The Tasmanian Highlands Gathering

There’s a new Highland Gathering in Tasmania and yes, it’s being held in the central highlands of Tasmania where it should be. Many of the early Scots who came to Tasmania in the 1800’s gravitated to the Central Highlands because it reminded them of home. There was a soft launch earlier this year and it proved so successful that it’s now going to be an annual event held each year on the last weekend of February. The concept for a Scots/Celtic gathering in the Highlands of Tasmania came about when three MacGregors of ‘good repute’ got together over dinner to discuss ideas on how they could get kinfolk back into the highlands to recognise and acknowledge the input early Scottish immigrants (and possibly some Irish and Scottish convicts) had in the formation of Tasmania.

James Johns, Frank McGregor and Charles Wooley.

These three likeminded Highlanders who share a passion for music, haggis and a wee drop of that pure and distinctive amber liquid, whisky, agreed that a highland festival was the best solution to replace the annual Richmond Highland Gathering which has sadly folded. When we say MacGregors of good repute, it is tongue in cheek because anyone with a knowledge of Scottish clan history is well aware that Clan Gregor were known as a fierce and warlike clan. However, these three MacGregors who all happen to be members of the Clan Gregor Society will welcome you to the highlands with open arms. James and Andrea Johns are the owners of Miena’s Great Lake Hotel and are the generous hosts of the festival. Charles Wooley is a veteran print and TV journalist best known for his role with 60 Minutes Australia and Frank McGregor is the High Commissioner for Clan Gregor Australia and the Tasmanian Honorary Consul for the United Kingdom.


Then with a clink of glasses and a resounding toast of “Slainte” from these three gentlemen, an idea was born. Did we mention music? There will be music all weekend from Friday night through to Sunday by musicians from Tasmania and interstate. The Tasmanian Highlands Gathering committee is also delighted to announce that a huge drawcard for people who appreciate great musicians will be excited to know that renowned Scottish accordion player and piper David Vernon is flying in from Scotland to perform at the Gala dinner being held on the Saturday night. David is the accordionist in the popular “Spirit of Scotland Show” (Edinburgh’s premier traditional Scottish show), which averages over 250 performances per year.

So, if you are interested in spending a weekend in the Great Lake area of Tasmania known for its natural environment and you enjoy Celtic music, whisky tasting, gourmet Scottish food and scran, pipe bands, fly fishing, hickory golf, dancing, tall tales, kinship and a chance to don your tartan, then attending the Tasmanian Highlands Gathering is the place for you.

This festival weekend in Miena Tasmania is 23-25 February 2024. Please follow the Tasmanian Highlands Gathering Facebook page or email [email protected] for more information.

2 thoughts on “The Tasmanian Highlands Gathering”

  1. Details of planned events for the Highland Gathering 24-25 Feb. Great Lakes Tasmania

  2. Can I have details of the events planned for the Highland Gathering Feb. 24-25
    I don’t follow Facebook . Thank you

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