The Taste of Tasmania is an annual event run by Hobart City Council, usually held around 28 December to 3 January. It is not affiliated with the Taste festivals.
It’s held on Hobart’s waterfront at Princes Wharf Shed No.1, Parliament House Lawns and Salamanca Lawns. Entry is free, but the New Year’s Eve party held on 31 December is a ticketed event.
Last year’s festival was the 25th Taste of Tasmania. To be honest, we hadn’t planned to attend. Initially when carrying out my trip planning/internet research, the thought of fighting our way through big crowds didn’t appeal, but since it was free entry and within walking distance of our accommodation, we couldn’t resist checking it out. I was glad we did.
It was packed as you’d expect a free food festival to be, but well laid out and extremely well organised. There was plenty of seating, under cover and out in the sunshine, at tables or on the lawn. The sun was a scorcher though, and if you’d forgotten sunscreen, you could get some for free at the Cancer Council Tasmania tent. Free drinking water was available from water trailers on Parliament House Lawns and Salamanca Lawns – you could simply BYO bottle and fill it up, or use your festival wine glass in between tastings. There were plenty of activities on the Parliament House Lawns for families and kids each day and a free outdoor cinema every evening, including new year’s eve.
With over 70 food and drink stalls, part of the pleasure was in the looking and choosing. Jac found her place at the Clover Hill Wines sparkling wine, seafood and oyster bar, where she discovered the 1996 Clover Hill Blanc de Blancs and loved it so much she ordered a case for delivery to home, and happily slurped down oysters dressed with Pernod, tarragon and olive oil. We shared crispy scallops with mayonnaise and split a scallop pizza, and I took on the Salty Licker from the Big Bessie van – a vanilla soft serve cone topped with a wodge of spicy bacon marmalade (surprising and challenging, the flavour more like sambal than jam).
The Taste of Tasmania was an unexpected highlight of our holiday and I won’t hesitate to go again if we’re ever back in Hobart at the right time of year. The festive season’s a busy but brilliant time to be in Hobart. The Taste of Tasmania festival coincides with the finish of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race – when you’re not stuffing your face inside the Princes Wharf No.1 Shed, you can sit by the water and watch the yachts coming in.
The Taste of Tasmania
Hobart waterfront at Princes Wharf No.1, Parliament House Lawns and Salamanca Lawns.
The next festival (2014/15) will be from Sunday 28 December 2014 – Saturday 3 January 2015
Last year’s details are below for your information – check the official event website to confirm details
Princes Wharf Shed No.1
11am to 11pm every day, free entry
On 31 December – free entry 11am to 3.45pm, new year’s eve party 7pm to 1am (ticketed entry only)
On the final day (3 January) the festival closed an hour early, at 10pm
Parliament House Lawns
Saturday 28 December 3013 to Friday 3 January 2014
11am to 8pm every day, free entry
Twilight cinema daily at 6.30pm – movie schedule was in the free program we picked up at the festival
About this series
In December 2013, my partner Jac and I went on holiday – 3 nights in Melbourne, then 3 nights in Launceston (Jac, to stay with a friend) and King Island (me, for a photographic safari with our friends Craig and Caroline), and finally, Hobart for 6 nights. This trip was not sponsored in any way.
The full list of posts is below:
- Short stories: Mount Wellington
- Christmas lunch at the Salamanca Inn
- The Quarry Salamanca
- MONA, Hobart
- A food lovers’ day out on Bruny Island
- Salamanca Market
- Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
- Cascade Brewery tour
- The Taste of Tasmania – this post
- Two bakeries and a half-laundromat – three cafes in Hobart, Tasmania