Light the fire, sink into that comfortable chair, pour a glass of Tasmanian red wine and get ready to hear one of the best fireside stories going around. It’s Autumn in Tasmania and we can’t wait to share it with you. So this little tale starts with Ten Days On The Island, our premier arts festival spread over 80 events in 38 locations spread across the state, moves into AFL territory with the 2017 season getting off to a cracking start in Hobart and Launceston, heads via the MTB Enduro World Series, which we’re hosting for the first time ever then culminates in some of the world’s best chefs visiting to cook alongside our bright young chefs as part of the Great Chefs Series. So with events, experiences and stories that can only be penned in Tassie, it’s a good time to come and write your own.
MoMa Markets Hobart (Sundays, until 16 April)
A market that’s friendly on your gut? Our inner hipster just died and went to crafty heaven! The new MoMa Markets, conceptualised by Mona’s First Lady Kirsha Kaechele, is a curated collection of stallholders like Doodad and Fandango perspex goodies, Bombay Irish who use vintage sari silk to create new clothing, The Natural Skin Store small batch skincare, Glitoris, the body paint and festival glitter people and food from Orlando Plenty, Three Japanese, The Porky Duck and Baker & Co. To name, but a few. There’s also MoMa Minors where kids can learn about bugs and bacteria, arts and science (this year they’re working on a project named Temple, each week). Every Sunday until 16 April 11am – 4pm at Mona, Hobart.
Spiegeltent Hobart (9 March – 1 April)
How can you refuse a show that claims to be a seductive, disco-fuelled inferno! Not us. Spiegeltent Hobart sets up camp at PW1 for an extended three-week program featuring the glamorous and raucous cabaret, Velvet, alongside a program of international stars and homegrown Tasmanian talent. Charlie Pickering, the Axis of Awesome, Hannah Gadsby, Luke McGregor, Lior, Katie Noonan and Beccy Cole to name but a few. Tickets for Velvet start at $55, other performances are free or various ticket prices.
Skyfields @ the Bluff (11 March)
If you’re from Tassie, you’d better be home soon because the legendary Neil Finn is headlining the Skyfields @ the Bluff music festival. In the picturesque surrounds of Devonport’s Bluff Reserve, the lineup is something so strong – supported by Meg Mac, William Crighton and Claire Anne Taylor, The Elliotts and the Real Cool Traders, it’s only natural that you’ll want to be there. Pack a picnic (chocolate cake and pineapple heads perhaps) or enjoy the hospitality from one of the local food vendors and cool climate wines and boutique beers. There might be four seasons in one day, but VIP tickets are available. Don’t dream it’s over, book your ticket today.
Steamfest Tasmania (11 – 13 March)
In Autumn things get a bit steamy at the Redwater Creek Steam and Heritage Society. Learn more about why they love steam so much when Steamfest Tasmania returns for the 23rd year of tooting good fun – steam train rides, the Grand Parade of incredible historic machinery, entertainment for kids, exhibitions, competitions and delicious food stalls. Check out the SteamPunk best dressed competition for some of the coolest 19th century costumes crossed with a wild west, machinery, supernatural vibe…if you can imagine that!
Taste The Harvest (12 March)
The North West coast town of Devonport is surrounded by some of our very best food and wine producers. Roundhouse Park, on the Foreshore plays host to Taste the Harvest on 12 March, to celebrate all the deliciousness on offer. The Producers Marquee features the finest line up of local produce – visitors will enjoy tasting and sipping their way through the marquee, picking up tips and techniques from top chefs, growers and producers along the way. Entertainment for big and little food lovers is on throughout the day with music stages featuring talented Tasmanian musicians, roaming performers, and a dedicated kids area with a jumping castle and face painting.
Taste Of The Huon (12-13 March)
Happy Quarter Century to the Taste of the Huon Festival! In it’s 25th year, the festival celebrates the best food, wine, arts, crafts and entertainment from the Huon Valley and Channel region, 30 minutes south of Hobart. Pull up your picnic rug and enjoy the best apples, cherries, mushrooms, salmon, wine, berries and truffles you’ve probably ever tasted, all farmed in the picturesque area. Kids will be entertained with activities throughout the weekend and a full entertainment program promises some toe-tapping fun. The area takes in the Huon Valley, D’entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island, which are destinations in their own right, so it’s a great place to make a weekend of it.
