Top Events

Taste of Tasmania, December–January

Festivale, February

Dark MOFO, June

Australian Wooden Boat Festival, February

Evandale Village Fair, February

January

As New Year's Eve hangovers recede, the summer festival season kicks off with varied events in the north and south. It’s school-holiday time across Australia, so expect high demand for family-friendly motels and camping grounds.

Cygnet Folk Festival

More woolly sock than arena rock, the Cygnet Folk Festival, a day trip south of Hobart, is a three-day hippie fiesta with good vibes, low-key performances, discussions and workshops.

MONA FOMA

The Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) runs the Festival of Music & Art (FOMA), thus MONA FOMA aka MOFO. It’s as edgy, progressive and unexpected as the museum itself. Launceston is looking likely as the festival venue from 2019.

Festival of King Island

Way out in lonesome ol' Bass Strait, King Island gets its moment in the sun courtesy of this weekend festival, with visiting bands, surfing, food, and family fun times. Held in late January.

Hobart International

As a prelude to the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne later in January, the weeklong Hobart International women's tournament draws plenty of big-name players.

Hobart BeerFest

Apart from myriad Tassie brews, you can try hundreds of beers from around the world at the Hobart BeerFest, held in January on the Hobart waterfront. Beer-and-food-matching masterclasses are also held.

Esk BeerFest

Two days of beery festivities on Launceston's Esplanade, with Tasmania's many excellent craft breweries strutting their stuff. The parallel event to the Hobart BeerFest down south.

February

Hobart’s maritime heritage comes to the fore on and off the sea (which is at its warmest – swimming!). Meanwhile, Launceston’s biggest party of the year is a chance to sip some Tamar Valley wines.

Festivale

Launceston’s City Park hosts three days of eating, drinking, arts and entertainment at Festivale. It’s a chill-out-on-the-grass affair, with Tasmanian food, wine and beer, and plenty of live tunes.

Evandale Village Fair

The National Penny Farthing Championships happen south of Launceston at the annual Evandale Village Fair. In between wobbly bike races there are markets and musical interludes from pipe bands.

Australian Wooden Boat Festival

In odd-numbered years, the Australian Wooden Boat Festival brings a fleet of beautifully crafted yachts, dinghies and tall ships to Hobart’s waterfront, filling the harbour with heritage nautical vibes.

Royal Hobart Regatta

The three-day Royal Hobart Regatta sees the Derwent River bobbing with aquatic craft of all shapes and sizes. Don't miss Hobart’s resident tall ships, the Lady Nelson and Windeward Bound.

March

Summer’s warmth lingers into dusky evening – perfect for an island-wide arts celebration. March is also harvest time: grapevines blaze with colours and roadside stalls are crammed with fresh produce. Book ahead for Easter accommodation.

Ten Days on the Island

Towing a trad arts line, Ten Days on the Island is the state’s premier arts event, running for (you guessed it) 10 days biennially (odd-numbered years) in March. Theatre, music, visual arts, literature and film across the state.

Taste of the Huon

Ranelagh showgrounds near Huonville hosts the two-day Taste of the Huon, a showcase of the best Huon Valley produce. Apples, cherries, wine, salmon, mushrooms, honey, bread…no one goes home hungry. Bucolic splendour!

April

Autumn kicks in with cool days and cooler nights. Easter often falls in April: book ferry crossings, motels and camping grounds as far in advance as humanly possible. Oh, and football season gets started!

Football Season

Biceps and tight shorts! Competing in the Australian Football League (AFL; www.afl.com.au), the North Melbourne Kangaroos play some home games at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena, while the Hawthorn Hawks play a few at Launceston's Aurora Stadium. Grab a beer and a meat pie and get into it.

May

Cool blue-sky days make May the perfect time for a Tassie sojourn. The low late-autumn light is stellar for photography, and accommodation owners sometimes offer off-peak discounts. Good driving weather too!

Targa Tasmania

Held in late April or early May, Targa Tasmania is a statewide road rally for classic cars of all descriptions (but generally the fast ones). Crowds line the roadsides to ogle the magnificent speeding beasts.

June

Winter is here. Yes, it's colder than elsewhere in Australia, but crisp mornings and Hobart and Launceston's wood-smoky ridge lines are deeply atmospheric. With the coming of the winter solstice, Hobart gets its Gothic going.

