Just the ticket: Tasmania’s brilliant summer events
Food and Wine
The landmark event here is The Taste of Tasmania (December 28-January 3), held at Hobart’s Princes Wharf No 1, where stalls sell the best of Tassie everything, from oysters and cheese to wine and cider. Plenty of activities for the kids, too. Beer Lovers Week (January 20-27) celebrates craft and boutique brewers of beer and cider, and includes satellite Beerfests in both Esk (January 13-14), in the state’s north, and Hobart (January 27-28).
Launceston gets in on the action with Festivale (February 10-12), a three-day celebration of Tassie produce, along with a family-friendly program of arts and entertainment. At the King Island Long Table (February 24-26), you’ll get to meet local producers and work alongside chefs to create food for the crowning Sunday lunch. Flinders Island gets to show off its equally impressive offerings during Feast and Forage (February 17-26), with tastings, showcases and a multi-course dinner prepared by one of the country’s leading chefs.
Of course it isn’t an Australian summer without the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which concludes in Hobart on New Year’s Day. There’s a big program of cricket, too, including four T20 Big Bash League games in Hobart’s Blundstone Arena (Boxing Day and January 2, 8 and 21). Then Tassie’s favourite son, Ricky Ponting, will host a Biggest Game of Cricket charity match between the players of Hawthorn and North Melbourne football clubs at Launceston’s Aurora Stadium (January 27).
Meanwhile, the 2017 Hobart International (January 8-14) brings some of the world’s top-seeded female tennis players to the Apple Isle, and there’ll be plenty of great horse-racing action at the Devonport Cup (January 11), Hobart Cup (February 5) and Launceston Cup (February 22). There’ll be horse flesh of a different kind at the stunning Barnbougle golf course in the state’s north-east for the annual Barnbougle Polo event (January 21). For motoring enthusiasts, rally driving’s Targa North West (February 18) has expanded and will be based in Burnie on the north-west coast.
ARTS AND MUSIC
Falls Festival (December 29-31), held in beautiful Marion Bay on the east coast, features a huge roster of local and international music acts, including London Grammar and Matt Corby. Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) loves an acronym: hence its summer festival of music and art, MOFO (January 18-22). Expect five days of eclectic acts – last year’s line-up included US alt-rockers The Flaming Lips and British poet Kate Tempest.
Folkies will be heading to the small town of Cygnet – about 50 minutes’ drive south of Hobart – for its 35th annual Folk Festival (January 6-8), and then possibly to picturesque George Town in the state’s north for the Tamar Valley Folk Festival (January 20-22). Finally, there’s the Clarence Jazz Festival (February 18-26), held on Hobart’s eastern shore – a great way to end the summer on a high note.
AND THEN THERE’S…
Other events you might like to consider include the Henley-on-Mersey regatta (January 26), a fun family festival held in Latrobe, about 10 minutes south of Devonport, and the four-day Australian Wooden Boat Festival (February 10-13), a celebration of Tasmania’s rich maritime past, held across Hobart’s waterfront.
Header image The Taste of Tasmania supplied courtesy of Tourism Tasmania & Sean Fennessy.