Australia: Dutch-themed Wooden Boat Festival successful

2017 Australian Wooden Boat Festival marks 375 years since Abel Tasman’s landing. There were many Dutch-themed activities throughout this years Festival.

There were Dutch boats, Dutch boat-builders, Dutchmen smoking fish, a Dutch folk singer, Dutch kids’ activities and much more! In early February, Hobart coloured orange during the biannual Wooden Boat Festival. Arthur den Hartog, the Deputy Head of Mission from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Australia, travelled to Hobart to visit the festival and participate in the many activities that were organised.

Mr Den Hartog made a stop at the Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin, where boat building students from the Netherlands have been working on building a Dutch Tjotter. In Hobart, he visited the exhibition The Early Dutch Explorers sponsored by the Dutch embassy. Mr Den Hartog also caught up with Dr Wendy van Duivenvoorde, senior lecturer in Maritime Archeology at Flinders University, and Dutch AWBF producer Karen Meirik.

On Friday, the Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman, welcomed Australian and international guests from the Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand and the USA before declaring the festival officially opened. Mr Den Hartog held a speech about the connection between the Netherlands and Tasmania. According to Mr Den Hartog, ‘our maritime connection with Tasmania has sailed into the 21st century most gracefully’. Last year’s announcement that Dutch company Damen Shipyards will construct the Antarctic icebreaker, which is to be stationed in Hobart and the celebration of Tasman’s landing at the Wooden Boast Festival show that in 2017, Dutch-Tasmanian ties are stronger than ever.

Find more information about the festival and the programme here.