The Taste of Tasmania has become a festive season institution on Hobart’s waterfront. Somewhere in the twenty-plus years of operating, the event has been officially re-badged as The Taste Festival. Regardless of the name, it’s still a showcase for fine Tasmanian food and wine and is a fun way to spend a day.
Post-Christmas Taste of Tasmania
Combined with the finish of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Taste of Tasmania draws crowds of people to Princes Wharf No. 1. The first stage of redevelopment of the massive shed was ready just in time for the 2010-2011 festival and gives the venue a much-needed face lift.
Promoted as a free event by the City Council for the people of Hobart, patrons have the opportunity to purchase a selection of Tasmanian food and award-winning wine from approved and selected stallholders. Many stalls offer tasting plates, so you can sample a variety of products that might otherwise be out of reach. There’s also stalls selling the standard fish and chips and wood-fired pizza to cater for all palates.
Other Festival Activities
While the Taste Festival obviously promotes Tasmanian food and wine, families are not forgotten. The lawns of Parliament House are transformed into a hive of colourful activity, with state cricketers from the Tasmanian Tigers on hand to entertain the troops. Tennis Tasmania also give potential young stars a chance to show their talents.
Bean-bags are strewn around for groups to relax and enjoy the local treats in the sunshine, while an outdoor cinema shows films at night. Cheeky buskers spill over from the forecourt into the festival grounds. Even really little festival-goers are kept happy with bugs in the gardens!
Other revamped aspects of the festival this year: the Taste Theatre and the Red Hat Tours. A selection of gourmands host talks in the theatre with the entrance fee starting at a gold coin donation. And for $15, a dedicated foodie can join experts on a themed walk around the Princes Wharf shed, visiting selected stalls.
The seating arrangements this time around were a big improvement on previous Taste of Tasmania events. Providing you don’t mind rubbing elbows with complete strangers, there’s plenty of spaces to squeeze into. Personally, I prefer the outdoor areas overlooking the Hobart docks, especially with so much activity on the waterfront.
With more improvements promised next year, the Taste of Tasmania Festival is an annual event on Hobart’s waterfront not to be missed. The more times you visit, the more savvy you get about the event; from parking and amenities, to the best time to join the queue for tempura mushrooms! And you have to be quick to score one of those bean-bags!
Taste of Tasmania Judging
Here’s our official top three selections, as if anyone cares what we think!
- a seafood tasting plate from Customs House
- a chocolate and raspberry pudding from House of Anvers
- spicy lamb meatballs from Hamilton Larder, served with the most incredible apricot chutney!