Activation of the People's Port Post COVID

Hobart's waterfront is springing back to life after the COVID pandemic, with the port-side city providing even more for locals and visitors to enjoy...


07 September 2022

History seeps from the pavement on Hobart’s waterfront, where colonial buildings have stood the test of time, now converted into art galleries, elegant hotels, and cocktail bars, where visitors flock to experience the blend of old-world charm with modern-day conveniences.

TasPorts owns and maintains most of Hobart’s waterfront area along Sullivans Cove; from Macquarie Wharf, along Franklin Wharf, over to Princes Wharf.

Post-COVID, the Hobart waterfront is springing to life again, with locals and visitors alike getting out and experiencing events and re-engaging with local businesses along the waterfront. Like many port-side cities, Hobart’s waterside district has been converted from an industrial shipping hub to a port for the people.

Take a look a some of the iconic events taking place along the waterfront throughout the year…

Taste of Summer

The Taste of Summer, previously known as The Taste of Tasmania, provides local businesses with the opportunity to feature some of Tasmania’s fantastic food and drink to a national audience, alongside an all-Tasmanian line-up of entertainment.

As a major event on the summer social calendar, the Taste of Summer supports Tasmania’s visitor economy by attracting thousands of visitors to the Hobart waterfront. The event is also an iconic location to watch the racing yachts arrive in port.

Summer Yacht Races

The Port of Hobart has been synonymous with the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race since the race was conceived back in 1945. This race has become an icon of Australian summer sport, with no other regular annual yachting event in the world attracting as much media attention.

Locals, visitors, and competitors are welcomed into the Hobart Race Village, located along the waterside of Constitution Dock. The area hosts interviews with race participants, commentary from race officials, live musical performances, and food and drinks from a variety of vendors. The Hobart Race Village is the key location to watch competitors arrive at Kings Pier Marina once they have crossed the official finish line, and it’s a prime position to see the City of Hobart’s New Year’s Eve fireworks!

The Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race will host its 50th anniversary in 2022, with TasPorts accommodating the visiting vessels at the Port of Hobart since the race began. For the past 14 years, TasPorts has also supported the Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race, with entrants berthing alongside Elizabeth Street Pier.

Hobart Twilight Market

With the aim to provide locals and visitors with an authentic Hobart experience, the Hobart Twilight Market brings live music and quality stallholders to Brooke Street Pier and Franklin Wharf on the last Friday of each month, showcasing Tasmanian food, drink, design, and performers.

Featuring a diverse range of food and locally-crafted beverages, patrons can eat, sip and meander through a myriad of speciality stalls.

Long Waterfront Weekend

Activating the waterfront precinct at the Port of Hobart and encouraging increased visitation is at the heart of Out in the Open.

TasPorts was proud to support this free event, hosted by the City of Hobart, with three days of live performances and activities taking over the waterfront between Princes Wharf and Victoria Dock.

Dark Mofo

Celebrating the darkness of the southern winter solstice, Dark Mofo features many internationally renowned musical acts, large-scale art installations, and a winter feast. With events taking place across the city of Hobart, many of the festival’s most popular events are hosted along Hobart’s waterfront.

TasPorts have been a proud partner of Dark Mofo since its inception in 2013, and we were excited to welcome a full-scale festival back in 2022, providing opportunities for inspired community engagement across the waterfront, on the Derwent River, and at MAC 02.

Franklin Wharf restaurant

After sitting empty for five years, what was previously known as Blue Skies Café, has been revitalised and brings a ‘cosmopolitan vibe’ to the waterfront precinct. After an $8 million transformation, Franklin Wharf Restaurant is the brainchild of Pub Banc, which owns many iconic Hobart bars and eateries.

While COVID-19 caused some delays, Franklin Wharf officially opened in March 2022, with the function centre launching this September!

MAC 02

Originally built in 1958, MAC 02 is believed to be the largest cement shed in Australia. Cold stores were positioned on the northern side of the building, used to store everything from Tasmania’s apples and hops before export to mainland Australia and abroad.

As cruise ship travel increased in popularity, it became apparent that Hobart needed a dedicated cruise facility to welcome guests to the capital city. In 2013, we invested $7 million in converting MAC 02 into a stylish and contemporary cruise terminal and function location.

MAC 02 is our premier indoor venue in Tasmania. With a central location and great facilities, the venue has recently hosted a wide variety of events, including Isle Weddings, the Australian Antarctic Festival, Dark Mofo, and DRILL Performance.

MAC 02 has also made a name for being a great venue for local and international musical acts. Most recently, the site was used as the set for Australian musician Flume’s latest music video, ‘Highest Building’, featuring French musician, Oklou.

Alastair Bett