Cruisin’ on the Channel

What you do after the Australian Wooden Boat Festival?

Tasmania is blessed with some of the best cruising grounds in the world.

One of the best is the remarkable D’Entrecasteaux Channel, the waterway between the south-east coast of mainland Tasmania, and Bruny Island. The northern end of the Channel commences at the mouth of the River Derwent and extends in a general south westerly direction for a distance “as the seagullChannel flies” of approximately 35 nautical miles. It boasts beautiful scenery, deep water, minimal tides, and reasonably gentle cruising. There are many beautiful sheltered anchorages to enjoy, and it is a great place to wind down after the hectic Festival that we are all looking forward to in Hobart from 10 – 13 February!

Our good friends at the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania have organised an informal cruise “Down the Channel” (as the locals would describe such an event) during the days following the Festival, concluding on Sunday 19 February. The cruise is open to all boats, but is aimed at showing off our wonderful waterways to overseas and interstate visitors in particular. The first planned anchorage will be at Quarantine Bay on Wednesday 15th February, some three hours from Hobart, where a barbecue ashore is planned for that evening.

Ketch Review, AWBF 2015, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia – photo: Rob Oates

Anchorages for the following nights will be determined by the cruise flagship, the beautiful former Danish fishing trawler Yukon, with the hope that Friday night can be spent at or near Franklin on the Huon River. This will enable cruise participants to enjoy the festivities that will form the opening of the St Ayles Skiff regatta to be held that weekend.

The cruise will be self catered.

Can you think of a better way to wind up after the Festival? Enjoy some casual cruising, meet new friends, and do it in the company of some beautiful boats! And what’s more, non-wooden boats will be just as welcome as their timber brethren.

Please register you interest on the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania website at, where you will also find more details of the cruise. If you have a specific query, feel free to contact Andrew Boon, the Commodore of CYCT at or on 0400 651 532.

Get Your Accommodation Here

It happens every time.  When the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival comes around every two years, you can bet we’ll be receiving dozens of calls to the AWBF office with the question: where can we stay?  Such are the numbers of interstate and international visitors attracted by the festival, that it can be almost impossible to find accommodation in Hobart at the last minute.  Hotels, B&Bs, hostels and apartments fill up quickly and room rates rise dramatically to reflect this.  What to do?  Here’s a guide to finding accommodation during the festival that may help, especially if you are not familiar with Tasmania in general.

Get Started Early

Time is the key here.  You certainly should wait no longer to book your accommodation for the festival (Friday 10 to Monday 13 February 2017).  Rooms are going fast and many properties are already reporting 100% occupancy.  Get on the phone or the Internet to do your own shopping or talk to our festival partners at TasVacations for advice on the market.  They really do know all the ins and outs.   Make sure to confirm your booking in writing and keep a record.

Look Around

You don’t have to be on the Hobart waterfront to enjoy the festival.  Hobart is a small city.  You can stay in the Northern or Eastern suburbs of the city and still be just a ten-minute drive to the harbour, or even better, take a taxi.  It’s a $15-$20 fare right from one side of the city to the other and there are several reliable taxi firms.  Maxi-taxis can take up to 7 people at reasonable rates.  If you are hiring a car, you’ll find city car parks nearby and rates that are a mad bargain compared to Melbourne or Sydney.

Further Afield

If you do take a hire car, you’ll be able to find some wonderful scenery and sea coast within 40 minutes drive of Hobart. That means your accommodation options in towns like Kingston, New Norfolk, Brighton, Huonville, Franklin, Sorrel, Lauderdale and Richmond should all be on your radar if you don’t mind a short and scenic drive to town.

Consider Alternatives

Holiday homes at providers like Stayz Tasmania and AirBnB are also good options if you are travelling with friends or family.  Whole-house rates can work out quite reasonable if there’s a gang of you.  For singles and couple, consider staying with a Tasmania household in a private room or granny flat.  That way, you’ll meet some Tasmanian hospitality and local tips on where to eat, drink and shop.

Stay on Your Boat (or a friend’s)

Plenty of people sleep on board their boats at the MyState Australian Wooden Festival and the social atmosphere over the weekend is a prime reason that 500+ boat owners attend every event.  You’ll find good facilities, with showers, waste disposal and toilets on the waterfront available to boat crew.  There are dozens of options for great Tassie food and drink on the festival site and we even provide a bespoke delivery service to your boat when you need to top up supplies of food or grog.

AWBF Vice Chairman Peter Higgs has provided the following list of budget suggestions:

Potential Accommodation during the AWBF 2017

The following is a list of potential low cost accommodation close to Hobart. The furthest out of Hobart on this list is Dysart which is a 45 minute drive to the AWBF site in Hobart. The remainder range between 15 and 30 minutes drive to the AWBF site in Hobart. This list is not a guarantee of accommodation but a list for people attending the AWBF to make and book their own accommodation.

  1. The Lea
  2. The Orana Girl Guides Campsite at Lauderdale.
  3. TasTAFE Clarence Campus,
  4. Riverfront Motel Hobart,
  5. Hobart Cabins and Cottages Goodwood,
  6. Hobart Showgrounds Camping,
  7. Big4 Caravan Park East Derwent Highway Risdon Park
  8. Barilla Holiday Park
  9. Richmond Caravan and Cabin Park
  10. Mornington Discovery Caravan and Cabin Park.
  11. Seven Mile Beach Cabin Park,
  12. Hobart Airport Big 4 Park,
  13. New Norfolk Caravan Park,
  14. Heimat Chalets and Camping New Norfolk,
  15. Dysart Caravan Park,

La Chaloupe – The Mystery of a Lost Boat

A single phone call in Southern Tasmania started a remarkable restoration project, but it took a social visit to the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival in 2015 to complete the riddle: Where did the little boat La Chaloupe come from? What did the enigmatic number ’16 6 64’ carved in her transom mean? (…) Continue reading “La Chaloupe – The Mystery of a Lost Boat”