Moving to Australia

Public Transport in Hobart

Of Australia’s capital cities, Hobart could be considered the ‘sweetest’ in terms of rush hour traffic. It can be a bit of a shock to the system to travel from Sydney or Melbourne to Hobart and find that rush hour only lasts a fraction of the time and the congestion isn’t nearly as bad.

Public transport in Hobart is most efficient on week days

Getting around Hobart using public transport is easy on week days but at night and on weekends, it can be a bit challenging with dramatically reduced services at those times.

When choosing where to live, study or holiday in Hobart, make sure you do your homework so that you understand how you’ll get around. If you live or stay too far out of the City, you may have to drive to where you want to go as public transport services are limited.

Keep in mind that the CBD is quite small so exploring the city on foot is a pleasant option, especially as many of the buildings have lots of character and the waterfront and Salamanca precincts are so pretty. If you’re heading to North Hobart, prepare for more of an elevation. It’s not too steep but it’s definitely hillier.

Interesting facts about public transport in Hobart

  • Buses only – In terms of options, well, you have two: the bus or taxis.
  • Tiny population – Hobart is a very small city with a population of around 226,000 so it makes sense that public transport options are limited. In fact, Hobart’s population makes up 40 percent of the population of the entire state of Tasmania.
  • Trains don’t carry passengers – There is a limited rail network in Tasmania but passenger trains, other than a few scenic tourist routes, ceased operating in the late 1970s.
  • Trams stopped too – Hobart had a tram system from 1893 to 1960 but buses were deemed to be more feasible as they could travel further throughout the city.

Pick up a Greencard

No, not the citizenship type of green card; in Hobart, the Greencard is your ticket to ride! You can buy single-use tickets on the bus if you only take a bus now and then but if you’re a frequent public transport user, then the Greencard will save you money. As a card holder, you’ll save 20 percent on fares and also enjoy capped urban fares. Also, you don’t have to worry that you don’t have the right change (Hobart bus drivers don’t appreciate having to give change.)

To get your Greencard, you can apply online, go to the Metro Shop at 22 Elizabeth Street in the City or go to a Metro agent. You can also recharge your card at those locations with cash, credit card or EFTPOS.

Taking the bus in Hobart

Use the Trip Planner on the Metro Tas website which will tell you where your bus stop is and what number bus to catch. If paying by cash, have the correct change ready for the driver or if using your Greencard, simply tap on when you get on the bus. There is no need to tap off when your journey ends.

The key bus routes in Hobart all depart from and return to the CBD:

  • 402 Central Hobart to Sandy Bay
  • 429 Central Hobart to Kingston via Sandy Bay and Taroona
  • 522 Central Hobart to Berridale (for MONA)
  • 551 Central Hobart to North Hobart
  • 624 & 625 Central Hobart to Bellerive (for Blundstone Arena)

Of course, there are also other, more local bus routes that service the suburbs and outer lying areas.

Park and Ride facilities

Supposing you have a car because you live too far out to walk to a bus stop. The good news is you can park your car for free at one of the Park and Ride facilities – which also have bicycle racks – and catch the bus to your destination. There is one at Moonah in the northern suburbs and another at Kingston in the southern suburbs.

Hailing a cab

You can hail a taxi in Hobart, find one at a rank or you can order one over the phone on 13 1008.

Getting to and from Hobart airport

Hobart Airport is nearly 18 kilometres from the CBD. The SkyBus service operates 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. The bus departs the airport every 30 minutes from outside the Arrivals hall forecourt (Gate 1). It will take you to one of four stops in the City:

  • 1 Davey Street (drop-off only), opposite Hotel Grand Chancellor
  • Brooke Street Pier (pick-up and drop-off)
  • Franklin Square (pick-up only) on Elizabeth Street
  • 19 Macquarie Street (pick-up only) at the rear of Hotel Grand Chancellor

Purchase your ticket at the e-kiosk located next to the baggage carousels. There are private shuttle buses available however SkyBus is the more affordable option. The fares are fixed price so there won’t be any cost blowouts and kids travel free on family fares.

If you decide to take a taxi, there is a rank right outside the front of the terminal building. If you require a wheelchair friendly taxi or a minivan, one of the kerbside assistants can radio for one for you.

Download the Metro Tas app

Download the app and refer to it whenever you’re planning a trip by public transport. It offers maps, timetables and information on changes to bus schedules, and you can also use it to manage your Greencard account.

Find your way on foot

Google Maps is a brilliant tool for getting around on foot. Hobart is a beautiful city with tons to see including markets, laneways, the waterfront, old colonial buildings and plenty of green spaces. It’s never too hot in summer but you’ll have to rug up in winter. And don’t forget to look up at Mt Wellington to check how far down the snow has fallen!


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