Ten Days On The Island (16 – 26 March)
We don’t envy you. Really we don’t. You have to choose from over 80 events and installations across 38 locations around Tasmania. That’s really tough. The Ten Days on the Island schedule includes way too many incredible performances and works to mention here (there’s a website for that!) but highlights include Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre’s theatrical production White Snake, Dutch artist Nick Steur will perform surprisingly dramatic live show FREEZE! as he balances odd-shape rocks on top of another, Fragile Matter, a collaborative performance between Tasdance and Greece’s innovative dance company Jukstapoz, You and Me and the Space Between by the much-loved Terrapin Puppet Theatre, gosh, even folk rocker Martha Wainwright is getting involved as part of the festival. The program will premiere 23 new works and provide opportunities for 56 Tasmanian artists and arts companies to show off.
Cradle Mountain Film Fest (31 March – 2 April 2017)
For the best adventure films from Tassie and across the globe, join us for the Cradle Mountain Film Festival. The festival showcases entries in the One Year In Tasmania Adventure Film Competition, where participants feature a maximum five minute film about an adventure in Tasmania, enjoyed between 1 March 2016 and 1 March 2017. The festival also hosts the Tasmanian exclusive screening of Mountainfilm On Tour all the way from Telluride, Colorado. Mountainfilm is a fantastic festival that showcases the best of the world’s adventure films. Apart from the films, it’s a great excuse to enjoy Cradle Mountain as the season changes – walk the forests, breathe in achingly fresh air and taste test local food and cool climate wine by a roaring fire.
Great Chefs Series (Various dates March – August)
You may have heard that we have some of the best produce going around. Now some of the best chefs in the world are jetting here to experience cooking with our bounty first hand and coach our emerging talent. The Great Chefs Series gives TasTAFE Drysdale students the chance to ignite their passion for food in the most authentic of ways – by being inspired firsthand and alongside culinary masters like Alain Passard (he has received three Michelin stars for 20 years in a row, no biggie!), Dominique Crenn, Guillaume Brahimi, Jacques Reymond and David Moyle. Guests will be treated with an outstanding dinner of local produce, expertly prepared and matched with cool climate wines.
On the Origin of Art, Museum of Old and New Art (until April 17)
What the hell do we need art for? That’s the question David Walsh put to four of his scientist friends – four bio-cultural scientist-philosophers Steven Pinker, Geoffrey Millier, Brian Boyd, and Mark Changizi – and their answers have become four separate exhibitions within the exhibition. Ancient and contemporary artworks from varied cultural sources include antiquities, paintings, works on paper, ceramics, textiles, audio visual and contemporary installations, selected from Mona’s collection and elsewhere.
The Art of Science: Baudin’s Voyagers 1800-1804, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (7 April – 9 July)
Featuring exquisite artworks created by Nicholas Baudin’s artists Charles-Alexandre Lesueur and Nicholas-Martin Petit from the voyage of 1800-1804, this incredible collection is visiting the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery this autumn. Funded by none-other-than Napoleon Bonaparte, the expedition’s agenda was the discovery and study of natural sciences, underpinned by the emergence of new ideas and philosophies of reason and the rights of man. On loan from the Natural History Museum, Le Havre France, many of the artworks are on display for the first time since they were painted.
Tyrepower Tasmania Supersprint (7 – 9 April)
Get ready revheads, the V8 Supercars roll into town at the Symmons Plains Raceway for the Tyrepower Tasmania Supersprint. Grab a Paddock Pass for behind the scenes fun – see inside the team garages and amazing purpose built team transporters in the Transporters Parade, and maybe even grab an autograph from your favourite driver. The Family Zone is sure to keep the kids entertained too, when they’re not glued to the action. Tickets on sale now, from $30, kids under 12 are free.
