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  >  Destinations   >  Australia   >  How to do the Battery Point Sculpture Trail in Hobart

I’m strolling through the streets, immersing myself in the historic allure of Salamanca Place’s galleries, boutiques, and cafes, when I come across a stone cage marked with the number 1833. This is the starting point of the Battery Point Sculpture Walk in Hobart, a rich and creative tribute to the history of one of Australia’s oldest and most famous suburbs. While there are plenty of great Hobart walking tours, this one is completely free!

Embarking from Salamanca Place (or the other end of the walk at Sandy Bay), the Hobart sculpture trail winds along the waterfront to the Marienville Esplanade, covering a distance of about 2 km. This serene and easy walk showcases the charming architecture and river views of Battery Point and invites you to appreciate the historical and artistic value of this early settlement area of Hobart.

We started our trail in Salamanca Place at the foot of the Silo Apartments and 1833 and where Hobart began with stone cutting from the sandstone quarried from the nearby Sullivan’s Cove. Chain gangs of convicts chiselled and cut the sandstone that makes up the foundations of the town, and Hobart’s heritage buildings are represented here in the first sculpture.

1833 and where Hobart began with stone cutting
1833 and where Hobart began with stone cutting

All the sculpture trail art pieces have information plaques with interesting facts and figures about the site’s noteworthiness. They all relate to an important year in Hobart’s history and include the number that represents it. One of the things we loved most about walking along the Hobart sculpture trail is the way it taught us more about the history of Hobart in a creative way.

Some of the locations of the sculptures required a bit of a hide-and-seek game but this was fun rather than frustrating. We met some lovely tourists and locals along the way as we did the walk and couldn’t wait to keep investigating all the locations and find out why they were there, what each sculpture looked like and what it meant.

As we walked along Castray Esplanade, past more galleries and shops, we made a mental note to go back and explore this area we had never been to before. Arriving at the sculpture 12.43, we discovered the site of a Victorian-era spirit level that is as accurate today as it has been since 1889. It is housed in a small octagonal building across from the sculpture on the grounds of an old restored Victorian house but, unfortunately, you can only admire it from the road.

Sculpture 12.43 a Victorian-era spirit level
Sculpture 12.43 a Victorian-era spirit level

Continuing down Castray Esplanade, we slipped between the CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Centre buildings, arrived at the Derwent River, turned right and followed the trail to sculpture  628nm. This marks the spot of ancient tectonic plates that formed this part of Tasmania, with the bonus of being the finishing line of the Sydney to Hobart vote race which begins 628 nautical miles away in New South Wales.

Sculpture 628nm and the finishing line for The Sydney to Hobart
Sculpture 628nm and the finishing line for The Sydney to Hobart

Walking on, it doesn’t take long to arrive at A J White Park where a sculpture salutes the 2000 or more workers who laboured in the shipyards, furnaces, and factories located around the cove, producing products and necessities for the early days of Tasmania.

A J White Park
A J White Park in Hobart

Walking uphill along Clarke Avenue, we found the 1923 sculpture which marks the location of Secheron House, a historic home in Battery Point which is famous for its stunning gardens and unique architecture.

1923 sculpture which marks the location of Secheron House
1923 sculpture which marks the location of Secheron House

From Clark Ave to Marine Terrace, we swung into Derwent Lane to see the floating sculpture 313, marking the number of vessels launched from Battery Point’s shipyards. When we were looking for the tricky to find sculpture 24, we asked a guy down on the docks if he knew where it was. He didn’t but it turned out he was in charge of cleaning and maintaining this floating 313 sculpture.

313, The number of vessels launched from Battery Point’s shipyards
313, The number of vessels launched from Battery Point’s shipyards

Up to Napoleon Street, it took us ages to find the hidden-in-plain sight sculpture of 1250 (hint: look down). This is the site of a powerful steam-powered winch that pulled up to 1250 tons of cargo from the ships on the Derwent River to shore.

Sculpture of 1250 (hint: look down)
Sculpture of 1250 (hint: look down)

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Next, we came to sculpture 24 which involved a game of hide-and-seek and took us more than 20 minutes to find!  We almost gave up and don’t want this to happen to you, so we’ll give you a hint. The sculpture is located in the Napoleon Street playground park area (hint: look to the right and explore the lush gardens).

The hidden 24
The hidden 24

From here, it’s a downhill stroll to the beach at Sandy Bay and Errol Flynn Reserve to find the final sculpture, 1909, the birth year of the legendary actor Errol Flynn. Rascal, rogue and silver screen legend Errol Flynn once lived in beautiful, sleepy Sandy Bay in Hobart which is very, very different to the glamour and glitz of Hollywood. 

1909 Errol Flynn Reserve
1909 Errol Flynn Reserve

Unfortunately, the journey home back from here is uphill, but the bonus is you get to see a few more fascinating sights. We went up Napoleon Street, then took a left turn at Cromwell Street. A short walk brought us to St George’s Anglican Church, a large Neo-Classical style church that dates back to 1836 and is a beacon of the Hobart skyline.

St George’s Anglican Church, a large Neo-Classical style church
St George’s Anglican Church in Hobart

If you fancy some lunch or morning or afternoon tea, take a left at De Witt Street and head to Hampden Road to the iconic Jackman & McRoss Bakery. Now, you might like to have lunch here but eating in costs a lot more. Instead, I’d suggest you do what we did and pick up a takeaway pie or one of their legendary sausage rolls instead.

A takeaway in Arthur Circus Park
Enjoying lunch in Arthur Circus Park

From the bakery, it’s only a short stroll to Arthur Circus Park, a picturesque and historic circular park that’s surrounded by charming stone cottages. After lunch, finish your Battery Point Sculpture Trail adventure in Hobart with a stroll back to Salamanca Place.

Disclosure: The Battery Point Sculpture Trail doesn’t cost anything and is best enjoyed when the weather is good. Pick up a free Battery Point Sculpture Trail map from the tourist information office in downtown Hobart.

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Trevor Templeman is a photographer and writer who travels the world capturing the essence of locations through their landscape, architecture and people. His words and photographs are published in magazines, newspapers and online around the world.