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Nude swimmers in Hobart celebrate passing of the longest night and end of Dark Mofo

by ZwemZa on June 22nd, 2022

Some of the swimmers said they enjoyed getting out of their comfort zone.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

The air temperature was 5 degrees and the water about 11, but that did not stop about 2,000 swimmers from plunging naked into Hobart’s River Derwent to celebrate the passing of the longest night.

The annual Dark Mofo nude solstice swim is billed as offering “renewal and resurrection” to those willing to strip off outdoors during a Tasmanian winter.

But it may have left some with more of an ice cream headache.

One participant braced for the cold by planning the best technique for the brief dip.

“Or maybe bum down, head up.”

Another swimmer’s philosophy was “feel the fear and do it anyway”.

Participants gathered before first light, huddling in coats and towels before dropping their kit and running into the water en masse.

Two women stand in towels and red swimming caps at the beach with their arms around each other.
Temperley Eva and Stephanie Plain met at the Dark Mofo festival and did the nude swim together.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Cairns resident Temperley Eva said it was the perfect way to end the festival.

However, the chilly water was a new experience.

“Cairns does not have cold water at all … you can’t have a cold shower, it’s lukewarm at best.”

Two people stand on a beach wearing towels and red swimming caps.
Kerry Watson and Colin Sandbach loved the physical challenge and the camaraderie.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

New South Wales tourists Kerry Watson and Colin Sandbach joined the swim after an internet search of the best winter activities on a trip to Tasmania.

Kerry enjoyed challenging her body and stepping outside her comfort zone.

“I think I was the last one out and it was just invigorating and youthful and I don’t want to be old before my time.”

Colin loved the atmosphere and camaraderie.

“Everyone’s in a great frame of mind it’s just like a real party,” he said.

Nude swim manager Gemma Chisholm said the swim’s popularity had grown and many people had to be turned away, with tickets selling out two days after going on sale.

A group pf naked people wearing swimming caps standing in the water at a beach.
Swimmers celebrate the longest night being behind them for another year.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Mofo over for another year

The swim marks the end of the Dark Mofo festival.

The inaugural swim in 2013 almost didn’t happen after police threatened to arrest people for public indecency.

The 2020 swim was cancelled after the COVID pandemic scuttled the festival, which made a return with a shorter program in 2021.

This year’s festival began with a Reclamation Walk around Hobart, acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the city sits.

Tens of thousands of tickets were bought by people from all over Australia, boosting Tasmania’s mid-winter tourist numbers.

ABC News

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