21 December, 2022

A Christmas holiday in Tasmania you’ll never forget

Put these experiences on your itinerary for a Christmas holiday in Tasmania you’ll never forget.

Happy holidays don’t just happen, so start planning Christmas 2023 in Tasmania now. From the year’s best markets to a horse-drawn carriage ride with jingle bells, and what could be Australia’s most coveted Christmas Day cruise, we’ve gathered some of the festive season’s ultimate experiences. Be sure to book early!

World Heritage Cruises. Photo: Tourism Australia

Christmas cruise to wonderland

Make your holiday unforgettable with a day cruise on the Gordon River, where the mirror-like reflections of sky and lush, temperate rainforest are genuinely jaw-dropping. Consider treating yourself and your loved ones to the premium viewing and dining options offered by Gordon River Cruises or World Heritage Cruises.

Gordon River Cruises has a tour on Christmas Day, when their usual feast goes next level with the chef on hand to carve festive favourites like roast turkey and ham. It’s never too early to book the 25 December cruise, which is usually sold out by mid-year.

Heritage Horse Drawn Carriages. Photo: Tourism Australia

Jingle all the way

Taking a tour of Hobart’s historic heart with Heritage Horse-Drawn Carriages is a special experience any time of year, but leading up to Christmas it’s even more magical. Their newly but very traditionally hand-built shiny black carriage with crimson detailing and upholstery looks better than ever dressed in festive finery. That includes authentic American jingle bells, which chime merrily with every step of the two handsome horses drawing you through the streets like royalty.

Sirocco South. Photo: Website

Forage and feast

Foodies love a foraging tour, but with Sirocco South it becomes an indulgent gourmet experience with a five-course lunch – including matched wines introduced by a local expert no less.

After foraging for native foods and wild cousins of more familiar imported ones, step across to a seaside marquee for a meal prepared by your guide-chef. Just-found ingredients like wild greens are on the menu, as well as the best local produce. For December’s tours, including some just before Christmas, abalone harvested by Aboriginal fishers is a highlight.

Harvest Market Launceston. Photo: Tourism Australia

Tasmanian Holiday markets

There’s no better time to hit Tasmania’s markets than in the lead-up to Christmas. This peak period means more stalls offering more amazing food, drinks, gifts and souvenirs, plus cheery holiday decorations and entertainment too.

Look beyond the iconic Harvest Launceston and Salamanca Market. Others include Hobart’s Twilight Market and Farm Gate Market, and great regional options in places like Bream Creek and the heritage town of Evandale (this Sunday favourite has pony rides!). There are also December pop-ups like the Tassie Makers Market, and historic Narryna house’s annual Christmas Spirit Market showcasing Tasmanian distilleries.

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Bridestowe Lavender Estate. Photo: Luke Tscharke

Lavender fields forever

The world’s largest privately owned lavender farm becomes a divinely scented purple vision for two months each year, with Christmas usually peak season at Bridestowe. Feast your senses, get the perfect photo of row upon curved row of lavandula angustifolia stretching to the hills, then relax in the indoor-outdoor cafe. Lavender adds extra joy to many menu items, including ice-cream. The shop has Christmas gifts galore, from lavender-infused honey and jams to plush mauve teddy bears.


Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Website

More festive favourites

Join the locals at popular annual events like Spreyton Cider Co’s Christmas Eve Music Festival. It’s a big day of traditional and contemporary ciders, apple juice, food stalls and vans, live music and fun for kids, like face painting and a farm-animal nursery.

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s much-loved mid-December Christmas concert always offers an uplifting program of festive music, including traditional carols led by the TSO Chorus. The audience is warmly welcomed to join in on the most crowd-pleasing songs – it’s your chance to say you sang with one of Australia’s top orchestras!

Find out more about Spirit of Tasmania's new Victorian home, Spirit of Tasmania Quay.


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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