Image credit: Lusy Productions
Light your fire1/23
Discover the Huon Valley’s magic for yourself during Mid-Winter Fest, when bonfires are lit (and danced around) and a pagan costume competition is held. Also in winter, local favourite The Farmhouse Kitchen hosts Winter Warmers cooking masterclasses in which Giuliana White teaches novices (and know-it-alls) how to transform regional produce with classic Italian techniques.
Image credit: Paul Fleming
Unwind in a white wonderland2/23
Feel the cool kiss of alpine air on your shoulders and take in the dreamy scene as you sink into the steam of a private outdoor hot tub at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge. Set into the deck of the premium King Billy Suite, the wood-clad tub looks out into the frosty bush while, inside, a wood-burning fireplace maintains the cosy mood. At the property’s Waldheim Alpine Spa, treat your warmed self to a 75-minute Sacred Nature Face and Body Ritual that includes a facial, scalp therapy, foot treatment and a neck and shoulder massage.
Image credit: Jarrad Seng
Surrender to the surreal3/23
It’s wild, subversive, creative and iconoclastic – and it takes over Hobart every June. Dark Mofo returns for its tenth year with exclusive exhibitions at Mona, the indulgent Winter Feast, gigs by cult international acts (including Black Flag and Eartheater) and the city’s annual abandoning of inhibitions, the Nude Solstice Swim. Book early, try everything (at least once) and lose yourself in the artistic energy that transforms the Tassie capital.
Image credit: Kylie Bell
Find freedom in farm life4/23
Live the simple life and taste the spoils of bucolic north-west Tasmania’s winter harvest at Compass Hut, a pair of tiny houses on the 34-hectare organic farm where owners Kylie and Tamika Bell grew up. Check into the cosy, minimalist Barnhaus or Arc Pavilion – both petite but perfectly equipped for two – and cook to your heart’s content using produce and recipes from the farm. Plant some Tasmanian native grass in the garden to help offset your footprint as you soak up the space.
Image credit: Josh Firth
Get into the water5/23
Bare-skinned bathers bounding into the River Derwent for Dark Mofo’s Nude Solstice Swim may make headlines but wild winter swimming is a thing all around Tasmania. Brace yourself! There’s the Floating Sauna on Lake Derby, where you can do an invigorating post-sweat plunge; a Wild Wellness Fire and Ice Walk on kunanyi / Mount Wellington that jumpstarts your system with a dip in the North West Bay River.
Dog sled through a valley6/23
Tasmania may not be the snowy land they hail from but with eyes bright, ears back and tongues out, eight enthusiastic Siberian huskies will whisk you through the Huon Valley bush on a thrilling sled ride around the grounds of Rivers Edge Wilderness Camping in Lonnavale from May to Septemeber . The full-throttle Forest Adventure Tour dials up the muddy fun, barrelling along downhill tracks and narrow forest trails and finishes up with big grins, plenty of pats and a rest by the campfire (bookings are essential).
Image credit: Thomas Carpenter
Do a snow day7/23
Ski jackets, pants and boots might not be on everyone’s packing list but a stress-free day playing in the snow should be on everyone’s Tassie winter hit list. Enter Ben Lomond Snowsports, who’ll provide all the gear you need and a ride up the vertiginous Jacob’s Ladder road to scenic Ben Lomond’s peak on a Winter Wonderland Explorer day trip. Between snowball fights, toboggan rides and happy snaps, breathe in lungfuls of clean, alpine air and ready yourself for the hairpin turns on the return drive back to your car parked below.
Image credit: Samuel Shelley
Taste the world’s best (and weirdest) spirits8/23
During Tasmanian Whisky Week in August, more than 30 distilleries across the Apple Isle celebrate the barley-bree in meet-the-maker masterclasses and tasting sessions. Seek out award-winning drams at the Hobart cellar door of pioneering Lark Distillery. To experiment with something next-gen, find single malts influenced by the wind and water of the Derwent Valley at Lawrenny Estate or a maritime-style spirit at Flinders Island’s Furneaux Distillery. For the ultimate Tasmanian tonic, meet Heidi Weitjens at her small-batch King Island Distillery and taste the first-ever garlic spirit made in Australia.
Image credit: Luke Tscharke
Watch the weather on Flinders Island9/23
With more than 100 unspoiled beaches, finding a patch of Flinders Island to call your own isn’t tough. But you can’t beat the private beach that stretches in front of Sawyers Bay Shacks. It’s the perfect spot to witness Tasmania’s wild moods. Through floor-to-ceiling windows, watch storm clouds rush over the tiny islands of Bass Strait while you nurse local red wine by the fire. In the placid conditions of a pinkish dusk, hundreds of wallabies and other local characters come out to graze on the farmland surrounding your hut.
Image credit: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman
Discover underground wonders10/23
The subterranean world comes alive in winter, when rainfall acts as an elixir inside Mole Creek Caves. Spend a day exploring the tunnels and caverns, an hour’s drive south of Devonport, where brimming reflection pools gleam, waterfalls fizz and lush ferns bring green to the gloom. Wild Cave Tours provide all the gear and encouragement (first-timers are welcome), as well as lunch and help with capturing the otherworldly environment on camera.
Connect more deeply with culture11/23
Traversing larapuna / Bay of Fires, the traditional lands of the palawa people, on the four-day wukalina Walk is unforgettable at any time of year. But in the cooler months, the coastal stretches offer incredible rewards. The fireside storytelling by palawa hosts feels richer, the feasts of wallaby and muttonbird are hearty and bedding down in the restored Eddystone Lighthouse Keepers Cottage, which stands on ground that has been a meeting place for 40,000 years, is an extra treat after days in the elements.
