5 reasons to visit Tasmania in winter
Think of all those good, wintry things: roaring fires, crisp snowy landscapes, bone-warming whisky and hearty food. You can have all of them, every single one, on a trip to the Apple Isle in winter. Why not explore your own backyard this winter break? Here are 5 reasons we think you should head way down south to visit beautiful Tasmania in winter.
1. The culture
When the colder months roll round, Tasmania plays host to one of Australia’s most anticipated cultural festivals: Dark Mofo. Run by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, the 10-day winter celebration features everything from underground concerts to a 3-night ‘Bacchanalian banquet’. Those brave enough can also join the mass skinny-dip at sunrise in Sandy Bay. On from June 12 to 22, this year’s festival will open with an interactive light installation by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer in the night’s sky above Hobart’s Sullivans Cove.
2. The scenery
Keen to set your eyes on some snow? Hit the slopes at Ben Lomond National Park, just 90 minutes from Launceston. The state’s busiest ski village, the national park also boasts Legges Tor, Tasmania’s second-highest peak. There’s plenty of snow to be had at Cradle Mountain as well, although some hiking paths are closed in the winter. Opt for the easygoing circuit around Dove Lake with Cradle Mountain’s jagged peaks looming in the distance, or the more difficult walk that rings Lake St Clair in the south of the national park.
3. The food
Tasmania really is the foodie capital of Australia, and what better time than winter to indulge? From farmhouse Swiss cheeses in Tasmania’s northwest to homegrown truffles along the east coast, the Apple Isle truly is a decadent dish to dive into. There is plenty of fine dining to be had in Hobart, but cast your sights wider for an authentic grassroots experience. Head south for the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival where a day of wassailing – a historic tradition of scaring bad spirits from the apple trees – will be followed by feasting. And, of course, cider from the region’s organic cider house Willie Smith’s will be free-flowing.
4. The weather
This is winter as it should be: cold, crisp and very cosy. Some of Tassie’s most picturesque landscapes take on a rugged outlook in the winter months. It’s the perfect time to visit without the fuss of hordes of tourists and hot weather. Rug up in front of an open fire after a day of whale-watching at Wineglass Bay. Or, huddle close together over a lunch of fish and chips at Dunalley Fish Market, a stone’s throw from Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula.
5. The whisky
There’s no better way to warm up in winter than with a drop of Tasmanian whisky. Head to Hobart’s Sullivans Cove distillery and try its award-winning single malt, an instant winter warmer with its notes of rich molasses, hazelnut and dark chocolate, and recently named the world's best single malt whisky at the World Whiskies Awards 2014. Follow the whisky trail across the state, starting at Hobart’s renowned Lark Distillery and ending at Hellyers Road Distillery in Burnie in Tassie’s northwest. All the sniffing and tasting might leave you with an appetite for one of their famous Hellyers Whisky beef burgers.
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