Why You Should Visit Hobart in Winter

Friday April 26, 2019 Written by Smith

Hobart G1Photo: Jarrad Seng

When winter approaches, the world can start to seem a little glum. But in Hobart – a city that already feels like it’s at the end of the earth (in a good way) – things only really get started during the colder months.

Mona’s winter solstice festival Dark Mofo runs from June 6 to 23, and it’s an appropriately dark and cosy mix of weird and wonderful art installations, music and food. Musical highlights this year include Sharon Van Etten, Dirty Three, FKA Twigs, Nicolás Jaar and something described as a Sigur Rós “soundbath”. But honestly, it’s such an eclectic and unwieldy line-up you’re better off perusing the entire program.

Hobart G2Photo: Jarrad Seng

On the food side, there’s the always mouth-watering Winter Feast, which brings the state’s best food and drink together under one massive, eerily lit roof. This year will also see the launch of Eat the Problem: a series of immersive meals made using invasive species, served on a giant glockenspiel. (Of course.)

And then, of course, there’s art. In 2018, performance artist Mike Parr spent three days buried under a busy Hobart road. He’s back this year, and doing something equally odd – a blindfolded performance in an undisclosed location that you can watch via a live video feed from someone warm.

Hobart G3Photo: Jarrad Seng

Visitors nervous about the prospect of driving over a performance artist can always opt instead for a six-night round-trip Dark Mofo cruise from Sydney, with our pals at P&O Cruises. Each ticket includes two days and two nights in Hobart, and a one-night priority pass to the Winter Feast. Plus: you get to go on a cruise ship, which is usually reward enough in itself. Their 2019 cruise is already booked out, but tickets are now available for 2020.

Hobart G4Photo: Sam Shelley

Capping the other end of winter is Tasmanian Whisky Week, which runs August 12 to 18. We think every week should be Tasmanian Whisky Week, but never mind: the festival brings together the state’s beloved distilleries, which all play host to a range of events celebrating a good, warming dram.

Once you’ve sobered up, the Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs are just a 90-minute drive out of Hobart. The thermal springs pool is kept at 28 degrees Celsius year-round, so on particularly chilly winter days you can have a toasty dip as steam rises around you. Or, you know, just stay in your log cabin. It is winter, after all.

Hobart G5Photo: Jarrad Seng