Acknowledgment of country

Polyglot acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and create, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. For more than 65,000 years, children and families have created and played here, and we are grateful to make our art on this country too.

February 11 - February 13 2023

Boats at Australian Wooden Boat Festival (Hobart)

Boats engages children and their families in accessible play that re-imagines familiar space into something wild, unpredictable and fun.

An outdoor Boats production photo. A child and their adult hold a blue patterned vessel around themselves and are running excitedly. A child in a different blue vessel is also visible. They are in a sandstone courtyard with trees and buildings in the background.

You will find Boats in the strangest of places – on dry land! Children and their families use their imaginations and small colourful boats to go on exciting, sea-faring adventures across the wide-open lawns of Parliament House Gardens. There are islands to visit, stranded crew members to rescue, castaways and seagulls. There are times you might need to dodge sharks and steer through choppy water to safety.

Boats is an energetic experience that can absorb children from 10 minutes to hours and hours. Some may wish to rock in calm waters and tell adventure stories; others may wish to zoom around and explore. Children choose how they interact with the Harbourmaster, the crew and the landscape, making this a fun, shared family time that everyone can enjoy.



  • Saturday 11 February: 10.30am-12.30pm
    Sunday 12 February: 10.30am-12.30pm, 2pm-4pm
    Monday 13 February: 11am-1pm
  • Boats will take place outdoors, on grass. Please check the weather and bring sunscreen, hats and water bottles.
  • Parliament House Lawns is wheelchair-accessible.
  • There are eight all-gender portable toilets in the area.
  • An accessible toilet is located across the road in the PW1 forecourt.


  • Boats is an energetic experience. Children and families choose how they interact with the performers and the landscape.
  • Boats will take place outdoors in daylight. There will be no bright or flashing lights.
  • Boats does not use amplified sound or music, but there may be noise from participants, performers, and other activities nearby.
  • Polyglot artists will keep watch for any sailors who may need assistance.
  • Polyglot Theatre staff and artists are trained in disability and cultural awareness.
  • Click HERE to view and download the visual story

How to prepare

  • When you come to a Polyglot performance, we recommend you wear comfortable clothing that allows you to enjoy moving. Remember that you have come for an adventure and there are many ways to begin finding your play. You are curious and this space is yours. Just as you might at the beach, do you take your time and dip your toe in to warm up, or do you run and jump right in? The worlds we set up welcome you to take your time and find your own way to your imaginative play; and our performers are there to join you, or play alongside you, and look after these worlds and their inhabitants. See you soon!
  • Water, infants’ bottles and breastfeeding/chestfeeding are welcome, but we do ask that there is no eating in the Boats performance space where possible.
  • A ‘parents tent’ is available at Parliament House Lawns.
  • The nearest place to buy food and drink is across from the lawns in the PW1 Forecourt

Traditionally known as the VIP Kids zone, or the Children’s Area, Parliament House Lawns will take on a new name this coming Festival, Little Sailors Village 

  • The easiest way to arrive at Little Sailors Village is by walking.
  • Parliament House Lawns are approximately 850m from Hobart Bus Transit Centre.
  • Accessible parking spaces and drop-off zones can be found along Castray Esplanade.
  • Salamanca Square Car Park is located at 20 Montpelier St, Battery Point. It is open 7 days a week from 8:30am to 8:00pm, with a 3-hour paid parking limit, and fees between 8.30am-6.30pm.

The 2023 Australian Wooden Boat Festival is FREE four-day festival held across the beautiful Hobart Waterfront. From boats afloat to boats ashore, talks, exhibitions, films, music, demonstrations and family friendly activities — there’s something to float everyone’s boat! And it’s all FREE!

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