Tastes of Tasmania Festival
One of the major reasons I chose to travel to Hobart at the end of 2015 was for the Tastes of Tasmania Festival. Held annually it is a celebration of the importance of gastronomical culture in Tasmania. Tasmanians have a wonderful innovative and entrepreneurial culture in relation to food, wine, beer, whisky and cider.
The Tastes of Tasmania Festival is held from Dec 28 to Jan 3, at Salamanca Place, in Hobart. Gates are open from 11 am to 11pm daily and entry is free, excepting on New Years Eve, when it is closed for a ticketed party.
I think that the Tastes festival appeals to people on many levels. For those who are young at heart, it is a fantastic excuse to soak up some sunshine, chill to some music and catch up with friends, whilst indulging great food and beverages. If I had a choice, that is how I would experience it.
There are street performers including contortionists, knife eaters and roving performers dressed in themed costumes, to entertain adults and children alike. This year live performances were by The Black Sorrows, Stickrad Trio, The Paybacks, Kashkin and Brad Gillies, to name a few.
There is a dedicated section of the festival (away from the alcohol) for children. This included a Twilight Cinema for the kiddies, Chinese Buddhist activities for the kids in the park, German dancing performances, musical performances, and organized games and craft activities.
However, for those with a passion for learning, there are ample opportunities to soak up the experience of master wine and cheese makers and other food professionals.
- The Tasting Table provides 45 minute tasting session with Wine Whisky Beer and Cider producers.
- Taste Food Tours- meet the producers
- Taste Theatre- cooking demonstrations
I watched a number of cooking demonstrations with my travel companion including a Thermomix demonstration (certainly not something I expected to attend) and one on making cocktails.
My biggest takeaway from the festival was that the Tassies know what it is to follow passion. They are not afraid of starting up ventures because of their love a singular product or way of farming.
This year was the first year that the festival trialled its cashless system. I found it fantastic- as I never carry cash anyway, but I believe some older festival patrons found it difficult.
I wouldn’t travel to Hobart for the Tastes of Tasmania alone, however, when combined with the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, a visit to Bruny Island and general sightseeing around Hobart, it makes for an action packed and enjoyable two weeks in Tassie!