What's on in winter 2020


31 July – 11 August

The Australian Antarctic Division, the Tasmanian Government, and the Australian Academy of Science are hosting SCAR COMNAP 2020.

SCAR COMNAP 2020 will include a full program of meetings, symposia, side events and social events including the COMNAP Symposium, public SCAR lecture, and exhibition and poster sessions all structured to encourage SCAR and COMNAP attendee participation.  It promises to be a world class event, capitalising on Hobart’s unique status as the gateway to east Antarctica and the home of Australia’s premier Antarctic institutions.

The SCAR Open Science Conference theme “Antarctic Science – Global Connections” recognises the significance of the scientific connections between Antarctica and the global system.  It also reflects the strongly connected Antarctic science community and, in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty system, the importance of collaboration in Antarctic science.

Dark Mofo

10-22 June

Dark Mofo is not your ordinary festival.  Celebrating the darkness of the southern winter solstice it features obscure boundary-pushing art, light installations, music, feasting, and contemporary rituals.  It can be confronting, disturbing, thought-provoking, or just plain weird.  ‘Traditional’ and ‘conservative’ it is not.

And of course there are the bonfires, food and red wine of the gothic Winter Feast and the Nude Swim at daybreak on the morning of the winter solstice.

Festival of Voices 2020

1-16 July 2020

Festival of Voices (FoV) is Tasmania’s original marquee winter event. It is Australia’s premiere celebration of the voice. It started in 2004 in response to a brief of how to activate Hobart in the middle of winter. It was decided that it would be a good idea to light a bonfire in the middle of the city and have a sing along.  The idea caught on, and today FoV attracts audiences of 30,000 people over a two-week period in July.

Huon Valley Mid-Winter Feast

10-12 July

Our valley is pretty cold and wet in the dead of winter.  It’s far away.  It’s dark.  Yet thousands come to get wild, wassail and burn a two storey wicker man.  Come get lost and found.

Australian Antarctic Festival

29 July – 3 August

The biennial Australian Antarctic Festival is on again in 2020 from 29 July to 3 August 2020. The festival will be open to the general public on Saturday 1 August and Sunday 2 August.

Phillip Law Lecture

29 July, 5.30 pm


Free entry

A lecture on Antarctic and Southern Ocean science, honouring the first Director of the Australian Antarctic Division.  This year to be delivered by Dr Dana Bergstrom.

Antarctic Photography Exhibition

29 July - 14 August

Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Bond Store

Free entry

An exhibition of the finest images of the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic taken by amateur and professional photographers within the last three years and entered into the Antarctic photography competition run by the Australian Antarctic festival.  Visitors can cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Australian Federal Stamp and Postcard Exhibition

30 July to 2 August

Brooke Street Pier

Free admission

Exhibition of historical stamps, postcards and first-day covers from Antarctic programs.

Chilled: Antarctic Life Inside and Out

24 July to 14 November

State Library of Tasmania

Free exhibition

Days of dark and nights of light.  Blizzards and katabatic gales.  Remoteness like no other.  Accidents, incidents, celebrations and distractions.  A unique insight into the lives of Antarctic expeditioners.

Islands to Ice

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s permanent and temporary exhibitions include Islands to Ice, which examines the definitions, perceptions and mythology of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and explores the places, the people, the creatures and the phenomena that make Antarctic a world of its own.