Your Ultimate Guide To Dark Mofo

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Any time of the year is a great time to visit Tasmania but their off season is when things get really wild,Winter here is like nowhere else – sure, you can sit around a blazing fire enjoying slow-cooked feasts or a fine whisky, but you’ll also find a jam-packed calendar of unique and creative experiences where the revelry is off the charts. 

Chief among them is Hobart’s annual Dark Mofo, held this year from June 8 to 22. This provocative festival celebrating the winter solstice was created by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in 2013. 

Ten years on, Dark Mofo is at its unconventional best, promising a feast of music, art, food, and macabre film, exploring the links between ancient and modern mythology; darkness and light; birth, death and renewal. 

Festival goers can look forward to large-scale installations, obscure performances, and a great deal of nocturnal revelry fueled by fine Tasmanian wine, craft beer, cider, whisky and gin. The events, both free and ticketed, are guaranteed to stretch the imagination, engage the senses, and leave jaws dropping at the nonconformity of it all. 

Opening the celebrations, The Gathering will see an extraordinary line-up of First Nations artists performing In The Hanging Garden. In the first week, the noise will be dialled up with performances by bass-playing extraordinaire Thundercat, punk-rock icons Black Flag, and post-metal band Deafheaven. The second week features the experimental electronica of Borderlands. 

Throughout the festival, an abandoned shipyard on the Hobart waterfront will be transformed into Dark Park, a night fun park offering hours of entertainment with light, art, and film exhibits. Enjoy free entry to the Blue Velvet Lounge where you can kick back and listen to live music and enjoy food and libations aplenty.  

One of the signature events is the Winter Feast on Hobart’s waterfront. You’ll need to be wearing your stretchiest pants for this celebration of Tasmania’s world-class cuisine. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Gather by the fire and feast on an intoxicating banquet created by Rodney Dunn and Stephen Peak of Tasmania’s Agrarian Kitchen, along with guest chef Ana Roš, owner/chef of Hiša Franko, a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Slovenia. 

Another crowd-pulling event is the Ogoh-Ogoh parade and burning. Held on the winter solstice, this colourful community celebration is based on an Indonesian spiritual cleansing ritual where sculptures are burned after being paraded through the streets. This represents the start of a new year and is aimed at restoring the natural balance between the seen and unseen worlds of Balinese Hinduism. 

Then it’s up early the next day for the Nude Solstice Swim, when more than 1000 brave souls drop their clothes and inhibitions and plunge into the Derwent River at sunrise to celebrate the return of the light after the longest night of the year. 


Most of the festival venues are within walking distance and the recently refurbished Travelodge Hotel Hobart or the suitably cool Vibe Hotel Hobart are the perfect base for Dark Mofo visitors. As you explore, sip on Vibe Hobart's exclusive cocktails and mocktails, meticulously crafted to enhance your journey through this extraordinary event.  

Pick up a festival map, go for a wander and check out Tassie’s weird and wonderful festival. At this time of year, seize the opportunity to push the boundaries, stimulate the senses, and let loose on the Apple Isle.

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