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  • Sydney
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  • Tasmania in Winter: 9 Reasons You Need to Visit During the 'Off-Season'

Tasmania in Winter: 9 Reasons You Need to Visit During the 'Off-Season'

From cosy stays to wild walks and celebrations of art and culture, here are all the reasons why Tasmania in winter hits different.

Kitchen's Hut in Cradle Mountain (Image Credit: @samhbarnard)

Winter is technically the “off season” in Tasmania, but there’s nothing off about the island state this time of year. If anything, winter is the best time to visit Tasmania – the snow, the winter arts festivals, the hygge-centric stays, the food – plus, the added benefit of less tourists and accommodation and flights leaning cheaper.

While some Aussie states get a rude shock when winter hits, Tasmania is set up for the cold. Buildings are well insulated and usually have raging fireplaces, so you won’t feel the chill as much as you’d expect. As for outside, bring a beanie and your Tasmanian Tuxedo (AKA puffer jacket) and you’ll be nice and snug.

Now that we’ve got you considering a break from your overworked mainland heater and booking in a Tasmania in winter trip, here are eight reasons why it is such a must-book destination for these chillier climes. 

Odd Jobs

Swap Out Your Day Job for an Odd Job

There's nothing that'll fix a mid year slump like ditching your day job and heading down to Tasmania for a temporary Odd Job. If you've ever wanted to walk a wombat or become a wine whisperer, here's your chance. You can apply for 'Odd Jobs,' a unique volunteer experience over one to two days that allows you to escape from the office ad immerse yourself in nature.

If you're successful, all expenses for your trip will be paid for, and you'll be given a bunch of quality Tassie produce as a thank you for your hard work. Some of the odd jobs include walking wombats, organising oysters, conducting cave tours and snuffling for truffles. It's a fun, unique break from your mundane every day.

Whale Song Shack (Image Credit: @takeus_withyou)

The cosy and romantic stays

Tasmania is chock-full of gorgeous accommodation, the vast majority of which comes complete with a fireplace. It’s a must in our most Southern state – unlike some parts of the mainland (we’re looking at you, Sydney), Tassie homes are actually built for the cold. Take advantage of cheaper rates and head down for a cosy winter getaway. Spend the day exploring and the evening snuggled up by the fire with a glass of local pinot noir. Airbnbs like Whale Song Shack in the northeast town of Falmouth, The Burrows cottage in Swansea, the iconic Captain’s Rest in Strahan or the secluded Stand Alone cabin near Port Arthur are all tantalisingly toasty options.

Stargazing on Flinders Island (Image Credit: Luke Tscharke)

The out-of-this-world stargazing

There’s no wonder Tassie took up most of your Instagram feed when the Southern Lights put on a show in May – the skies are on another level down in the Apple Isle. Your chances of spotting the Southern Lights (AKA Aurora Australis) are heightened in the winter months, because of the longer nocturnal hours and clear skies with relatively low light pollution. There’s spots all over Tasmania to best see the lights, from kunanyi / Mt Wellington in Hobart and Bruny Island in the south to Stanley and Freycinet in the north. Even if you don’t manage to catch the lights, simply stargazing is magical in Tasmania. Get yourself an Airbnb with an outdoor fire or join a guided night tour – like kunanyi After Dark or the Glow Show night experience in Hobart. 

Freycinet Marine Farm

The oysters and truffles and scallops, oh my

Food is good in Tasmania all year round, but certain delicacies peak in the winter months. Different oysters are harvested in different seasons, and winter oysters are especially big and juicy, because they thrive in colder water – the same goes for scallops and mussels, too. So if you’re a seafood lover, winter is actually the optimal time to indulge. Head to a farm like Freycinet Marine Farm where you can don the waterproof overalls for a tour before enjoying a special Off Season lunch of moules frites.

Another food that peaks in winter is truffles – perfect grated through a warming bowl of pasta or on top of french fries. Hang with truffle hunting dogs at The Truffle Farm for its Winter Warmer Hunt – an arvo of looking for truffles and an evening spent devouring them by the fire pit.

Ben Lomond National Park (Image Credit: Discover Tasmania)

The snow season

Surround yourself with the white stuff in Tasmania, where snow dusts the state’s peaks come winter time. For those adrenalin junkies who enjoy careening down a mountain and après-ski alpine village vibes, Tassie has two ski resorts at Ben Lomond National Park in the north and at Mount Mawson within Mount Field National Park in the south. 

If you just want to be around snow, head to Cradle Mountain to walk in a veritable winter wonderland of frosted terrain and snow-covered peaks. Somehow, this famously beautiful spot gets even more photogenic in the off season.

Beaker Street Festival

The stacked cultural calendar

While the full Dark Mofo festival is having a year off in 2024, a couple of Hobart’s most beloved festival experiences are still going ahead, namely the Winter Feast held for eight nights over a fortnight, and the Nude Solstice Swim in the early AM of June 21.

Although Dark Mofo isn’t in full swing, there’s other winter fests on the calendar. Wille Smith’s Apple Shed in the Huon Valley is throwing its Mid-Winter Festival for the last time, complete with ceremonial burning straw man to wrap it up for good.

Elsewhere, art and science come together for Hobart’s eighth annual Beaker Street Festival in August, vocal cords are warmed up for the capital’s singing extravaganza the Festival of Voices, the night sky’s lt up on the east coast at Bicheno Beams and MONA’s (Museum of Old and New Art) new exhibition Namedropping is launched in style at the MONA Gala on June 4.

Tasmanian Whisky Week (Photo credit: Lusy productions)

The warmth of a whisky tasting

Tasmania produces some of the best whisky in the world – don’t take our word for it, just ask the folks who give out awards for this stuff. There’s loads of distilleries dotted all over the state open year-round, but something about winter and this warming spirit just goes hand-in-hand. Or make that glass-in-hand. Head to one of the island’s more famous distilleries like Lark, Sullivan’s Cove, McHenry or Hellyers Road, pick a small-batch operation or simply time your trip for Tasmanian Whisky Week. Running from August 5th to 11th, it’s a celebration of all things peaty.

St Columba Falls (Photo credit: Jason Charles Hill)

The wild waterfalls

One of Tasmania’s natural wonders also has a peak in winter – waterfalls. Thanks to wetter weather and snow forming and then melting, the island’s waterfalls are particularly impressive this time of year. There’s 50+ of these beauties in Tasmania, ranging from small and bubbling to tall and raging. Try St Columba Falls, at the end of a 1.2km walk in the state’s northeast which has up to five times the normal amount of water cascading down it in winter; or Russell Falls, an easy hike with maximum payoff within the Mount Field National Park.

Clarendon Arms (Image credit: IG @clarendon_arms)

The pubs with fireplaces

As we said earlier, Tasmania is perfectly set up for the colder months, which means its many charming pubs and bars often have a cosy fireplace to park yourself in front of. With lots of venues putting on winter specials like hot toddies and mulled local wine or cider, it’s the perfect sundowner vibe after a long day of chasing waterfalls – you’ll be so toasty, you’ll even ditch the puffer jacket. 

Winter in Tasmania offers a unique blend of experiences that make it an unforgettable destination. From adventurous outdoor activities to relaxing by the fire with a glass of local wine, Tasmania’s winter magic will leave you enchanted and eager to return

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