It’s official: Hobart knows how to winter. With festivals centred around food, whisky, and fire, the southern capital makes the most of its chillier clime. Here are the three we love most.
This is a true celebration of the weird and wonderful, bringing together a heady mix of contemporary art and ancient winter rituals. While each year includes some good old fashioned feasting and big name musicians, there’s also a long list of more mysterious offerings, like 2018’s performance piece involving an artist who buried himself under one of the city’s main roads for 3 days straight, and 2017’s controversial bull slaughter.
This year’s event takes place from June 14-23, and includes all the highlights from recent years, such as the Winter Feast, ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’ parade and burning on the night of the solstice, and the infamous Nude Solstice Nude Swim, where hundreds of brave souls plunge into the River Derwent in their birthday suits at sunrise to mark the end of the year’s longest night.
Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival
This raucous celebration is based on wassailing: the age-old tradition of scaring nasties out of cider apple trees, from orchard to orchard, in order to bring on a stellar autumn yield. It’s a little alternative (think an apple-centric version of Burning Man) but also the kind of festival you can buy a day pass to, get dirty at, and then leave in favour of a hot shower and warm bed.
If you’re not 100% sold on the wassailing angle, rest assured there’s also an abundance of good cider, great food, and live music.
Tasmanian Whisky Week
Want something a little more refined? Tasmanian Whisky Week has you covered. Running August 12 - 18, this celebration of the amber stuff is taking over the city’s distilleries, bars, restaurants, and famous locales. Enjoy tastings direct from the barrel at Lark Cellar Door, indulge in a progressive dinner (with whisky pairings) at Hobart’s top restaurants, and brave the ghost tour at Port Arthur… with the help of a little dutch courage.
Make the most of all these winter wonders by securing yourself a room at Travelodge Hotel Hobart, and putting yourself right in the thick of it all.