Hobart is a city seething with culture, overflowing with food and wine and striking natural beauty. It is an ideal destination for Australians to spend a weekend because it's possible to do so many things in just a couple of days. There is no better time to go than during Dark Mofo, Hobart’s annual winter festival during June.
We've brought the best of Hobart together for the perfect weekend away.
After settling into your hotel, it’s time for dinner and drinks. For great first impressions, try out Aløft located on Pier one, Brooke St. The relaxed vibe and stunning views of Hobart’s majestic waterfront is the perfect place to unwind after a long week at work and an afternoon/evening flight. Sit by the window and enjoy wine and elegant cocktails and share plates from the tasting menu.
Another great spot on a Friday night is at The Glass House, also located on Brooke Street Pier, where you can indulge in Tasmania’s finest produce, wine, whisky and cocktails. Sip on drinks, paired with Tasmanian inspired shared plates of local cheeses or order a main meal like yellow kingfish, Scottsdale pork and grilled miso eggplant as you take in the stunning 280 degree views.
The night doesn’t end here. Hobart will be buzzing with Dark Mofo energy all through June.
Depending on your travel dates, make sure you book into some of the incredible events:
Friday 8 June: A Journey to Freedom
This exhibition compares the metaphoric psychological and social prisons we make for ourselves to physical imprisonment. It launches on Friday 8 June with an intense performance by Matt Warren – a Tasmanian electronic media artist.
Friday 15 June: Lou Reed: Drones
Lou Reed, American museum, singer and songwriter – lead guitarist singer and songwriter for rock band the Velvet Underground. Embrace Lou Reed’s guitars and amps as his strings are activated by magnetic cones and create interesting sounds.
Friday 22 June: Nude Solstice Swim
Dark Mofo’s annual Nude Solstice Swim is a popular event where hundreds of people strip down to nothing and do a sunrise swim at Long Beach, Sandy Bay. Last year, there was over 1000 naked swimmers that lined up for the fresh, morning swim.
With only two full days to experience as much as possible, wake up early and jump right into breakfast at Pigeon Hole. This popular café has a breakfast menu of granola, toast, omelettes, eggs, vegetable dishes and more.
Vilicia Coffee is another delicious spot to start your morning. They roast their own coffee beans and have a delicious selection of bagels.
But we believe Saturday morning is all about the Salamanca Markets and there are plenty of delicious breakfast options - think sizzling German sausages and melt-in-your-mouth, cheesy gozleme. Of course you’ll need to devote some time for shopping while you’re there. You'll find unique fashion, art, music and local produce, with over 300 stalls set up every Saturday.
After the markets, take a step back in time and take a 15 minute walk to Battery Point. This old maritime village's architecture remains almost untouched from over 100 years ago. Get your caffeine fix at one of the cute cafes in the area and if you have enough time, walk the Battery Point Sculpture Trail and enjoy the views.
Once you’ve had a poke around, make your way to Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). Jump on the ferry that departs next to the Salamanca Markets for a scenic journey to this iconic art gallery. It houses controversial and intriguing art exhibitions that have common dark themes of sex, death and revolution. You’ll be there right in time for a brand new exhibition by Dark Mofo launching on June 9 and until April 2019.
Once you’ve satiated your appetite for art, enjoy a glass of local wine and a tapas plate from Faro on the Mona lawn while you critique your favourite pieces until it’s time to catch the ferry back for dinner!
Consider Tavern 42 Degrees South (T42º) - a chic, waterfront bar - the perfect place to be part of the buzzing weekend vibe. Try a local wine or indulge in a cocktail - how could you resist Chef’s Special: 666 Butter Vodka, coffee liqueur, salted caramel, espresso? Try out local cheese selections, local salmon and more as you are apart of the buzzing Friday/Saturday vibe here.
Franklin is the go-to for contemporary Hobart dining at it’s finest – tantalisingly tasty and exquisitely cool. Their menu constantly changes, but expect to indulge in seafood including Blackman Bay pacific oysters or crispy octopus and saltbush dumping. It's not open on Sundays so make sure you fit in Franklin time on Saturday.
Our pick of Dark Mofo events:
Saturday 9 June: ZERO
Be at the grand opening of ZERO - an art exhibition inspired by the moon, launching after dark at Mona. There will be live music from legendary space-jazz ensemble Sun Ra Arkestra (USA) and electric string quartet FourPlay.
Saturday 16 June + Saturday 23 June: Dark Mofo + City of Hobart Winter Feast
Catch one or two nights of this epic feast that features local and international guest chefs using fire to create delicious concoctions. This foodie event runs on 15 to 17 and 21 to 24 of June.
Start off your morning with brunch at Small-fry for brunch of coffee, decedent sweet treats, sliders, craft beer and wine in a modern, trendy venue.
Another great option is Pilgrim Coffee if you're craving mouth-watering waffles, French toast, healthy bowls and more all in this intimate, dark-lit venue.
Save some time for your Dark Mofo itinerary:
Sunday 10 June: Killing For Culture
Be inspired by the event Killing For Culture, which focuses on culture, religion and animal rights.
Sunday 17 June : Waterborne
This takes you on a boat ride up the icy river, while a an eerie story of your body’s afterlife is told.
Sunday 24 June: William Basinski
Gather at the end of the festival as an orchestra reinterprets Basinski’s crumbling elegy for a fallen New York—introduced by the man himself.
For the full Dark Mofo program and information, click here.