Hobart’s premier event is the last part of the Sydney–Hobart yacht race. The two hundred or so yachts, which leave Sydney on December 26, start to arrive in Hobart on December 28, making for a lively New Year’s Eve waterfront party. The race coincides with the state’s largest festival, The Taste (tastefestival.com.au), an erstwhile food jamboree to promote Tasmanian produce that has morphed into a week-long party with music and theatre. The Australian Wooden Boat Festival runs over three days in early February in odd-numbered years, and fills the docks with beautiful historic craft (australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au). In late October the Royal Hobart Show agricultural festival provides four fun days of country fare.
MONA has recently added a couple of events to the Hobart calendar. MONA FOMA (mona.net.au), aka MOFO, brings free gigs from artists on the avant-garde side of rock, such as Nick Cave, DJs and performance artists to Princes Wharf, Salamanca, for a week in mid-January. And in June, MONA’s winter solstice arts festival, DARK MOFO, sees the iconoclastic gallery run riot around the city, with cutting-edge arts installations at several sites.