It’s time Hobart got more credit. This oft-forgotten city punches above its weight when it comes to attractions, but it still manages to feel as friendly and welcoming as a smaller city. It’s come a long way from its backwater beginnings, with boutique hotels sprouting up and a thriving food and drink scene. There’s a lot of talk about the “MONA effect” – that is, the positive social and financial impact of David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art. Opened in 2011, MONA has brought a new sense of vibrancy and culture to Hobart. Its two adjacent festivals – Mofo in January (now moved to Launceston) and Dark Mofo in June – manage to elevate that vibe, drawing crowds from across Australia and inviting them to celebrate art, music and community spirit.
Like Mona itself, Dark Mofo revels in the wacky and weird. But don’t dismiss it as just a festival for the cool kids. The best part of this festival is that it’s accessible to everyone, from fortuitous local families to Sydney theatre nerds to art kids from Melbourne’s inner north. It’s full of sensations and surprises, and it’s a perfect way to see the best of what Hobart can offer. So if you’re thinking about visiting this corner of the world soon, make it a time when the city’s got its prettiest foot forward.