The rise of Tassie is at fever pitch. These days, there's barely a joke made about Taswegians' two heads; we're too busy obsessing over the island's bevy of natural, culinary and cultural charms.
It may have all been in good-natured fun, but they're the ones laughing now.
A smorgasbord of major sporting, creative and delicious events in 2015 neatly wrap up Tasmania's highlights. Slot these great events and festivals into your next southern sojourn.
For The Sports Fiend
Cricket fans are set to flock to Bellerive Oval in March during the ICC Cricket Work Cup 2015. One of 14 cities across New Zealand and Australia, three games out of 49 will be played just outside of the capital. Be part of the action as Zimbabwe, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Scotland and Australia take to the field. Howzat!
Even though Tassie doesn't have its own team, you can still catch an AFL game across the Tasman. The Hawthorn Hawks will play four games at its second home, Launceston's Aurora Stadium, including a blockbuster clash against the Gary Ablett-led Gold Coast Suns in Round 9 on 30 May.
The North Melbourne 'Roos' enter their fourth year in Hobart with a Richmond match – the first of three at Blundstone Arena on 9 May.
Then there's that open-ocean race that starts in Sydney on Boxing Day and traces through the gruelling winds of the Roaring Forties to Hobart. You may have heard of a little event called the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race?
At a glance:
- ICC Cricket World Cup
- Zimbabwe vs Ireland – 7 March
- Sri Lanka vs Scotland – 11 March
- Australia vs Scotland –14 March
- Targa Tasmania in Launceston – 27 April to 2 May
- Hawthorn v Gold Coast Suns, Launceston – 30 May
- Rolex Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race –26-late December
Food, Glorious Food (And Wine)
Each pocket of the island has its claim to culinary fame, with a sprinkling of festivals showing off the finest fare.
Upping the northern flavour is Festivale, a two-day February celebration of cool climate wines, beers, ciders, whiskey and of course, food, at Launceston's City Park. Just a few weeks later you can continue sampling your way through the north at Devonport's Taste the Harvest Festival.
Not to be outdone, King Island returns for its seventh King Island Long Table weekend in February. The affair aims to showcase the island's finest beef, cheese (I'm looking at you, triple cream brie), seafood and produce in farm tours and kitchen sessions, culminating in a relaxed, belly-filling banquet.
Star billing though, goes to the glorious week-long Taste of Tasmania festival over December and January where the island's finest provisions, from boutique brews and peaty single malts to gourmet bangers and fresh ocean catches, take centre stage on Hobart's waterfront. 'Slowbart' no more.
At a glance:
- Festivale, Launceston - 13-15 February
- King Island Long Table Festival – 20-22 February
- Taste the Harvest, Devonport – 7 March
- Tastings at the Top, Cradle Mountain Lodge – 15-17 May
- Savour Tasmania, Hobart – 25 May
- Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest, Huon Valley – 17-19 July
- Tasmanian International Beer Festival, Hobart – November (TBA)
- Taste Festival, Hobart – 28 December-3 January
Calling All Culture Cats
MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, thrust Tassie into the creative spotlight with not only its provocative museum, but successful festivals like January's MONA FOMA.
Its sultry sibling, however, brings Hobart to life in the chilly depths of winter. DARK MOFO gathers up an unimaginable line-up of musical arts, artists, exhibitions and that famous Tassie fare, and injects it all with a dose of oddity and intrigue to deliver an explosive experience for families, creative types and party animals alike. Highlights include the Winter Feast and Nude Solstice Swim. Skinny dipping anyone?
No longer do music fans have to board a flight for their live music fix; the annual Falls Festival in Marion Bay has become a summer institution. What better way to bring in the New Year with a diverse line up of local and international acts, a backdrop of the Tasman Sea, spectacular forest campground and the beach just a short walk away? Past acts that have graced the Falls Fest stage include Kings of Leon, The Kooks, Gotye and Arctic Monkeys.
At a glance:
- Day in the Vines, Devonport – 28 February
- International Mural Festival, Sheffield – 5-11 April
- DARK MOFO, Hobart and surrounds – June (TBA)
- Burnie Shines, Burnie – 1-31 October
- Falls Festival, Marion Bay – 28 December – 1 January
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