Visit the Australian Wooden Boat Festival In Tasmania

One of the top maritime events in the world – the Australian Wooden Boat Festival is in Hobart in February.  This four-day Festival is a wonderful opportunity to hire a motorhome or campervan and visit Tasmania on a motoring holiday over summer and see some of the attractions it has to offer.

campervan hire hobart

Some of the attractions in and around Hobart include the:

  • Salamanca Market;
  • Cascade Brewery;
  • Cadbury chocolate factory;
  • Port Arthur Historic site;
  • Seafood restaurants;
  • Numerous wineries; and
  • Magnificent Mount Wellington views.

The Australian Wooden Boat Festival is the premiere wooden boat festival in Australia.  The Festival is held on Hobart’s historic Sullivan’s Cove waterfront docks which has a rich association with nautical history.  Tasmanian timber is renowned for its suitability for boat and ship construction.  These timbers include the wonderful Huon Pine and Celery Top Pine.
Over the years, many amazing examples of the boatbuilding art have left the Derwent River’s shipyards.  Every kind of boat is represented at the Festival – from the tiniest dinghies to large traditional sailing ships, from small putt-putt’s and steamers to fast powerboats.  At the Festival you will be able to witness boatbuilding using traditional tools to craft magnificent boats and watch them take shape.  From boating enthusiasts to laymen, there is something for everyone to do at the Festival.

Some of the attractions of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival are:

  • an enormous collection of wooden boats of all descriptions;
  • a big display of model boats;
  • many permanent and temporary food outlets with an emphasis on fresh Tasmanian seafood;
  • nautical skill demonstrations;
  • live music and theatre; and
  • boat handling demonstrations.

Entry to the Festival is free.  More information about the Festival is on their website at

A suggested itinerary is:

Day Suggested route and attractions
Day One Arrive at Hobart airport and collect your van early at Hobart Airport. Head off to the Australian Wooden Boat Festival and see all it has to offer. Whilst in a boating mood, you may wish to enjoy a cruise on the Derwent River to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory.Take the Huon Trail south to explore the waterways, wilderness, countryside and orchards of the Huon Valley.You may wish to stop at the town of Franklin which has fine restaurants and the Wooden Boat Centre. You could also visit Huonville and the Forest & Heritage Centre at Geeveston. A half-hour drive from Geeveston will take you to the famous Tahune Forest Airwalk, where you can stroll over the Huon River among the tree tops. You may wish to drive around an hour further south to visit Southport or the Hastings limestone caves and warm thermal springs.If you drive south via Huonville, on the return north to Hobart turn right just across the Huon bridge and be the drive through Cygnet, along the coast past Garden Island and up the D’Entrecasteaux Channel via Woodbridge, Kettering, Snug and Margate.Overnight in the Huon Valley or head back to Hobart.
Day Two Visit the colourful and vibrant Salamanca Market in the morning. Spend some time in and around Hobart. Wander around the heritage properties around Battery Point, check out the galleries in Salamanca Place and the Saturday Salamanca Market, travel to the summit of Mount Wellington for amazing views of Hobart and surrounds and take a tour and a taste at the Cascade Brewery. You may even wish to visit the Australian Wooden Boat Festival again.Overnight in Hobart or travel to Port Arthur early to make the most of the next day.
Day Three Head down the Arthur Highway to Port Arthur Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula. Take the Convict Trail from Cambridge through the Coal River Valley to Richmond where you will find the old Richmond Gaol and the Richmond Maze. You will travel over Australia’s oldest stone bridge at the Coal River. The Coal River Valley is Tasmania’s fastest growing wine region.Once at Port Arthur, spend time wandering or take a guided tour of the ruins of the Port Arthur convict penitentiary and surrounding buildings.Stay overnight near Port Arthur to take in the nightly Ghost Tour.
Day Four Take the Heritage Highway up through the historic Midlands to explore towns like Ross, Oatlands, Campbell Town, Evandale and Perth. You may wish to visit historic estates such as Brickendon and Woolmers and the National Rose Garden.To celebrate Valentine’s Day – you may choose to enjoy a romantic evening meal at one of Launceston’s famous restaurants, a winery or the Gorge Restaurant at the Cataract Gorge.Overnight in Launceston.
Day Five Explore Launceston – take the chairlift across Cataract Gorge, a cruise on the Tamar River and visit the Tamar Island Wetlands to see a variety of water birds. For fine craft and furniture, visit the Design Centre.If you’re a wine-lover, you may enjoy the Tamar Valley Wine Route, which takes you to many family-owned vineyards. Enjoy a visit to the quaint Swiss village of Grindelwald. If you are game, you may like to try cable hang-gliding.Drop your van off in Launceston before departing.

Excited to plan for your trip?

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