AFL in Tasmania (April – August)
How good is the start of a new AFL season! This year Tasmania plays host to four cracking games in the first half of the 2017 season. In April and May, watch the play unfold between North Melbourne and GWS Giants (8 April, Blundstone Arena), then our mighty Hawthorn play St Kilda (29 April, UTAS), North Melbourne are back again playing the Adelaide Crows (6 May, Blundstone Arena) and Hawthorn against the Brisbane Lions (13 May, UTAS). Pull out your supporter beanies, heat up the pies, it’s going to be a great season down south.
Shimano Enduro Tasmania – MTB Enduro World Series (8 – 9 April)
Get along to Derby, only 90 minutes from Launceston for the Shimano Enduro Tasmania, for round two of the Enduro World Series. 2017 is the first time the global mountain bike series has ventured to Australia. Elite athletes from around the world will flock to our island to compete and explore the famous trails of Derby – the area has become synonymous with world-class mountain biking in recent years, and riders will get to experience everything from fern forests to granite slabs as they take in the stunning views on offer. All wrapped up with a concert featuring local rockers Luca Brasi.
International Mural Fest (16 – 22 April)
Our art galleries look a little different down here. Sheffield, the town of murals, features large artworks dotted throughout the town, a spectacle in itself. But each year, nine artists compete in a public ‘paint off’ from Easter Sunday to the following Saturday. The artist must complete a 2.1m x 4.8m mural, using a selected poem as their inspiration. Each year a new poem is chosen making no two Mural Fests ever the same. With over $20,000 in prize money on offer, the quality of the entrants is increasingly incredible and Sheffield benefits from a major mural acquisition each year.
Targa Tasmania (24 – 29 April)
Now in its 26th year, Targa Tasmania is the world’s largest, longest and hardest tarmac rally event, conceptualised from all the best features of the iconic Targa Florio, Mille Miglia, the Coupe des Alpes and the Tour de Corse races. But this is no slow motion re-run, it’s a genuine red-blooded motorsport competition, covering over 2000kms of racing snaking through the Tasmanian wilderness. From 24 – 29 April, classic and modern cars alike battle in every corner of the state, racing at exhilarating speed on open roads.
TMAG Children’s Festival 2017 (26 – 30 April)
Following on from the success of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s (TMAG) inaugural Children’s Festival in 2016, TMAG will present another action packed line-up of activities and events during the second week of the school holidays. From 1 April, open Tues-Sun, 10am – 4pm. During the school holidays, TMAG is closed Good Friday, Open Easter Monday, Closed Anzac Day.
Turning of the Fagus (late April and May)
To be specific, the tree is the Deciduous Beech (nothofagus gunnii). At the closing of autumn, this little stunner changes colour to deep golds, reds and oranges, causing bushwalkers to flock around the ANZAC Day weekend especially. It’s known as the ‘turning of the fagus’ and is best viewed around the Cradle Mountain region or Mount Field National Park, closer to Hobart. It’s a sneaky little reminder of the country’s Gondwanan heritage.
Agfest (4 – 6 May)
Our island is blessed with a proud and strong agricultural history and Agfest is our annual celebration of how good it is! Agfest is an agricultural field day bringing together fascinating machinery and vehicles, an equine expo and sheep dog trials, giant fish tank, timbersports, a fine food pavilion, craft pavilion, an AgArtwear design competition and a 4WD test track…how cool is that! Organised annually by volunteers from Rural Youth Tasmania, Agfest features over 700 exhibitors and has something for everyone.
Tasmanian Red Wine Weekend (Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May)
Bringing more than 20 of our best producers of red wine together under one roof, the Tasmanian Red Wine Weekend celebrates the end of vintage in the most perfect of ways – sipping through fine Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and a few other surprises along the way. Stock up the cellar, expand your knowledge or just enjoy a little liquid journey through our beautiful terroir. There’s also hearty food and great music to help while away the day. General admission tickets ($25 prepaid, $30 at the gate) include all wine tastings for one session, a Plumm wine glass valued at $24.95 (one per person) to take home and a tasting booklet.
For a full and up-to-date listing of Tasmanian events, and information on travelling to Tasmania, visit the Discover Tasmania website www.discovertasmania.com.au.
Travel to Tasmania
Travellers can fly to Tasmania on Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Qantas, Qantaslink, Tigerair, Sharp Airlines or Rex Airlines, or take the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Port Melbourne (VIC) to Devonport (TAS).