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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.