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The Festival Program

The Australian Antarctic Festival presents a five-day program of exhibitions, tours, displays and lectures, almost all of it completely free to the public.

School tours run from Wednesday 29 July to Friday 31 July, then the full program opens to the public on Saturday and Sunday, including ship tours, the Antarctic Exhibition at Princes No.1 and Open Days at CSIRO and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS). Enjoy fascinating displays at the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery and other venues around Hobart.

Check back for program details as they are confirmed.

Festival Venues

The Australian Antarctic Festival takes place at several venues, the majority of which are either on, or close by to, the bustling Hobart waterfront.

Antarctic Expo
Princes Wharf No.1

1 – 2 AUGUST

Australian Antarctic Festival, Antarctic Festival, Hobart Festival, Festival Hobart, Mawson's Huts, Mawson's Huts Foundation, Hobart Tourism,

The magnificent Princes Wharf No.1 Shed is one of the largest exhibition spaces in the state, set right on the water with fantastic views. The bright orange ice-breaker Aurora Australis and the frosty blue and white of the RSV Investigator berthed along the wharf, are familiar sights in their home port.

The event features the large equipment used in Antarctica (sledges, Haaglund tracked vehicles, boats, helicopters) and numerous displays from companies and agencies that work in Antarctica, including tourism operators like Chimu. The Australian Defence Force usually exhibits here as well. The exhibition is free to the public.

Huskies Picnic
Mawson’s Huts replica Museum

DATES TBA

A fascinating re-creation of Douglas Mawson’s original expedition hut at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay in East Antarctica. The men of the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition wintered over here, in one of the most remote and ferociously cold and windy locations on earth. 

The lawns of the Museum host the Huskies Picnic, while the interior of the museum is a remarkable immersive experience, full of authentic artefacts and equipment from this historic expedition. 

Penguin Rookeries
Mac 2 Tasports Cruise Terminal

DATES TBA

Australian Antarctic Festival, Antarctic Festival, Hobart Festival, Festival Hobart, Mawson's Huts, Mawson's Huts Foundation, Hobart Tourism, Penguin Rookeries

Located in Hunter Street, the Mac 2 TasPorts Cruise Terminal is a modern facility, purpose-built to handle the tens of thousands of visitors who come to Hobart as passengers aboard some of the largest cruise ships in the world.

A stunning exhibition space, the extraordinary colour and creativity of the ‘Penguin Rookeries’ displays more than 8,000 hand-painted Adelie penguin cut-outs by Australian and International school children.

Antarctic Photography and Islands to Ice Exhibitions
The Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery (TMAG)

DATES TBA

This Hobart waterfront landmark is a combined museum and art gallery protecting the cultural identity of Tasmania.

ANTARCTIC PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION
HISTORICAL BONDS STORE, 29 JUNE – 16 AUGUST
The exhibition features a stunning collection of images taken in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica by professional and amateur photographers and entered in a competition for rich prizes. Visitors also have the opportunity to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award.

ISLANDS TO ICE EXHIBITON
LEVEL 2 ARGYLE GALLERIES, PERMANENT EXHIBITION
The exhibition provides a brilliant overview of Australia’s Antarctic history, including a fascinating examination of the science of ice, Antarctic animals and climate.

Antarctic Art
The Waterside Pavilion

DATES TBA

The Waterside Pavilion on Constitution Dock, Mawson Place is an attractive, contemporary venue located in the heart of Hobart’s fabulous waterfront district.

A wonderful display of Antarctic-themed art from life-sized penguins painted by some of Tasmania’s best-known and emerging artists, to a rich exhibition of inspired art by painter Alison Lester. The exhibition demonstrates the deep impression that Antarctica can make on contemporary artists.

Marine Science
The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)

DATES TBA

Located on the waterfront at Princes Wharf and Castray Esplanade – just across from Salamanca Place.

Visit IMAS for a fascinating look at cutting-edge marine science, and enjoy the breezy, pleasant views over the busy Port of Hobart and Sullivans Cove.

ANTARCTIC RESEARCH
CSIRO MARIne LABORATORIES

DATES TBA

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Further along Castray Esplanade towards Battery Point you will find the CSIRO Marine Laboratories and the research vessel Investigator.

Normally closed to the public, the festival provides a rare opportunity for school groups and the general public to visit the laboratories and meet the scientists who conduct research in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, to better understand our planet’s physical system and the many forms of life that depend upon it.

PHILLIP LAW LECTURE
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

DATES TBA

In the beautifully renovated building of the historic Hutchins School on Macquarie Street, CCAMLR is one of the very few international organisations based in Tasmania. The gothic arches and stonework of the beautiful building house a sophisticated multi-purpose conference centre and lecture hall.

Several international conferences will be held here throughout the festival, along with the always compelling Phillip Law Lecture – guest speaker yet to be announced.

ART & PHOTOGRAPHY
MAWSON GALLERY

DATES TBA

Next door to the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum, the gallery promotes the work of Tasmanian artists.

On display and for sale are prints of historic images taken by Douglas Mawson’s famous and enormously talented photographer Frank Hurley along with Tasmanian artists and antarctic themed items.

All proceeds support the work of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation, conserving the original Mawson’s Huts in Antarctica.

ANTARCTIC FILM FESTIVL
STATE CINEMA HOBART

DATES TBA

An icon of entertainment for generations of Tasmanians’ for over 100 years, there is a popular Rooftop cinema, bar & bookstore on the premises.

Antarctic Film Festival …

CHOIR RECITALS
ST DAVID’S CATHEDRAL

DATES TBA

Australian Antarctic Festival, Antarctic Festival, Hobart Festival, Festival Hobart, Mawson's Huts, Mawson's Huts Foundation, Hobart Tourism,

Situated on one of the finest Georgian streetscapes in Australia, the superior organs and acoustics of this Anglican Church demand frequent concerts.

Details to come

SYMPHONY
HOBART TOWN HALL

DATES TBA

Australian Antarctic Festival, Antarctic Festival, Hobart Festival, Festival Hobart, Mawson's Huts, Mawson's Huts Foundation, Hobart Tourism,

An historical sandstone building located on Macquarie Street, the town hall has a magnificent auditorium.

Experience the talent of the Derwent Symphony Orchestra, as they present a concert of popular music from Douglas Mawson’s era.

EVENT
PLACE

DATES TBA

Festival Parking

See the Hobart City Council’s parking information and maps