Hobart is the capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. With a population of approximately 225,000, it is the least populated Australian state capital city. Founded in 1804 as a British penal colony, Hobart, formerly known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. Prior to British settlement, the Hobart area had been occupied for possibly as long as 35,000 years, by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe. The descendants of these Aboriginal Tasmanians often refer to themselves as 'Palawa'.
Since its foundation as a colonial outpost, the city has expanded from the mouth of Sullivans Cove in a generally north-south direction along both banks of the Derwent River, from 22 km inland from the estuary at Storm Bay to the point where the river reverts to fresh water at Bridgewater. Penal transportation ended in the 1850s, after which the city experienced periods of growth and decline.