Image credit: Lusy Productions
Howl at the moon12/23
If you love belting out hits in the car or serenading an imagined audience in the shower, the Festival of Voices (held annually in July) is for you. You don’t have to be polished – just passionate: the program is packed with workshops to improve your singing technique and even learn new ones, such as gospel and a cappella. For the ultimate release, close your eyes and give it all you’ve got alongside fellow revellers at the Big Sing Bonfire that happens on one joyful night in Macquarie Point.
Image credit: Courtesy Secret Bank Society
Settle in for a cosy stay13/23
Behind a neat brick facade and heavy double doors, a quirky and utterly charming world awaits at The Secret Bank Society in the small town of Ringarooma, amid dairy land a 90-minute drive from Launceston. This characterful former bank sleeps four guests and enchants with its theatrical trompe l’oeil wall in the dining space, collection of historical curios and wood-burning fireplace. If you can tear yourself away, the property is nearby excellent hiking at Mount Victoria and the famous Floating Sauna at Lake Derby.
Do a creative walking workshop14/23
With only the Southern Ocean between you and Antarctica, hiking the Three Capes Track takes you to the edge of the world. Connection with nature is channelled into inspiration on specialised walks that the Tasmanian Walking Company runs on this epic route in winter. On a three-night Women’s Yoga Walk, mindfulness and journalling exercises are led by a restorative yoga expert. There’s also Rewilding Creativity for budding painters led by an artist or a Wild Wellness walk in which you jumpstart your system with cold-water plunges with a Wim Hof practitioner. On each adventure, you’ll unwind at night with a hot shower and three-course feast in the national park’s only private lodges.
Image credit: Jesse Hunniford, Into The Wild
Mountain bike in the dark15/23
Forget racing against nightfall – the mountain biking action ramps up after dark on a guided Night Rider tour of the single-track and cross-country loops surrounding Railton in the state’s north-west. Keep your eyes wide, your wits about you and tune into the sounds of the bush as you bump along tracks lit only by your 1100 lumen bike light. Even in daylight, winter – when dewy conditions tamp down the dust and the crowds – is a great time to do Tasmania’s celebrated off-road trails. Tracks around Derby lead to the Floating Sauna where you can steam your muscles then jump into chilly Lake Derby. If you’re on the north-east coast, stay in a bike-friendly apartment at St Helens on the Bay and skid toward a white sandy beach on the Bay of Fires Trail.
Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Robert Todd Photography
Stargaze from kunanyi / Mount Wellington16/23
During the day, the top of kunanyi / Mount Wellington offers endless views across Hobart and southern Tasmania but it's the celestial sights revealed in winter’s long, inky nights that will really dazzle. Rug up and join the 90-minute Explore the Southern Stars experience, during which you’ll gaze into the dark, guided by a member of the Tasmanian Astronomical Society, or hear Aboriginal cultural stories from a member of the palawa community. Keep warm by the fire with a hot drink and gourmet treats.
See the southern lights from a private peninsula17/23
Just over an hour’s drive south of Hobart, yet worlds away from the hustle of daily life, The Peninsula Experience offers a retreat like no other. On 100 hectares of private land near Dover in the Huon Valley, the two luxury stays – king-bedroom Boat House and three-bedroom Cape House – differ in size and style but share enchanting details: a wilderness setting, views of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and outdoor hot tubs ideal for stargazing. On clear winter nights, the Aurora Australis might appear above nearby Dover Beach.
Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Water by Nature
Raft the Franklin River18/23
The mighty Franklin River snakes through Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park for 125 kilometres, tumbling over rocks, gliding past stands of myrtle and leatherwood trees and rushing through sheer gorges. Fewer than 500 people attempt to raft its length each year and most choose summer. If you want to really push your boundaries, Water By Nature Tasmania will pick you up from Hobart and take you on the seven-day Winter Solstice Trip. Explore caverns at their most ethereally beautiful and ride chilly, challenging rapids. After tackling the river, you’ll refuel with meals made from winter produce and bed down in cosy wilderness camps.
Befriend the bees19/23
Ever wondered what really goes on inside a beehive? Winter is the perfect time to learn about our honey-producing friends, as the colder months mean they’re huddling around their queen in the hive to keep her warm. Book in for The Secret Life of Bees at Campo de Flori farm in the Huon Valley and beekeeper Lisa Britzman will share how these busy creatures produce their sweet bounty. You’ll also learn how to make beeswax products and enjoy hot drinks, honey tastings and a paired food platter.
Image credit: Alfonso Calero Photography
Capture the dreamscape20/23
There’s snapping a memory with your phone camera and then there’s really capturing nature in the moment. On the seven-day, 1000-kilometre guided North West Tasmania tour with photographer Alfonso Calero, you’ll learn to master the light, composition and your tech to photograph the wonders around the takayna / Tarkine rainforest, Strahan and Arthurs Lake. You’ll shoot rushing and reflective water, sunrise and sunset and, after dark, learn the secrets of astrophotography with stellar results thanks to the season’s clear nights.
Image credit: Tayla Gentle
Walk into wilder wilds21/23
When the temperature drops, the beauty of Tasmania’s iconic alpine landscape deepens. And the crowds on bucket-list walking tracks disappear. Do the six-night Overland Track Winter Trek in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and you’ll have spectacular scenery of frozen lakes, fluffy wombats frolicking in the snowfall and snowy summits all to yourself.
Image credit: Alastair Bett
Follow the light22/23
As winter’s end approaches, Tasmanians celebrate the coming of longer days. During the Winter Light festival curated by the Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart, a spirit-lifting program of music, theatre, queer and trans cabaret, yoga and music video screenings shakes off the chill at sites around the city.