Hobart's Dark Past 

    • Explore the darker side of Hobart’s convict and colonial past with this fascinating evening tour. Your guide knows all the juicy scandals and horrible history for those poor souls unfortunate enough to be sent to the feared Van Diemen’s Land. 

      We start our dark adventure on Hobart’s waterfront – once a grimy end of Hobart Town known as Wapping, named after that equally famous Wapping of the East End of London. This spot on our waterfront was once home to the first gallows in the colony as well as the infamous gibbet where the bodies of executed criminals were hung in chains, meant to be a grizzly reminder of what could happen to those who chose to break any of the hundreds of laws the British brought with them from England. 

      As we walk through the dark past of Hobart, you’ll hear all about the corrupt colonial officials and tragic results of European encounters with the local Aboriginal people.   

      Of course, along with the colonial settlers with their land grabs and exploitation of the Aboriginals and convicts, came the fine British habits of consuming alcohol and Hobart was the place that really set about showing other colonies just how to drink. Whalers and sailors returning to port would throw themselves into the sport of doing everything in their power to drink themselves to death before they were needed back on deck.

      So if it’s ghost stories you’re after, Hobart’s waterfront has a cracking good ghost story – be sure to ask your guide about it. Still not dark enough for you? Then how about lots of stories of brothels, a walk through a cemetery and some seriously questionable parent pimps?

      This tour is full of stories of real events involving capital punishment, corporal punishment and adult content which feature strongly on this tour so it’s not for the faint of heart. Recommended for those over 15 years of age, it is grim & grisly, dripping with dark humour!

      You’ll hear stories about invasions, executions, smugglers, criminals, convicts, escapees and bush-rangers. You will see convict landmarks including where the gallows and gibbet stood. At the end of the tour we will finish at Salamanca where your guide will be happy to recommend some of our favourite drinking holes for a reviving beverage to steady your nerves for the walk back home.

Scheduled tours Friday and Saturday nights.  Grim & grisly, dripping with dark humour! Invasion, executions, smugglers, criminals, convicts and bush-rangers in the locations where many of Hobart’s grim events happened. Dark tales told after dark, but please leave the kiddies at home!

Winter starting time: 6 pm  (1st April to 30th September)

Summer starting time: 8 pm (1 October to 31st March)

Henry Jones Art Hotel. - 25 Hunter St, Hobart
Duration:1.5 hours
Distance:Approx 2.5 km
Difficulty:Along city streets, some steps
Start:Meet outside the Henry Jones Art Hotel, 25 Hunter St Hobart.
End:The tour concludes at Salamanca Place
Cost:$38 Adults Minimum of two people to run the tour

Friday and Saturday 6 pm (1st April to 30th September)

Friday and Saturday 8 pm (1 October to 31st March)

Bookings Essential – Other Tour Days and Times are Available on Request
P: 0413 383 207

Meet your guide out the front of the Henry Jones Art Hotel, 25 Hunter St. 

Your guide will be wearing a bright blue hat and carrying a bright blue folder with Hobart Walking Tours printed on it - you can't miss us, we really stand out!

Parking is available outside TMAG - Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery in Dunn Place which is just a short walk from the start of the tour.

We finish the tour at Salamanca Place, where your guide will be able to recommend some of our favourite eating & drinking spots.

You only need to bring things for your own comfort while outdoors for 2-3 hours.
Hobart is well known for it’s glorious range of weather conditions – often on the same day – so check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.


Rain is not usually an issue as we are the second driest city in Australia. When it does rain, it’s often in short showers which we can manage with undercover stops. A rain jacket or umbrella is a good option just in case. Our tours go ahead regardless of the weather. We do not cancel tours just because the weather looks interesting.

Stay Warm
Particularly with the afternoon tours, the temperature can drop toward evening so a jumper or jacket is recommended even if it’s quite warm to begin with. Generally a nice southerly breeze springs up to surprise the unwary – so a light windproof is useful.

Comfortable walking shoes are essential. While there are a number of stops where you can sit down, you will still be on your feet for most of the time.

Your friendly, knowledgable guide with lots of stories accompanied with old images, maps and photographs to enhance the story telling. 

In order to keep the cost of your tour as low as possible we don't do hotel pickup or drop off. Food and beverages are not included but we are very happy to recommend places you can go after the tour to buy all the souvenirs, food and beverages your heart desires.

Parking - 3 hour parking is avaliable outside TMAG - Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, in Dunn Place. This is just a short walk from the start of the tour.

Please note that all tours will go ahead regardless of the weather. Please dress for the conditions.

Cancellations made within 7 days of booking arrival date incur a 100% cancellation fee.

Cancellations made with more than 7 days notice incur an administration charge of 30% of total booking fee.

We encourage our customers to purchase travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances.

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