The warehouses that make up Salamanca Place were built during the 1820 and ’30s using sandstone quarried by convicts on site. The warehouses were used to store whale products, wool, timber and fruit. The wharf at Salamanca was a hub for whaling industries, and the huge cauldrons used to boil whale oil can still be seen today in Salamanca Square. As Tasmania’s fruit growing capabilities took off, the warehouses were used to produce jam and tinned fruit for export.
Salamanca Place is now a creative and cultural hub with a grassy public square, boutique shops, fine dining and art. The Salamanca Arts Centre, located within the sandstone warehouses which make up Salamanca Place, runs film and writers festivals, public dance and music events, and craft and art gallery exhibitions.
Sculptures, glasswork, textiles, artisan jewelry, wood sculpture, photography and paintings jostle to win your eye at the many private galleries and shops at Salamanca Place. The majority of the work in these galleries is Australian, so it is a great place to pick up an original memento.
If you’re in Hobart on a Saturday, be sure to visit the Salamanca Market, which has run since the 1970s, and now attracts up to 25,000 people to its hundreds of stalls. It’s best to go early before the crowds appear, so you can take your time browsing antiques, fashion and crafts, and sampling some local treats.
Salamanca is also a great place to check out at night, with a concentration of bars and restaurants where you can grab a cocktail and sample some fresh Tasmanian seafood. On Friday evenings, be sure to catch the free live music and dancing in The Courtyard.
Salamanca Place is located in the centre of Hobart, just back from the waterfront, between Parliament Square and Princes Park. There is metered car parking on the streets in the area as well as several public parking lots. The free HobartHopper shuttle bus services the area on Saturdays when the streets in Salamanca Place are closed to vehicular traffic.