There’s this special quality to the winter in Tasmania that smooths out some if the island’s rougher edges, giving the air an extra dose of crispness that clears the thoughts and sharpens the sights.
Tasmanians feel a “special something” in the air this time of the year, with diverse activities springing up all around the island, celebrating everything from apple cider to winter solstice, while the clear nights call for stargazing underneath an open sky, and there’s solid chances for the Aurora Australis.
Tasmania’s winter attractions are many, and it would be a shame to limit yourself to just a few. We strongly suggest you take a road trip to explore the affluent winter offerings, and you can even find a transfer car or campervan for free to fulfil your quest. Before you start planning, here’s a list of some of our favourite winter events and activities in Tasmania.
The Cradle Mountain National Park is a must-see Tasmanian attraction at any time of the year, but in winter time everything is emphasized and truly brings out the wonder of the ancient rainforest, with frost covered trees showing their best face.
The entirety of the national park is worth exploring, but if you’re looking for a reader’s digest version, we strongly recommend the Enchanted Walk, a brief guided tour that presents the wealth of natural wonders found in the park and is accompanied by an abundance of information about the wildlife and what we can do to preserve it. Nature lovers will wish to make it a whole day affair, though.
Tasmanian Whisky Trail
Tasmanian whisky is steadily growing into one of island’s most popular global exports, and the Tasmanian Whisky Trail places you straight into the epicentre of the recent boom. Sample some of the region’s award-winning blends, learn about the history and the techniques of whisky production, meet the makers of the divine liquid and explore the terrain responsible for the extraordinary product. If you don’t fancy yourself a whisky connoisseur, we believe you will enjoy the trail, and the brown fuel will add some much-needed warmth to the chill of the day.
Port Arthur Ghost Tour
Experience a dark spot of Tasmania’s history on a thrilling, lantern-lit tour through the historic site of Port Arthur, one of the most infamous penal settlements in Australia. Over years, Port Arthur has gained a reputation as a ghost site, and the tour explores the tales of unexplained mysteries and gory fates as you are led through the dark holes of old abandoned buildings. The eerie effect of the tour is particularly strong in the winter, ensuring that this visit will stick with you long after, especially when the lights are off.
When a museum is described by its founder and owner as a “subversive adult Disneyland”, its annually held winter festival can be no less intriguing. Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) holds two annual festivals that combine music and art, MONA FOMA and its winter edition, Dark MOFO. It takes place over a span of few weeks, with the distinction of all events taking place at night time.
Aside from a rich and eclectic offer of music performances, the festival includes a variety of events culminating with the annual tradition – the Winter Solstice Nude Swim in the nearby Derwent River. Dark MOFO was first held in 2013 and continues to ignite controversy from year to year. During its premiere edition, the police tried to ban the nude swim, but it was eventually allowed to take place, and even the mayor of Hobart took part! In each subsequent year, the festival was able to stir the spirits of the Tasmanian community, and we believe that’s a good thing!
Try to catch as many events as you can and brave the cold waters of Derwent at the dawn of the year’s shortest day, if you’re feeling adventurous. Whatever you choose, we promise it will be fun, interesting and provocative.
These are just some of the examples of the natural and cultural offerings of Tasmania, with dozens more left unmentioned. Consider these a must-see, but make sure you venture into the unknown and let your senses guide you to new discoveries. Keep in mind, learning how to get a free transfer car can make the trip both affordable and memorable. Tassie awaits!