Classic celebration

The next edition of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival will run 10 to 13 February 2023.

01 September 2021


The Australian Wooden Boat Festival is scheduled for 10 to 13 February 2023, along the historic harbourfront of Hobart, Tasmania.

Spanning 1.2km on Sullivan’s Cove, the event will host over 500 wooden boats of all shapes and sizes, a huge commercial exhibitors hall, the best of Tasmanian food and beverages, a Shipwright’s village of craftspeople, a symposium of speakers and forums, all run by a team of 500 volunteers and colourful characters.

The 2023 edition will include some visitors and vessels from across the ditch, as well as representatives of each state/territory in Australia and an Indigenous craft program.

The 2021 edition was cancelled due to the pandemic.

The Board’s decision to skip 2022 in favour of 2023 was based on a broad program of events that run in alternate years to the Australian Wooden Boat Festival.


Bella Laughton-Clark, Marketing & Communications Manager explains, “As the AWBF runs every second year (odd-year) and has done for nearly 20 years, there are many smaller events that are now scheduled on our off-year, including the Kettering Wooden Boat Rally and smaller boat community gatherings”.

“This time frame also allows us to invite Tall Ships from around the world and gives them time to implement travel plans. It also gives us time to clear COVID-19 and implement management changes, logistics changes and update much of our database/productions systems.”

The 2023 AWBF theme will be Australia & New Zealand, Bella continues.

We are in the process of organising an Indigenous precinct, with traditional wooden craft building and storytelling. We have already confirmed 10 Tall Ships (names will be released in due course) and have another several lined up, as everyone is quite excited to travel again!

“We will also have a contingent from NZ travelling across the ditch, this will include speakers as well as some vessels. We will celebrate the wooden boat industry and culture in Australia and NZ from the traditional Indigenous craftspeople, right through to current times.

“Usually, the AWBF hosts 200,000 people over just four days and spans 1.2kms. If allowed, we hope to do this again. Visitors come from far and wide and 51 percent of visitors are from interstate and international locations.

“We have approximately 80 commercial exhibitors stalls across out site, indoor and out. The AWBF is the largest celebration of wooden boats in the southern hemisphere and is a hub for all trade exhibits.

“For 2023 we are planning to offer better partnership opportunities and long-term collaboration options, not just a stall presence during the AWBF.

“We know our boat owners hold out purchasing anything (especially online, as we mainly do these days) until the AWBF, as they can talk to the service/product provider, feel the product and compare options, it really is the place to be for boat owners and stall holders.”

Commercial Exhibitor applications are likely to open in May/June 2022. Those interested can sign up to the AWBF monthly newsletter to stay up to date with any festival developments. Sign up here. 

To enquire, please contact Bella Laughton-Clark at

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement