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
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 the headline event. But wait, there’s more. The Festival of Voices erupts in song with workshops, concerts and singalongs (1-10 July). Gather among apple orchards for music, cider and bonfires at the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival (July). The biennial Australia Antarctic Festival brings the frozen continent a little closer to the Hobart waterfront (24-28 August). In Bridport in the north-east, the Tassie Scallop Fiesta celebrates the region’s fishing and maritime heritage and the start of the scallop season (August). Hobart’s Beaker Street Festival is all about science and art, with talks by scientists, thematic cruises and tours, live music and installations (5-7 August). Also in Hobart, Tasmanian Whisky Week celebrates the island’s golden spirit and its distillers (8-14 August).
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 (8 October). Just as colourful but of human making, Launceston’s Junction Arts Festival is about extraordinary arts events in unusual places (September).
As long days and balmy nights lure revellers outdoors, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race surges home at Sullivans Cove. Hobart welcomes sailors and travellers of all sorts with Tasmania’s Taste of Summer, a week-long food and wine festival crammed with entertainment including New Year’s fireworks. Mona Foma comes next with festival surprises spread between Launceston and Hobart (late January). Launceston’s own Festivale is a three-day summer showcase of Tasmanian food and drink with live music for all ages (February). And join summer events across Tasmania, including the penny farthing championships at the Evandale Village Fair (February).
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 in the east-coast wine country near Swansea. Sample the tastes of the Meander Valley at the annual Tomato and Garlic Festival. Discover a cinematic event with a difference at Launceston’s innovative Breath of Fresh Air film festival. And join the pilgrimage to see the “turning of the fagus”, when Australia’s only winter-deciduous tree blankets hillsides with autumnal colour.