With the shortest day of the year almost over, we’ve been reflecting on our usual travel patterns at this time of year. Normally we would chase the sun coming into winter to shore up our Vitamin D reserves. But this year, we’re suggesting you head to the beautiful southern end of Australia, to Hobart and surrounds. Apart from an abundance of glorious wine, there are a number of must-sees.
MONA (inc Dark Mofo)
A trip to Hobart wouldn’t be complete without visiting MONA, the Museum of Old & New Art. It’s the hottest attraction in town, and the largest privately funded museum in Australia. The exhibits are vibrant, thought-provoking and downright bizarre. There’s even a machine that digests food and poops it out – plus some delicious local wines, a swimming pool, restaurant, hotel and… cemetery… on site.
The crack team of festival organisers from MONA certainly know how to host a party, although their winter festival – Dark Mofo – is impossible to describe. It transports festival goers to another dimension with its gothic, sexy and subversive acts. To best explain it, jump online and check out the fabulously eclectic lineup from this year’s event.
Definitely worthy of an award for originality, Dark Mofo is a stand out event that everyone should experience at least once.
Festival of Voices
From choir singing and cabaret to poetry and hip hop, the Festival of Voices celebrates the power of voice in all forms. Featuring the best in homegrown and international talent, the Festival of Voices has become a hugely popular event in Hobart where traditions such as the “Bonfire & Big Sing” were born.
Headline acts include Meow Meow, Tripod, Abbe May, Sven Ratzke, Jamie McDowell and Tom Thum and the Modern Maori Quartet. There’s also a huge range of workshops, including MICappella and a Gospel Bootcamp, and you can expect to see popup choir performances around town throughout the 10 day festival.
Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest
It starts off like this… If you haven’t sung to an apple tree whilst banging pots and pans by firelight lately…
You won’t quite find the quality of singing found at the Festival of Voices, but you will get to relive the age-old pagan tradition of wassailing – basically, drunken singing – to ward off any bad spirits threatening the apple trees. You see, the pagans took their cider seriously. As do the Huon Valley locals (it is called the Apple Isle, after all). And each year they throw a huge party with music, storytelling, street theatre, costumes, prizes, gourmet food and delicious apple cider to celebrate their crops. We’ll drink to that!
Tasmania has a long history of distilling, but a new wave of craft whisky makers are attracting international attention. It’s all about low volume, high quality whisky made with love. And if you love the warmth of a single malt sliding down the back of your throat, then head to Hobart’s whisky sampling event of the year. There’s a huge selection of tastings on offer under one roof, including rare and old whiskies, meet-the-maker events and food to graze on. For a relaxing winter’s day, get toasty (not toasted!) at WhiskyLIVE.
To Market… To Hobart
Hobart has a wealth of weekly markets, jazz nights, local performances and historical sites to make any trip in winter a warming affair. There’s a real authenticity to the farmer’s markets in the area, with the freshest seasonal produce available direct from farm to plate. Throw in the artisan producers – breads, cakes, locally roasted coffee, preserves and other treats – and you’ve hit foodie heaven!
Oh and did we mention the wine? Hobart makes plenty of delicious reds to sip beside the fireplace on a cold winter’s night. For a warm bed, check out Hobart’s accommodation range.