The Australian Antarctic Festival takes place at several venues, nearly all of them on the bustling Hobart waterfront or close to it.
You can’t miss Princes Wharf: The bright orange of the ice-breaker Aurora Australis and the frosty blue and white of the RSV Investigator are familiar sights in their home port. The magnificent Princes Wharf No.1 Shed is one of the largest exhibition spaces in the state, set right on the water with fantastic views.
A fascinating re-creation of Douglas Mawson’s original expedition base at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay in East Antarctica. The men of the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition wintered over here, in one of the most remote and ferociously cold and windy locations on earth. The interior of the Mawson’s Hut Replica is a remarkable immersive experience, full of authentic artefacts and equipment from this historic expedition.
Located in Hunter Street, next to the award-winning Mac 01 Hotel, the Mac 2 TasPorts Cruise Terminal is a modern facility, purpose-built to handle the tens of thousands of visitors who come to Hobart as passengers aboard some of the largest cruise ships in the world. It’s a stunning exhibition space, too. Come here to see the extraordinary colour and creativity that Australian school children have put into the ‘Penguin Rookeries’ display – more than 7,000 hand-painted Adelie penguin cut-outs.
This Hobart waterfront landmark houses two important venues – The Islands to Ice Gallery and the Bond Store. Visit the first for a brilliant overview of Australia’s Antarctic history, including a fascinating examination of the science of ice, Antarctic animals and climate. Visit the historical Bond Store to see the Antarctic Photography Exhibition, open 6-18 September 2016. When you have picked your favourite image from collection of stunning Antarctic images, cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award.
The Waterside Pavilion on Constitution Dock, Mawson Place is the venue for a wonderful display of Antarctic-themed art. From life-sized penguins painted by some of Tasmania’s best-known (and emerging) artists to a rich exhibition of inspired art by painter Alison Lester, this exhibition demonstrates the deep impression that Antarctica can make on contemporary artists.
The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) is the stunning silver and black building on Castray Esplanade, close to Salamanca Place. The re-purposed Silos Apartments are just across the street and make an easy landmark. Enjoy the breezy, pleasant views over the busy Port of Hobart and Sullivans Cove. Visit IMAS for a fascinating look at cutting-edge marine science.
Further along Castray Esplanade towards Battery Point you will find the CSIRO Marine Laboratories and the research vessel Investigator. Normally out of bounds to the public, school groups and the general public will have a rare chance to visit the site and meet the scientists who conduct research in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, to better understand our planet’s physical system and the many forms of life life that depends upon it.
In a beautifully renovated building, the historic Hutchins School on Macquarie Street, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is one of there very few international organisations based in Tasmania. The gothic arches and stonework of the beautiful building house a sophisticated multi-purpose conference centre and lecture hall.