Never heard of Dark Mofo before? You’ve got lots to learn. The Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) hosts the Dark Mofo festival from June 6 to 23. The festival celebrates winter solstice rituals with topics including ancient and contemporary mythology, humans and nature, religious and secular traditions, birth, death and renewal. So, you know, pretty it pretty much covers everything…
It’s weird, whacky, thought-provoking – there is something for everyone in the three-week program of events (with plenty of free activities as well). If you’re thinking about checking it out this year, here’s a handy guide of the festival highlights and a few ideas on what to do and see around Hobart on your trip. Happy holiday planning!
The only thing you need to bring to Dark Mofo is an open mind. The schedule is full of events from gigs to panels, keynote speeches and discussions on a range of topics that will get your brains whirring, you can see the full program here.
We’d also suggest locking in the Dark Mofo + city of Hobart Winter Feast (14th-16th and 19th-23rd of June). If you missed out on tickets to see FKA Twigs at Vivid Sydney she’s also playing Dark Mofo. Jónsi (Sigur Rós) + Alex Somers are also playing both Vivid and Dark Mofo, however, this time they’ll be joined by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. The festival wraps up with the Nude Solstice Swim on the 23rd of June at dawn where a bunch of swimmers brave the waters of the River Derwent in their birthday suits!
If you’ve never been to Hobart in winter, prepare to fall in love. You could start your weekend with a trip to the Salamanca Markets, don’t eat brekkie beforehand so you can enjoy some delicious market coffee and baked treats. Spend some time browsing the shops of Salamanca and take a stroll out around Battery Point. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head back into the city for high tea at Hadley’s Orient Hotel (it’s delicious, and the Hotel is full of old-timey charm). You could then catch the ferry to Mona to spend the afternoon browsing one of the coolest and quirkiest galleries around. There are plenty of Dark Mofo events on at Mona so check out the program before you plan your trip! For dinner head back into the city, and time your meal around what you’re planning to see of the festival.
If you’ve managed to take some extra leave there are a few places near Hobart that are well worth a visit. Stanley is a stunning little day trip. Alternatively, Bruny Island is well worth a visit, especially if you can spend a night down there. Don’t miss the cheese shop, whisky distillery and oyster shack for the seafood lovers. If you have even more time, head north towards Freycinet (one of the most incredible National Parks in Australia!).