It’s snowing in Hobart! Winter is indeed here. The mountains are clad in snow, bare branches of deciduous trees droop under the weight of the latest snowfall and snowmen (and women) are being built. Don’t hide inside, there are some fabulous warm places to visit and things to do during winter in Australia’s most southern capital city. Here are 20 things to do when the Hobart weather gods are up to mischief.
1- Wander around MONA
If you’ve never been to MONA it’s a great place to stay warm while being swept away by artistic creativity. Showing currently is Marina Abramovic Private Archaeology till October 5.
2- Take a tasting tour at Lark Distillery
Shelter from the winter chills and warm the cockles of your heart with a tasting at Larks Distillery. It’s one of the cosiest places to hole up in Hobart in winter.
Take one of the tours and learn the secrets of the producers of Tasmania’s original single malt whisky.
Along with the award-winning whisky, spirits such as the unique Quiet Cannon Rum are also gently distilled. Don’t like whisky? Well, there are coffee, beer and cheese platters to enjoy inside the warm Lark Cellar Door & Whisky Bar located on Hobart’s scenic waterfront.
Well, there are coffee, beer and cheese platters to enjoy inside the warm Lark Cellar Door & Whisky Bar located on Hobart’s scenic waterfront.
3- Fly a A737 with Simsation
Soar through the skies piloting a A737 without leaving the ground. You become the pilot on a wonderful adventure to destinations around the world like Hong Kong, Caribbean, Swiss Alps and Hawaii (some a little warmer than Tasmania at present!).
The full-sized flight simulator is complete replica of the flight deck and spectacular scenery accompanies you on your flight.
It’s an all-weather activity with 30-, 60-, 90- and 120-minute packages available.
4- Enjoy a night at the Theatre
Australia’s oldest continually operating theatre, Theatre Royal, was originally built in 1834.
Since opening in 1837 it has provided locals and visitors with theatre, dance, comedy and activities for children.
The beautifully restored building is warm and inviting – perfect to enjoy various performances.
5- Relax and Unwind at Savoy Day Spa
Relax, unwind and rejuvenate with a range of spa and beauty treatments at Savoy Day Spa.
With a heated ozone treated pool, large spa tubs and on over-sized traditional stone Swedish sauna room and therapeutic steam room you’ll soon be forgetting the cold outside.
The spa in Elizabeth Street is open from 9am to 8pm Monday to Thursday, 9am to 9pm Friday and Saturday and 10am to 6pm on Sundays.
6- Stockmans Restaurant
Featuring the finest Tasmanian food and freshest produce, Stockman’s Restaurant is a diner’s delight. This restaurant has a warm and friendly ambience and is situated in the multi-award winning historic Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel. They won a Gold at the 2014 Australian Tourism Awards. Next door is the Baar Bar, which is a great spot for a drink before dinner.
7- Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
For more than six decades, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has been delivering world-class concert performances to Hobart’s locals and visitors. Federation Concert Hall is the home of the TSO and its principal performance venue but they also perform at other concert venues around Tasmania. Check out the programme for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra here.
8- Cook up a winter warmer with Sally Wise
With the surrounding hills covered in snow, you’ll be toasty and warm inside while you learn how to cook under the guidance of cookbook author and regular ABC guest Sally Wise.
A variety of classes are offered: Making and Baking Yeast Goods is coming up along with Slow Cooking and Convict and Colonial Era Cookery.
9- Shop for handmade jewellery at Metal Urges
The crew at Metal Urges produce handmade diamond, platinum and there’s an 18ct gold fine jewellery gallery.
Handcrafted, cut and designed, the four times winner of the national jewellery design competition attracts not only lovers looking for a special piece but also those appreciative of the fine elements and design skills of the jewellers.
You can watch the passionate jewellery artists at work in their studio at Metal Urges (105 Liverpool Street).
10- Explore the life of Mawson and crew
If you think it’s cold in Hobart, spare a thought for the Antarctic explorers. On the waterfront in Hobart, Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum is a timber building where you’ll gain an insight into the lives of these intrepid expeditioners.
Mawson and his team spent two winters living and working in freezing temperatures during the Antarctic Expedition of 1911-14.
The museum is cosy and displays offer a fascinating peek into the lives of the men on this ground-breaking expedition to the most southern continent on Earth. All profits from the museum go towards the conservation of the original huts in Antarctica.
Open April to October 10am to 5pm, November to March 9am to 6pm. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.
