The Royal Hobart Regatta is celebrated for three days over the weekend of the second Monday in February every year. It takes place from February 11 to 13 this year. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious events in Tasmania. The first regatta was held in 1838 to celebrate the founding of the isle, and since then the isle has attracted tens of thousands of visitors over the second weekend of February. The regatta mesmerizes visitors with exciting competitions — in and out of the water — as well as with some stunning aerial and aquatic exhibitions. For three days in a row, tourists soak up the energy of the activities in Queens Domain along the River Derwent.
History of Royal Hobart Regatta
The regatta’s long history began in 1838 to commemorate the discovery of Tasmania. Today, the celebration sees around 40,000 visitors during the three-day event. Visitors are most excited about the dancing of boat sails of all sizes as they skate along the waterways.
It was on December 1, 1838, that Tasmania organized the first Hobart Town Anniversary to celebrate the anniversary of Europeans discovering the island in the 17th century. It was Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who first sighted the island on November 24, 1642. Since then, the annual anniversary regatta is celebrated by wearing a sprig of silver wattle blossom tied with a British Navy blue ribbon. The Monday following the weekend of the regatta is also observed as a public holiday and it is now the oldest continuing public holiday in Australia.
The regatta was originally staged at Pavilion Point and since 1856, has been held on the grounds near Macquarie Point, which is popularly known as the ‘Regatta Ground.’ The ground is located at the Queens Domain along the River Derwent. Today, the ground houses the Hobart Cenotaph, a war memorial dedicated to the martyrs of Tasmania’s wars. The regatta is well attended by visitors and competitors. The Royal Australian Navy celebrates the event by sending a warship to serve as a flagship while the Royal Australian Air Force offers fly-pasts with military aircraft. The RAAF Roulettes also provide entertainment with aerobatic performances while the Australian Army’s elite Red Beret parachute regiment gives impressive skydiving displays. The events at the regatta include sailing, rowing, open water swimming, wood chopping, jet ski racing, dragon boat racing, a tug of war, and a Trans Derwent Swim.
Royal Hobart Regatta timeline
Dutch explorer Abel Tasman names the island ‘Antonie van Diemensland.’
The first settlement was by the British at Risdon Cove.
St. Mary’s Cathedral originates as a temporary wooden chapel, built by Tasmanian priest Reverend Philip Conolly.
Tasmania is voted the best temperate island in the world by “Condé Nast Traveler.”
Royal Hobart Regatta FAQs
Is the Royal Hobart Regatta a public holiday?
This public holiday is observed only in the southern region of Tasmania. The Royal Hobart Regatta has been celebrated since 1838 and is Tasmania’s oldest sporting event.
Is the entry to the Royal Hobart Regatta free?
It was started by the then Governor of Tasmania, Sir John Franklin. Franklin provided free food and beer for all of the spectators, and the tradition of free entry continues to this day.
What is the meaning of ‘regatta’ in English?
Regatta means rowing, speedboat, or sailing race, or a series of such races.
Royal Hobart Regatta Activities
The Royal Hobart Regatta is best celebrated when you are in Tasmania. Head over to the islands to witness the grandiose celebrations.
Do something adventurous
If you are unable to make it to Tasmania for the Royal Hobart Regatta, do something adventurous in your city instead. Indulge in some adventure sports or go sailing to celebrate the day.
Fireworks are a big part of the Royal Hobart Regatta celebrations. If you are unable to attend, gather a few friends and burst fireworks in your backyard.
5 Facts About Australia That Will Blow Your Mind
It is a truly unique continent
Australia is the only continent in the world without an active volcano.
Australia has more camels than koalas
In fact, camels are 10 times more in number.
The world’s longest golf course
Australia’s Nullarbor Links golf course is over 850 miles long.
Australia has more than 10,000 beaches
It would take more than 27 years to visit a new one every day.
Australia is a land of extremes
The highest temperature ever recorded is 123.26 °F and the lowest is −73.4.0 °F.
Why We Love Royal Hobart Regatta
It celebrates Tasmania’s rich history
The Royal Hobart Regatta celebrates Tasmania’s rich history through the centuries. The celebrations display Australian and Tasmanian pride.
It’s an eventful celebration
Literally too! The various events that take place during the Royal Hobart Regatta are a treat to watch for every visitor. This is why the celebrations are loved by people of all age groups.
It encourages us to be adventurous
The Royal Hobart Regatta inspires us to be adventurous. It ignites our interest in the various events and adventure sports that are held over the course of the three days.
Royal Hobart Regatta dates