Dark MOFO

In the still depths of the Hobart winter, MONA's Dark MOFO arrives. Skirting the frayed edges of Tasmania’s guilty conscience, this noir package delivers a taut, seductive and joyful series of happenings, installations and performances that will rattle your rusty cage.

July

As winter rolls on, hunker down for the indoor pleasures of choirs and chocolate. Outside of Hobart and Launceston, expect some accommodation to be closed, especially in coastal areas.

Chocolate Winterfest

Chocolate! Don't deny it – you love it. And it's a tasty way to warm the heart in the depths of the Tasmanian winter. The Chocolate Winterfest in Latrobe hosts chocolate-inspired festivities, including the essential blindfolded chocolate-mousse-eating comp.

Festival of Voices

The quirky Festival of Voices turns Hobart into a singing city for three days. Gospel gangs, choirs and a cappella groups showcase the versatility of the human voice.

August

Winter snow dapples Tasmania's Central Highlands. Unless you're masochistic, it's probably best to leave the bushwalking to experienced hikers. Some tracks become impassable and, besides, hotel accommodation is at its cheapest around the state.

Ski Season

When winter blows in (roughly from July to September), snow bunnies and powder hounds dust off their skis and head for Ben Lomond National Park. Coverage can be unpredictable: check snow reports before you head for the mountain.

September

As winter packs itself away, spring heaths bloom in the Central Highlands and muddy tracks start to dry out. Time for a bushwalk? Accommodation is still affordable: treat yourself to a boutique hotel when you wander in from the wilderness.

Junction Arts Festival

Launceston's offbeat Junction Arts Festival is five days of live music, theatre, installations, street art, walking tours and dance. A real shot in the arm for the arts up north.

October

The spring is sprung, with (usually) more settled weather and two of Tasmania’s smallest (but loveliest) festivals. In Hobart and Launceston, the country-comes-to-town royal shows put pressure on accommodation: book ahead.

Bloomin' Tulips Festival

Celebrate spring with food, music, burgeoning blooms and maybe a bit of a dance at Table Cape's annual Bloomin' Tulips Festival. The Wynyard waterfront is where it's at.

Royal Hobart Show

Tasmania’s rich agricultural heritage collides with shifty carnies, terrifying rides, fairy floss and junky plastic show bags at the Royal Hobart Show. The Royal Launceston Show also happens in October. 'Dad, I feel sick…'.

Bruny Island Bird Festival

Twitchers, rejoice! The gloriously isolated landscapes and coastlines of Bruny Island host the annual three-day Bruny Island Bird Festival. Bring your patience and your binoculars.

November

Accommodation around the state is still reasonably priced before the peak tourist season arrives (mid-December to January). After the football and before the cricket, sports fans twiddle their thumbs.

Tasmanian Craft Fair

Running for four days before the first Monday in November, Deloraine’s Tasmanian Craft Fair lures 30,000 artsy bods from around Australia. Pottery, textiles, glassware and sculpture all get an airing.

December

Ring the bell, school’s out! Accommodation is at a premium, especially after Christmas and around New Year’s Eve, when Hobart really cranks up the festival schedule. Book accommodation well in advance. Happy days – it's summer!

Taste of Tasmania

Tassie’s big-ticket culinary event, Hobart's Taste of Tasmania is a frenzied waterfront food fest over a week around New Year’s Eve. It generates a huge buzz: grab a glass of something cold, a plate of something hot and tune in to some live bands.

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

The world’s most arduous open-ocean yacht race is the Sydney to Hobart, departing Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day. The winners sail into Hobart around 29 December…four days at sea is a good excuse for a party!

Falls Festival

Tasmania’s biggest outdoor rock fest, the Falls Festival happens at Marion Bay south of Hobart around New Year’s Eve. Expect left-of-centre internationals and a slew of Australian talent (Fleet Foxes, Liam Gallagher, Angus & Julia Stone). BYO tent.

Cricket Season

Cricket fans can catch Tasmania’s state team, the Tasmanian Tigers (www.crickettas.com.au/teams/tasmanian-tigers), cracking the willow over summer. In the quick-fire Big Bash League, the Hobart Hurricanes (www.hobarthurricanes.com.au) are good bang for your buck.