11- Indigenous art at ART MOB
Exhibiting an impressive range of Australia’s Aboriginal art and craft from many communities and artists, ART MOB (29 Hunter Street) has rare and exquisite necklaces, baskets, prints and paintings.
The gallery specialises in Tasmanian Aboriginal art, however, artists from around Australia are featured in their exhibitions and collections.
12- Dine in front of a wood-burning oven at Franklin
Keep warm while dining in front of a wood-burning oven at Franklin Hobart. Chef David Moyle has utilised the industrial space to form a chic restaurant and bar. A highlight of the design is the kitchen in the centre of the restaurant and the ten-tonne Scotch oven claimed to be large enough to hold a small cow. The menu changes daily.
13- Explore the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
The second oldest museum in Australia, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, (TMAG) is a top spot to get out of the cold and open your mind to a world of discoveries.
There are fascinating archaeological collections, special displays and exhibitions. Free guided tours are available and admission is free (donations are gratefully accepted).
TMAG is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm and closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.
14- Lunch at Pigeon Hole
The small and cosy Pigeon Hole café located in Goulburn Street, West Hobart focuses on seasonal local produce with a constantly changing blackboard menu.
You’re likely to meet Richard and Belinda Weston who run the café and also own Weston Farm so you are guaranteed beautifully fresh produce and a true paddock to plate experience. Pigeon Hole is open Monday to Saturday 8am to 4.30pm
15- Indulge in chocolate on a Cadbury Tour
Chocoholics of all ages will enjoy a visit to the Cadbury Visitor Centre in Claremont. Sample chocolates, learn how chocolates are made and taste the raw materials used. There’s a retail shop with all sorts of chocolates and delicious goodies.
This wheelchair friendly facility is open Monday to Friday (closed weekends). Did you know? During the war (1939-1945) Cadbury became the official supplier of chocolate to the Australian Armed Forces.
16- Brewing at Cascade Brewery
This is one for adults only! Cascade Brewery is Australia’s oldest continuously operating brewery established in 1824 by ex-convict Peter Degraves.
Situated near Mount Wellington, a five-minute drive from Hobart’s city centre, the brewery serves up a range of beers and soft drinks.
On the two-hour brewery tour you’ll see the process of making beer and taste samples at the end of your tour. The brewery manager’s house is now the Information Centre with a bar and restaurant.
17- Snuggle inside the State Cinema
Snuggle with someone special inside a Hobart icon that has entertained Tasmanians for over 100 years. The State Cinema has an art-deco façade while inside there are eight screens and a cinema and bar on the roof top.
Each theatre is small and can only seat a few people on plush comfortable chairs making your viewing an intimate affair. Many of the films showing can’t be found in mainstream cinemas and films appeal to all age groups.
The State Cinema is located on the northern end of Hobart’s main restaurant strip.
18- Blow the diet at Sweet Envy
Call into Sweet Envy (341 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart) and you’ll discover its more than just a coffee shop. Shelves are stacked with mouth-watering cakes, savoury delights and they serve delicious homemade ice cream too!
The cupcakes are hard to resist. We love the Lemon Delicious and Raspberry Surprise. This little shop with its vintage feel is well worth a visit.
19- Cocktails at the Henry Jones
Australia’s first art hotel, The Henry Jones Art Hotel on Hobart’s waterfront is located within one of the original stone warehouses. Sit back in the IXL Long Bar and gaze at contemporary art while sipping a cocktail.
The bar is open from 5pm Sunday to Thursday and 3pm on Friday and Saturday. There is a restaurant, café and Henry Jones Art Hotel is an iconic place to stay.
20- Gaze at the snow-clad landscape from Mount Wellington
Sheltered within the glass walls of the observation shelter at the summit of Kunanyi (Mount Wellington) winter is one of the best times of the year to gaze at the views of Hobart, the Tasman Sea and heritage-listed South West Park.
The alpine peak is 1270m above sea level and the picturesque views can be spectacular looking over the clouds. Remember to take your camera but there are binoculars available.
Or log onto the Pinnacle webcams installed by the Hobart City Council and take in the views from home. The road is sometimes closed and its best to either call the Pinnacle Road Information Line 6278 0200 or check the Hobart City Council website before driving in winter.
Hobart is a small city with a beautiful harbour and rich history. And in the food department, with its restaurants, cafes, distilleries and other food-related experiences, Hobart punches way above its weight. Just ask Mary McNeill from Gourmania Food Tours and read her excellent interview and find out where and what to eat in Hobart. And if you’re ready to book your Hobart holiday, here are her 10 tips for visitors to the capital of Tasmania.