Due east across the Derwent River from Hobart’s city centre is Bellerive, another suburb with a long history. It’s located along Kangaroo Bay and borders the suburbs of Rosny Park and Howrah. To get here from the CBD, you can either take the Hobart ferry or drive across the magnificent Tasman Bridge.
Shell middens have been found in the area, indicating that Aboriginal people (probably the Mouheneener people who had their hunting grounds here) used to roam the coastline where Bellerive is today. In the 1820s, European settlers moved in and called their settlement Kangaroo Point because there were so many kangaroos here. They changed the name to Bellerive, which means ‘beautiful river bank’, in the 1830s.
In 1842 a police station was built and this sandstone building is believed to be Bellerive’s oldest building. Today it’s home to a community arts centre. Another heritage building well worth visiting is Natone House, which dates from 1863 and was built for a local judge.
If you take the Hobart ferry, you won’t be able to miss the Clarence Hotel at the ferry’s drop-off point. This lovely building has been standing since 1879 and has been at the heart of Bellerive’s social scene ever since. In 1897, the Bellerive Post Office was built and today this is where you’ll find the Sound Preservation Museum as well as the Genealogical Society of Tasmania.
A walk from the heritage buildings of Bellerive Quay to Kangaroo Bluff will take you to the Kangaroo Bluff Fort Historic Site, which dates from around 1884. The Kangaroo Battery, like the Musgrave Battery in Battery Point, was built as a means of defence but never needed to be used for this purpose.
in 1884, the first recorded football match in Bellerive was played on a piece of land between what are now Beach, Church and Derwent Streets. Residents had been using this patch of land for cricket long before that, though. In 1913 it became council property and a year later it was opened as Bellerive’s recreational ground. In the late 1970s, a major construction project was undertaken to turn the site unto what is now the jewel in Bellerive’s crown, the Bellerive Oval or, more officially, the Blundstone Arena. This is Tasmania’s premier cricket and Australian Rules football venue.
Another popular pastime in Bellerive is sailing and the Bellerive Yacht Club has been going strong since 1926. However, if you prefer sand underneath your feet to wind in your hair, Bellerive is also home to one of the most popular beaches in Hobart.