An essential guide to the best festivals in Hobart

festivals in hobart

Nestled against the pristine Derwent River and the rugged beauty of kunanyi/Mt Wellington, Hobart is a city that vibrates with cultural richness and a unique charm.


Beyond its historic sites and breathtaking landscapes, Hobart is renowned for its vibrant festival scene. From celebrating local arts and crafts to embracing diverse cuisines and music, the many festivals in Hobart are a testament to the city’s dynamic spirit.


Festivals in Hobart. Image: Tasmania’s Taste of Summer.



Tasmania’s Taste of Summer

A culinary gem in Hobart’s festival calendar is Tasmania’s Taste of Summer which celebrates the best of the island’s food, drinks and local entertainment. Held annually on Hobart’s iconic waterfront from 27 December to 6 January, this family-friendly event is popular with both locals and travellers visiting Tasmania and coincides with the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Tasmania’s diverse and delectable food scene is on show, as visitors can sample a wide array of dishes ranging from fresh seafood to artisanal chocolates. It also features live music, street performances and a vibrant atmosphere. The New Year’s Eve celebrations are a highlight, offering a spectacular way to welcome the coming year.


Festivals in Hobart. Image: Gin-uary Hobart Gin Festival.



Gin-uary Hobart Gin Festival

Gin-uary Hobart Gin Festival was created to celebrate Tasmania’s amazing gin industry. Held annually throughout the month of January, this spirited event showcases the diverse and innovative creations of Tasmania’s local distillers, offering enthusiasts and newcomers alike a chance to explore the rich tapestry of flavors that define the region’s premium gins. From intimate tastings to lively masterclasses, the festival provides a platform for both established and emerging distilleries to share their passion and expertise. There will also be a variety of food vendors as well as the Gin-uary bar slinging cocktails and Gin-uary G&T’s.


Festivals in Hobart. Image: MONA FOMA.



Mona Foma

Organised by the same visionary minds behind Dark Mofo, MONA FOMA (Museum of Old and New Art Festival of Music and Art) is a cutting-edge celebration of experimental music and contemporary art. The festival showcases a diverse range of performances, from classical to electronic, and pushes the boundaries of traditional artistic expression. Held at various venues across Hobart, including the iconic MONA itself, MONA FOMA attracts artists and audiences from around the world. The festival’s commitment to pushing artistic boundaries and fostering innovation makes it a highlight on Hobart’s cultural calendar


Festivals in Hobart. The Nude Solstice Swim. Image: Dark Mofo.



Dark Mofo

Undoubtedly the festival that put Hobart on the map, Dark Mofo casts a bewitching spell over the city every winter. Organised by MONA, this festival is a celebration of the winter solstice and explores the darker, more mysterious aspects of art and culture as the city is transformed by light installations, immersive performances and thought-provoking exhibitions. After 10 years of darkness, and in preparation for 10 more, Dark Mofo is pausing in 2024 for a period of renewal. Two events will remain: the Winter Feast and Dark Mofo’s signature event, the Nude Solstice Swim, where brave souls plunge into the icy Derwent River at dawn.


Festivals in Hobart. Image: Festival of Voices.



Festival of Voices

Festival of Voices has been bringing joy to Tasmanian winters since 2004. As Australia’s premiere celebration of the voice, it attracts a diverse array of vocal talents from around the globe. The event spans a spectrum of musical genres, featuring everything from choral to contemporary to cabaret. It has become known internationally as a special meeting place for singers to gather, sing and share. Beyond the concerts, the Festival of Voices offers a range of workshops, masterclasses, and community singing sessions, encouraging active participation and fostering a sense of unity through the shared joy of singing.


Festivals in Hobart. Image: Tasmanian Whisky Week.



Tasmanian Whisky Week

Tasmanian Whisky Week is a celebration of the numerous Tasmanian distilleries, their spirits and whisky. The week is marked by a series of tastings, masterclasses, and exclusive events, allowing participants to explore the nuanced flavors and distinctive characteristics of Tasmanian whiskies. With a focus on both established and emerging distilleries, the event not only honours the region’s whisky heritage but also highlights the innovation and passion that continue to elevate Tasmania’s reputation in the global whisky scene.


Festivals in Hobart. Image: Beaker Street Festival.



Beaker Street Festival

Beaker Street Festival is a week-long celebration of science and art in Tasmania. The diverse program of events, entertainment, exhibitions and excursions has something for everyone: whether you’re a curious mind, an insatiable foodie or oenophile, or are simply seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Beaker Street Festival promises a mix of wonder, flavour and scientifically-proven fun. Expect science-based installations, scientific talks, art collaborations, live music, theatre and much more.

For more to explore in Tassie, check out our guides to Hobart, Devonport, Burnie and King Island!

To see what’s on offer all across Australia, click here.


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