(13 photos) – Hobart has one of the deepest protected ports in the southern hemisphere and has a long maritime history. Before aeroplanes, the only way to get to this southern edge of the Earth was by sea. This post celebrates some of Hobart’s sea-faring past.
On 24 November 1642, the first known European explorer – Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman with two small ships, Heemskerck and Zeehan reached and sighted the west coast of Tasmania, north of Macquarie Harbour. He named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land – now known as Tasmania.
The Lady Nelson pictured here is a replica built in Hobart in 1988. The original was built in 1798 on the Thames and it’s maiden voyage was to Australia.
In 1803 The Lady Nelson, accompanied by the whaler Albion, sailed to the River Derwent to establish the first European settlement in Tasmania – Hobart, Australia’s second oldest city after Sydney.
For further history and information visit the Lady Nelson Tasmania website.
Launched in 1996, Windeward Bound is another replica tall ship built in Hobart. For further information (and it’s well worth a read!) visit The Windeward Bound Trust website.
The SV May Queen is Australia’s oldest sail trading vessel and is one of only a handful of wooden vessels of her era still afloat in the world.
Built at Franklin on the banks of the Huon River in Tasmania’s south in 1867.
For more informations visit The Maritime Museum of Tasmania’s website.
Two masted gaff schooner Mistral II was built in 1922 by Wattie Ford Junior in NSW and completed the first Sydney to Hobart yacht race in 1945, reportedly the largest yacht in Sydney at that time. Restoration has begun by the Windeward Bound Trust.
Built in Hobart around 1886, Matilda is one of the 12 oldest fishing/sailing vessels in the world, as listed in the “International Register of Historic Ships”. It is also the best remaining example of the double ended fishing boats that were common around south-eastern Tasmania until the late 1940’s.
The 44’6″ Huon Pine gaff rigged ketch SV Rhonda H was designed and built by Ned Jack in 1942 at Trevallyn, Launceston. More information HERE.
The Derwent Hunter, a 90-foot (27.4m) schooner was built in Cygnet south of Hobart in 1946 out of Blue Gum, Tasmanian Oak, Celery Top Pine and Huon Pine by Walter Wilson, a second generation shipwright from the famous Wilson Brothers Shipwrights.
Hobart has long been a launching place for expeditions to Antarctica. Above is the Australian built retired ice-breaker Aurora Australis. Designed as a multi-purpose research and resupply ship it was built in 1989 in NSW. The Aurora Australis returned from its final voyage in March 2020. After 31 years of service to the Australian Antarctic Program, it’s last trip was a two-week voyage to resupply Macquarie Island and transport expeditioners.