Though not as well known or frequented as often as its higher and more famous neighbour, Mt. Wellington, Mt. Nelson is the perfect place to get an alternate bird's eye of Hobart and surrounds, particularly on the days when Mt. Wellington is shrouded and mist or snow, which is quite often. This lookout provides a dramatic panorama of the city even on days with relatively poor visibility. During the day a visitor can experience the beauty of the city, river and harbour and at night the city is studded with twinkling lights. Lunch or teas can be taken at the restaurant.
Contact: (03) 6230 8233. Location: Nelson Road, Mt. Nelson. How to get there: by car, travel south out of Hobart via Davey St and the Southern Outlet, take the Mt. Nelson exit at Tolmans Hill along Olinda Grove and on to the lookout at the end of Nelson Rd.
Mount Nelson was originally named 'Nelson's Hill' by Captain William Bligh (of Mutiny on the Bounty fame) in 1792 in honour of David Nelson, the botanist of the Bounty mission, as "he was the first white man on it" when the Bounty visited 'Van Diemens Land' on its way to Tahiti. Nelson was one of the Bounty crew who was loyal to Bligh during the mutiny. He died in Timor on 20 July 1789 of an 'inflammatory fever' caused by the long open-boat voyage following the mutiny. His funeral was attended by the Governor and officers from every ship in the harbour. The name 'Nelson's Hill' was later changed to Mount Nelson.
Most of the modern suburban development in Mount Nelson has taken place after 1945 when the government encouraged settlement of immigrants escaping the destruction that took place in Europe after World War II. During this same period the section of hillface north of the bends on Nelson Road, which used to be a firing range, was converted into university farm land for the University of Tasmania.
The main road in Mount Nelson is Nelson Road, which extends up the mountain from the Wrest Point Hotel Casino in the suburb of Sandy Bay. It is famously known for its "bends", which consist of seven very sharp corners created as the road winds its way up the mountain. All seven of the bends have been given a name. Nelson Road is one of the oldest thoroughfares in Hobart, being laid as the path to the signal station not long after the settlement of Hobart.