Winter is the time of year when Tasmania’s rugged beauty takes on a magical quality. There’s a nip in the air, for sure, but it makes it all the more enticing when you’re rugged up in front of the fire. Here are 20 ideas on what to do in Tasmania in winter.
1-Visit MONA’s Private Archaeology exhibition
See New York-based Serbian artist Marina Abramović’s exhibition at MONA.
Abramović has exhibited in the world’s top galleries, including the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Private Archaeology features photographs, video, objects and sound installations from different periods of Abramovic’s 40-year career.
2-Bang drums at the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival
You haven’t lived until you’ve joined in on a wassailing ceremony to awake the cider apple trees.
Singing, shouting and banging on drums and pots and pans not only relieves stress but you just might scare away an evil spirit or two!
So go on, help Tassie farmers get a good harvest of fruit.
The wassail Queen is lifted onto the boughs of a tree to place toast soaked in Wassail from the Clayen Cup.
It’s a gift to the tree spirits. The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival (July) is an event to remember.
3-Sing your heart out at the Festival of Voices
The festival offers a program of performances and workshops run by artists.
4-Indulge at Chocolate Winterfest
Chocolate and winter seem to fit perfectly together. In Latrobe, near Devonport, there’s a celebration of chocolate (which some cultures value even more than gold).
The richness of chocolate warms up Tasmania’s winter with an indulgent festival that gives chocolate lovers a great reason to visit in August as Chocolate Winterfest is in August.
5-Drink Pinot Noir
A fabulous wine tasting event presenting 30 Tasmanian pinot noir producers and 50 premium Tasmanian pinots is a drawcard for pinot fans.
Pop into the Pinot Shop in Launceston, which specialises in pinot noir. And Stillwater’s The Smell of Winter’ Truffle & Pinot Dinner is always a memorable dining experience.
The star of the event are the Tasmanian black (Perigord) truffles.
6-See the whales
See southern right whales and Humpback whales on their journey north to warmer breeding grounds, from June to August.
Top places to spot whales in Tasmania are on a wildlife cruise from Coles Bay, Great Oyster Bay off the Freycinet Peninsula, off Maria Island and in Adventure Bay on Bruny Island.
7-Sleep at Pumphouse Point
Rug up in front of the fire at Pumphouse Point and watch Mother Nature’s theatrical show unfold before your eyes.
At Lake St Clair, the transformation of the two industrial buildings into a retreat in the bosom of Tasmania’s World Heritage wilderness is pretty special in winter.
8-Snowshoe the Overland Track
It’s a wild adventure to remember and walking through snow, sleet and ice is one of the attractions.
Several companies offer guided winter snowshoe-treks where you’ll stay in cabins and have a chance to climb Cradle Mountain.
9-Learn to make gin
Polish up on your gin making skills by joining a four-hour Bespoke Tasmania Tours workshop at William McHenry and Sons distillery.
Besides learning a bit about gin and the four different kinds produced at this distillery, you’ll get to make your own gin according to your own recipe.
10-Discover the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Wondering what to do in Tasmania if you love museums? Explore the exhibits and galleries in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
It’s a haven for art lovers and there are a variety of artistic and educational exhibits, from the demise of the Tasmanian Tiger to the future of renewable energy in Tasmania through.
There’s a schedule of exhibitions and plenty of knowledgeable volunteer guides who are passionate about various subjects.
11-Learn winemaking secrets on a winery tour
What to do in Tasmania if you’re a wine lover? Take a behind the scenes winery tour and learn the secrets of the wine makers.
Hobart Food and Wine Tour has a Southern Gourmet Safari that takes you to three local wineries and you’ll get to sample Tassie oysters, cheese and fresh bread too.
12-Attend a cooking school
Winter is a great time to treat yourself to your favourite old-fashioned dishes.
A great way to do this is to attend a cooking school, such as Red Feather Inn Cooking School and The Agrarian Kitchen, to rediscover the classic art of braising, stewing, slow cooking, roasting and baking.
Besides learning new techniques and warming up with a fill of comfort fool, you’ll also get to meet new friends.
13-See snow on Mt Wellington
What to do in Tasmania when it snows? You don’t have to go to the snow fields to see snow.
A 20-minute drive from Hobart’s CBD is Mt Wellington, where, when snow falls the mountain becomes a magical winter wonderland.
14-Take a spooky ghost tour of Port Arthur
Winter is the spookiest time to take a ghost tour or paranormal investigation experience of Port Arthur Historic Site.
Darkness arrives earlier and lasts longer.
The weather can be moodier and the chill in the air makes it the perfect time to hunt for ghosts.
15-What to do in Tasmania? Go surfing
Winter is the best time to go big-wave surfing in Tasmania, where there are world-class cold water breaks.
There’s Marrawah, with its Southern Ocean swells, and Martha Lavinia Beach on King Island.
16-Go whisky tasting
Warming up with a tipple is a fabulous excuse to visit Tasmania in winter.
Tasmania has 11 whisky distilleries that are starting to produce world-class single malt whiskies that hold their own on the world stage.
That’s not bad for a fairly new industry. If you love whisky you won’t be at a loss at what to to in Tasmania.
Whisky distillation was outlawed in 1838 and the industry was re-ignited in 1992.
17-Attend an AFL game
The advantage of watching a game in Tassie is the crowds are smaller and you can get up close and personal.
18-Explore the convict trail
The wintery weather and landscape provides atmosphere to the countryside and historic towns, such as Richmond.
Richmond was a military post and prison station after the bridge that linked Hobart and Van Diemen’s Land was constructed in 1823.
You might have missed Dark Mofo (June each year) this year but Tasmania’s premier winter event is worth marking down in your calendar for next year.
Highlights are Hobart’s Winter Feast, which attracts thousands of foodies and the Nude swim, where hundreds of adventurous people (aged 18 to 89) brave the freezing Hobart temperatures to swim naked in the Derwent River to mark the winter solstice.
20-One last thing
We need one more iconic thing to do in winter. Do you have a suggestion on what to do in Tasmania? Please pop a comment below.