill, Erskineville, Bondi (community aspect, not beaches), Fitzroy, Northcoate, Concord, Haberfield, Marrickville, Stanmore, Camperdown

South Hobart 
South Hobart is a little cheaper than the other central Hobart suburbs, and I think this is because it’s in the shadow of Mount Wellington. Somehow, it feels colder there. I’m not sure that it is, or why that is, but that’s how I feel when I visit. It’s still, mostly, a walk into town, but a lot of the suburb is also build on the very steep edges of Mount Wellington in architectural feats almost unimaginable. SoHo has a great cafe culture (indeed, The Bachelor’s brother used to work at one of the cafes, appaz!) and a gorgeous local grocery store. Personally, I’ve never been that attracted to it until recently – a new friend of mine lives on the border of South Hobart and Ferntree a little up the mountain and his place is paradise. Wallabies, bush and water views. Just heaven. So, go SoHo.
Pros: cheaper than other central Hobes suburbs
Cons: I’d be worried about bushfires in summer.
You’ll like it if you like: those bushy suburbs of North Sydney with Balmainy houses.

*none of this information is remotely empirical. It’s all based on FEELINGS, punk x

 

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Interesting read……and certainely not BS. The eastern western shore thing is interesting…..I lived east growing up but now own in west Hobart. The Eastern shore is sunnier, windier and a lot better value for money where families are concerned. West Hobart…..walk to and from work then the pub then the cafe with your hangover in the morning. Sorted!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Chris! Great insights there 🙂

      Like

  2. Love to know your definition of “just a walk to town”

    Like

  3. Tess venn

    Tell me your thoughts on Rokeby… the housing commision area 10mins down the road.
    The place where children are neglected, and drug addicts and alcoholics run the show.
    Then wander over to clarendonvale and have a walk around there, be sure to wear old shoes because they will steal newer ones off your feet.

    Like

  4. Rebecca

    I love this! I’m also partial to lovely, hilly West Hobart (there has to be some benefit to owning a pair of thighs that can kill, crush and destroy, right? That benefit is hill stomping!) and don’t quite get the South Hobart thing. It’s… fine? Your sun sets at 2pm in winter, guys!

    But I’m also going in to bat for my beloved Northern Suburbs. Yes, it’s a lower SES area. Yes, there are pockets you wouldn’t walk through on a sunny afternoon, let alone a dark night. But there are also great eateries (Moonah), sliiiightly notorious museums (Berriedale), glorious river views (Austins Ferry), and a pretty hilarious insistence on ‘telling it like it is’ (Glenorchy), complete with Ugg boots

    There’s no beach, but my Montrose cottage with its hundred year old apple tree and its river/mountain views from the attic bedrooms gives me a little tickle every time I walk through the front door

    Hobart for the win, almost every time. Glad you’re on board 🙂

    Like

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