Tasmania's biggest food and wine festival adds flavour to the end of the year in the city of Hobart, celebrating the state's justifiably famous produce and fine food in a carnival atmosphere on the city's docks.
By Andrew Bain
If there's one week on the calendar in which Tasmania's capital city, Hobart, truly shines, it's during the Taste of Tasmania festival. The summer climate is superb, yachts from one of the world's great ocean races, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, fill the city's docks, and Tasmania's finest flavours are in abundance all around the waterfront venue. Watch world-class street performers, settle into a bean bag for an outdoor movie in the park, and graze your way through the sumptuous flavours of the state.
How to get there
Hobart has direct flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. From the airport it's a 20-minute drive into the city. The Taste of Tasmania is held on the waterfront at the city centre's edge.
Taste the flavours of Tasmania
The hub of the festival is the large Princes Wharf No.1 Shed at the southern end of Hobart's docks. Inside and outside, the shed is lined with stalls from Tasmanian restaurants and producers, selling the likes of fresh seafood, berries, cheese, craft beer, wine and cider. Grab a table along the docks, or simply wander around the venue to enjoy acts from the street performers and bands.
Spot the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race competitors
When the Taste of Tasmania kicks off, the lead boats in the mighty Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race are likely to be arriving at their finish in Hobart's docks, just a few steps from the festival venue. As more yachts sail in over the days approaching New Year's Eve, wander along the wharf to admire the size and beauty of these incredible race boats.
Shop at Salamanca Market
If you're in town over a weekend, be sure to visit Hobart's famed Salamanca Market, held every Saturday in Salamanca Place, a street that runs beside the Taste of Tasmania venue. The weekly market brings together more than 300 stalls selling locally produced arts and crafts, plus homewares and fresh produce. It runs between 8.30am and 3pm.
Watch the New Year's Eve fireworks
Hobart turns on two fireworks shows on New Year's Eve. The first is at the family-friendly time of 9.30pm, with fireworks lighting the sky again on the stroke of midnight. Crowds line the waterfront to watch the fireworks over the Derwent River, or you can buy tickets to the Taste of Tasmania's New Year's Eve party. Hobart's biggest New Year's Eve party, it brings together bands, performers and the whole range of festival food, with a great view of the fireworks.