Tasmanians love a party, with bonfires warming up winter festivals and sparkling waters as the backdrop to summer celebrations.
In fact, year-round, there’s a festival or event happening somewhere in the state – and you’re invited.
Best festivals and events
This is the season of blooming gardens, sunny days, picnic hampers and good vibes. Bring something warm to wear just in case – and join a Tasmanian spring fling.
See fields of intense colour at Table Cape Tulip Farm on the state’s north-west coast (late September, for a month). To coincide, the local council runs the Bloomin' Tulip Festival, with food, music, art and entertainment in nearby Wynyard (early October).
Just as colourful but of human making, Launceston’s Junction Arts Festival (September) is about extraordinary arts events in unusual places.
Nubeena Bee Festival celebrates our champion pollinators and their sweet honey (7 October).
Discover a cinematic event with a difference at Launceston’s innovative Breath of Fresh Air film festival (early September).
And unique contemporary art thrives in the most unordinary of places at the Unconformity (October) – a inventive, biennial festival on the rugged west coast.
Looking for a festival to satisfy your niche interests? The Tasmanian Chamber Music Festival (October), Effervescence Tasmania Sparkling Wine Festival (10–12 November) and the Spring Bay Squid Festival (November) have got you covered.
As long days and balmy nights lure revellers outdoors, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race surges home in late December at Sullivans Cove.
Hobart’s waterfront is the scene of more maritime celebrations at the Wooden Boat Festival (every second February).
Sailors and travellers of all sorts are welcome at Tasmania's Taste of Summer, a week-long food and wine festival in Hobart, crammed with entertainment including New Year’s fireworks.
Launceston Beerfest (31 December–1 January) brings revellers together in the north for more NYE festivities.
Mona Foma (15 February–4 March) comes bearing festival surprises spread between Launceston and Hobart. Launceston’s own Festivale (2–4 February) is a three-day summer showcase of Tasmanian food and drink with live music for all ages.
And join summer events across Tasmania, including the penny farthing championships at the Evandale Village Fair (February), Cygnet Folk Festival and Clarence Jazz Festival.
The island erupts in leafy colour as the days get shorter and cooler, and the air crisper. Celebrate the harvest (and art, and life) at ECHO Festival (22–24 March) in the east-coast wine country near Swansea. Sample the flavours of Tasmania’s Tasting Trail at TrailGraze.
Fresh produce from the region’s volcanic soils and windswept seas shines at Sheffield’s Taste of the North West (10 March). Also in Sheffield, quirky engineering heritage chugs back to life at SteamFest (March).
More deliciousness flows at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens when Tasmanian Wine Festival (March) comes to Hobart. Tasmania’s thriving agricultural scene draws a big crowd in the north at Agfest.
Be captivated by a diverse, toe-tapping program or take a masterclass with an industrial professional at the Australian Musical Theatre Festival in Launceston (15–19 May).
The Nayri Niara Good Spirit Festival fills Bruny Island with music, ceremony, art and the sharing of knowledge. And join the pilgrimage to see the “turning of the fagus”, when Australia’s only winter-deciduous tree blankets hillsides with autumnal colour.
Tasmania in winter is anything but chill. The Off Season is winter for real, a time to gather around blazing log fires, to play in snow and plunge into festivals.
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, where friends and family gather to eat fiery fare; and the Nude Solstice Swim, a bracing bare-naked dash into the River Derwent at sunrise. Or head along to Mona, Hobart’s boundary-pushing museum, for its wintertime exhibition. Dark Mofo is planning to bring back its full festival program in 2025.
Heading into July, the Festival of Voices (28 June–7 July) erupts in song with workshops, concerts and singalongs. Then in the middle of the month, gather among apple orchards for music, cider and bonfires at the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival.
More July celebrations include the dazzling Bicheno Beams (29 June–20 July) on Tasmania’s east coast, and Permission to Trespass: a curious collision of art, culture and storytelling set within typically restricted patches of the state’s north west (not to be missed is the Table Cape Sound Walk).
In Bridport in the north-east, Tassie Scallop Fiesta celebrates the region’s fishing and maritime heritage and the start of the scallop season, rounding out July. Around the same time, Devonport Jazz lights up the north west with smooth live music, entertaining improv performances and cosy vibes.
The good times roll into August – Hobart's Beaker Street Festival is all about science and art, offering scientist-led talks and workshops, thematic cruises and tours, live music, and installations. Also in Hobart, and at various distilleries around the island, Tasmanian Whisky Week celebrates the island’s golden spirit and its distillers. And at the north west’s annual Chocolate Winterfest, dessert is the main event.