The provocative playground of Mona grabs headlines.
But across the island, communities have cultivated their own distinctive creative lives, influenced by history, inspired by nature and focused on a future shaped by shared stories and experience.
Best arts and culture
Surprises for all the senses await at Mona – the Museum of Old and New Art; while the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), established in Hobart in 1846, and Queen Victoria Museum and Gallery (QVMAG), opened in Launceston in 1891, offer more classic journeys of discovery. Less famous but seriously captivating art, history and natural science collections are dotted around the island, each capturing a unique perspective – including the West Coast Heritage Centre in Zeehan, with 30 themed exhibition spaces spread across four historic buildings.
Galleries and design
Explore the historical and contemporary works of artists across many disciplines in major galleries and small community spaces across the state. Design Tasmania in Launceston is essential viewing, while regional art spaces like the Devonport Regional Gallery bring community and creativity together. Specialist small galleries like Strahan’s Huon Pine Shop and Gallery focus on things local, unique and very Tasmanian.
Festivals and events
No matter the season, Tasmanians are good at getting festive. Join the party at the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival in the cooler months. Turn up the summer fun during the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race celebrations or Festivale in Launceston; or go offbeat at the biennial springtime Unconformity festival in Queenstown, celebrating the west coast’s paradoxical past and present. The calendar is crowded with celebrations of sport and song, food and film, arts and science (even garlic and scallops).
Dark Mofo is taking a well-earned break in 2024, but you’ll still be able to catch two of the festival’s signature events next year: the tantalising Winter Feast and the Nude Solstice Swim. Or head along to Mona, Hobart’s boundary-pushing museum, for its wintertime exhibition. Hobart and Launceston light up for Mona’s artistic summer festival, Mona Foma (15 February–4 March 2024).
In the north west, admire the evolving streetscape of Sheffield, the 'Town of Murals'. Follow the Great Western Tiers Sculpture Trail near Deloraine in the north, and another at Birchs Bay in the south. Find the 100m-long carved Wall in the Wilderness in the Central Highlands, or continuing west, follow the compelling Western Wilds art trail. In the south east, take a seat on site-specific artworks along the epic clifftop Three Capes Track.
Whether it's the venerable, such as Australia's oldest working theatre (the Theatre Royal, in Hobart) or oldest Catholic church (St John's, in Richmond); the architecturally splendid (the art-deco Paragon Theatre, in Queenstown); the cheeky (Hobart’s inner-city hanging beer garden); or the ambitious (performances on a giant block of ice suspended over Launceston's Cataract Gorge), Tasmanians don't just think outside the box. They live and play there.