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Thousands expected as tall ships grace Hobart's Derwent

Tall ship

All the pieces are falling into place for Australian Wooden Boat Festival starting in Hobart tomorrow.

Some of the early arrivals are Rite of Passage and HMAS Choules carrying the historic Mistral II which will be restored at its new Hobart home.

The Festival's General Manager Paul Cullen has some recommendations for viewing tomorrow's Parade of Sail on the River Derwent, led by 10 tall ships.

"Good places to see the event are Wrest Point Casino in Sandy Bay, Bellerive Bluff, places on the Eastern Shore. They are unmissable, there are some big ships there. The James Craig making its way down from Sydney and a host of others," Mr Cullen said.

The spectacle begins at 12.30pm.

Organisers say it is not just boat lovers who flock to the festival. It is a photographer’s and artist’s dream and a wealth of information and inspiration for people interested in Australia’s maritime heritage.

"It's a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the almost 500 boats on display," Mr Cullen said.

This year around 50 US and Canadian participants join the festival and they have brought along two 40-foot shipping containers full of unique American boats. In addition, some of these guests have been building a boat in Franklin that will be auctioned off on site and others will be speaking at the International Wooden Boat Symposium hosted by the Australian National Maritime Museum.

The biennial event attracts around 220,000 people to the event.