This is the 2nd to last post in my Tasmania snapshots series and it’s all about my time spent in Hobart and experiencing Dark Mofo for the first time. If you want to read about what I did in Launceston, Bay of Fires, Freycinet National Park and more then click here!
My morning started by waking up in the beautiful city of Hobart, rearranging my suitcases, and checking out of my Airbnb. The place I stayed for the night was settled on top of one of the steepest hills I’ve ever driven on. I swear it felt like the car was vertical while driving on it which was quite unsettling. The only good thing about that design was the view of the city from the top of the driveway.
Seeing Hobart for the first time in daylight was a great start to the day. You’ve got Mount Wellington in the backdrop along with a bunch of homes nestled into the hills. It’s so good that you’re guaranteed a good view no matter where you look. The city definitely gave me Seattle vibes when it came to driving throughout the city and the kind of views you see.
One of my friends was flying into Hobart for the day to attend Dark Mofo as well so my first stop of the day was the airport to pick her up. Eating breakfast at Czeg’s Cafe in Richmond was on my list so that was the second stop of the day.
Richmond is only a 30 minute drive from Hobart and it was well worth it for the views and eggs benedict that I ordered. Czeg’s Cafe is a highly recommended place to eat for brunch because the food is amazing and they’ve got savory and sweet options. The interior was picture perfect and the staff was really friendly.
From what I saw the town of Richmond is so damn adorable. Each building had their own character making it feel like a charming little town. You could definitely tell that they value preserving history and I really appreciate that.
Salamanca Market is a must see place if you’re in Hobart on a Saturday so that was the next place that we hit up. Salamanca Market is a huge outdoor market with a bunch of booths selling a variety of different things. There was soaps, vintage clothing, artwork, home decor, jewelry, lollies, food, drinks and so much more. We spent a good hour or so just walking around looking at what each stall had to offer.
After spending the afternoon at the market, I dropped my friend off at her Airbnb to freshen up before the festivities ahead of us and went off to explore different parts of Hobart. The first place that I checked out was Battery Point which is a popular and aesthetically pleasing neighborhood. There was quite a few beautiful Victorian style homes that seriously made me consider changing my dream home style from Mediterranean to Victorian. There was an old guy working on his garden in the front yard and his home was so dreamy that I had to tell him how much I loved it.
The next area that I checked out was Sandy Bay which is a nice little coastal neighborhood with it’s own thing going on. All the homes were sprouting their own unique look which is my favorite. It was getting close to sunset so I walked up to the shore and enjoyed the scenery for a bit while watching a dogs play around with each other.
Once darkness fell, I picked up my friend again and we headed off to the Botanical Gardens to experience the Dark Path which a popular free Dark Mofo attraction filled with food trucks, art installations, and booze.
Dark Mofo is an annual winter music and art festival held in Hobart during the month of June and it’s without a doubt different that any festival you’ve heard of before. This year the festival spanned over 3 weeks with a program jam packed with so many performances and cool art installations. The vibe is extremely dark with red and black being the main color scheme and creepy images accompanying all the promotions.
The structure of the Dark Mofo festival reminds me of South by Southwest in Austin, Texas in the way that it takes over the city with so many different things to experience. The city lights up with people flooding in to see what this truly unique festival is all about. To give you a little idea, one of the popular events is a Nude Solstice Swim where hundreds of people sign up to run butt naked into the freezing cold Long Beach.
Quite a few months ago, I signed up to receive their newsletter and was instantly intrigued when the 2019 program came out. Looking at the program I really didn’t know what each event entailed but I knew who Nicholas Jaar was and a few of the artists on the Night Mass lineup. I ended up getting tickets for both of those events and that was another experience in itself.
I snagged them during the pre-sale which is what you should do if you’re super keen on seeing an artist because tickets sell out fast when they open to the public. Even though I clicked on the link as soon as it popped into my email, I was like 2,000+ in the queue which was insane hour long wait.
Like I said, I didn’t understand the events on the program and was only there to experience Dark Mofo for one day so I didn’t really get to fully submerge myself into the event. Upon walking into Dark Path, we were greeted with the smell of hot fried food. We couldn’t resist so a plate of fried squid and chips was shared and then we made our way through the grand iron gates and descended down the path. There was so much attention to detail with the creepy voices playing from speakers, torches lighting the paths, and every part of the garden being utilized such as the conservatory.
One of the installations I really liked was this huge structure that projected some sort of electric current that mimicked lightening into the sky. I have no idea how the whole thing worked, but it looked really cool. We arrived at Dark Path around 6 p.m. and Nicholar Jaar started at 8 p.m. so we didn’t get to spent as much time as we wanted to roam the gardens.
After Dark Path, we headed to Nicholas Jaar’s set under his alias Against All Logic. He played in a venue that had 360 views with him playing on an elevated platform in the middle. Towards the center there was an open floor and on the perimeter there was risers so there was a lot of opportunities for a good view. I had never fully listened to Nicholas Jaar’s music but his music has been mentioned to me by friends before so I figured I’d check it out. The show ended up being really good and each song had everyone grooving hard. Plus there was lots of flashing lights which is always my favorite.
Night Mass started around 10 so we had to leave Nicholas Jaar a bit early to walk 10 minutes to the other venue. Night Mass features a bunch of artists playing in a theatre with balcony seating with other rooms in the venue bopping with DJ’s and other artists from all over the world. The artists on the lineup for Saturday were Mallrat, Sampha the Great, Saeborg, FAKA, Dameeeela, and so much more. I ended up only watching Mallrat, Saeborg and Sampha the Great perform which all had really great shows. Not too long after, I started to get really exhausted around 1 am so we decided to call it a night.
I highly recommend anyone who loves festivals to go to Dark Mofo at least once in their life. You should definitely spend at least a few days in Hobart to get the full essence of the festival. Now that I know a bit about the festival I would recommend going to one of the weekends of Night Mass if you like one giant party. Other recommendations would be Dark Path, Winter Feast, and all the free art exhibitions and installations that are part of Dark Mofo. I’m sure nothing is a bad pick though.
Overall, I really enjoyed the chill vibe of Hobart and the stunning views of the mountains. Not to mention the historic architecture is a dream with all the Victorian style homes and historic buildings. I did my research so I know the food scene is amazing but most of the popular places were packed all weekend that I didn’t even want to bother. I’ll have to come back to city during a not so busy month.
Have you ever been to Dark Mofo? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create, and grow!