Where Things Go

Here’s your puzzle set:

  • 300+ boats in the water
  • 150 boats ashore
  • 84 temporary buildings, up to 25m x 30m
  • Displaced parking for 90 cars
  • 80+ maritime exhibitors
  • 60+ food and beverage vendors
  • 50,000 people on site at peak periods
  • Power, water, waste handling, toilets, emergency access
  • Around 60 waterfront businesses, cafes, hotels and restaurants
  • 435 volunteers

Here’s the challenge:

  • Accommodate all those wooden boats (and their owners) safely and securely
  • Set all of this up in such a way as to keep everyone happy
  • Generate enough income to keep the festival free to the public
  • Keep the event clean, safe, friendly and popular with a community audience
  • Plan for contingencies including weather, accidents, lost kids and special needs

Ready?  OK, here’s your time limit:

  • Build it in 7 days
  • operate it safely for 4 days
  • Knock it all down and clear it away in 3 days
  • Start planning the next one

That’s the board game we set out for Production Manager Andrew Brassington and Site Manager Lyndon Bounday, in consultation with Food & Beverage Manager Lucinda Toynbee Wilson and Commercial Sales Manager Tim Oxley.  Easy?  Piece of cake, right, guys?

The MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival takes up the entire waterfront of Sullivans Cove, from Castray Esplanade to Hunter Street, along with all the docks and marinas and moorings to be found on the water and most of the streets, parking lots and roads on the land.


It takes place on private land, TasPorts wharves, public roads and City of Hobart land. It includes dozens of businesses, warehouses, residential properties, apartments and hotels.  Over the space of four days, we’ll see more than 200,000 people arrive to enjoy the largest wooden boat festival in the Southern Hemisphere and around half of them will be from interstate or overseas, staying to boost our visitor economy and make Tasmania more famous than it already is for its warm hospitality.  We’ll manage our environmental impact in a dozen different ways, work with emergency services to plan for every contingency and publish thousands of words and pictures to make sure people know it’s on.

We ask many favours of the waterfront community of our wonderful little city, including boat owners, the fishing industry, tour operators, bus companies and the poor guy in his car who just wants to get home after a tough day’s work.  We’ll try to do that with a smile on our face and consideration for all these people affected by this huge festival.  You may be one of them.

We can only ask for your gentle cooperation, so that we can present a happy, entertaining and exciting event, for the benefit of the whole community, with no admission charge, no tickets and no gates. See you in February 2019!

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