Starting in 1994 from humble beginnings, this biennial festival of wooden boats and maritime culture, and has quickly become the largest celebration in the southern hemisphere. The Festival was born from the idea of a group of boating enthusiasts and friends and was made possible through the assistance from the Tasmanian State Government and a host of local sponsors.
Originally held in November, the public response has always been outstanding, attracting unprecedented crowds, even during Tasmania’s unpredictable weather. After the 1998 event, a decision was made to move the Festival to the February long weekend, creating a three day event to compliment the long running Royal Hobart Regatta. The response to this change was immediate and positive, with more boats registering for future Festivals.
Over time, the Australian Wooden Boat Festival has evolved into the four-day festival we know today, filling Hobart’s waterfront with a mix of music, demonstrations, food and entertainment.