05 May, 2021

Five reasons to visit Tasmania this winter

Whisky, fresh truffles, crackling fires, real snow and the Southern Lights. What’s not to like about Tasmania in winter?!

Looking for genuine winter indulgence? We’ve put together five unmissable things to do in Tasmania in winter, because Australia’s southernmost state knows how to turn chilly days and nights into unforgettable moments.

Thousand Lakes Lodge. Photo: Alice Hansen.

1: Get cosy by a fire

Always winter-ready Tasmania loves a good wood fire. They’re all over the island, but some of our favourite places to toast your tootsies include Thousand Lakes Lodge. While relaxing on the lounge’s leather couches, raise a glass to the nine blokes required to install that huge fireplace.

Recently renovated Cradle Mountain Lodge has several, from big stone beauties in public areas like Highland Restaurant, to the suites’ combustion wood fires – they’re better than TV! Industrial-luxe Pumphouse Point offers double delight in their lounge at the end of a pier: a combustion fire against a glass wall overlooking Lake St Clair to the mountains beyond.

The Truffledore. Photo: The Truffledore.

2: Find and feast on truffles

Winter is truffle season. So you might notice the delicious earthy aroma of this rare fungi, freshly harvested from local truffle farms, at Tasmania’s top restaurants. Or you could go straight to the source. A few farms offer seasonal harvest tours led by special truffle-hunting dogs.

Book early for tours at Tasmanian Truffles, Truffles of Tasmania or The Truffledore – who are also open for scrumptious rustic lunches by the fire in their warmly welcoming restaurant. Open from Friday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, the restaurant will tempt you with a seasonal three-course menu starring truffle from starter all the way to dessert.

Jack Lark. Photo: Lark Distillery.

3: Warm up with whisky

What better time to warm the cockles of your heart with a wee dram? This annual festival includes distillery tours, masterclasses and dinners with matching whiskies.

Whenever you’re here though, it’s easy to find tours and tastings, and bars, restaurants and accommodation serving Tassie’s world-beating whiskies.

Top options include the Hobart cellar door/bar of Lark – the island’s legendary whisky pioneer, and Lawrenny Estate Distillery. Located a scenic 60-minute drive from Hobart, Lawrenny is one of the few producers in the world of ‘paddock to bottle’ single malt whiskies. Discover why Sullivans Cove has scored multiple gongs at the World Whiskies Awards, or less famous makers like Old Kempton Distillery, whose whisky and 1842 stone buildings get better with age.

Wallaby in the snow. Photo: Jason Charles Hill.

4: Play in the snow

Winter snow is probably near if not literally on your doorstep down here, especially on the many mountains. Even in Hobart, it’s just a matter of popping up to kunanyi / Mount Wellington to build snowmen and throw snowballs.

Get out of town to places like Cradle Mountain and Mount Field National Park to spot Tasmania’s extra-furry wombats and wallabies in snow-draped landscapes. Try snow-shoeing in these and other elevated wilderness areas – including Overland Track guided treks – or cross-country skiing.

Your best bet for skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing is Ben Lomond National Park, which has lifts, equipment hire, lessons and on-mountain food and accommodation. In the heart of Mount Field National Park you’ll find the smaller Mount Mawson ski field, easily reachable in about an hour and a half drive from Hobart.

Aurora Australis over Cradle Mountain. Photo: Pierre Destribats.

5: Marvel at the Southern Lights

The longer the nights, the further south you go, the more likely you’ll see the Aurora Australis, the Southern Hemisphere equivalent of the Aurora Borealis. That, plus the island’s limited artificial light and air pollution, makes Tasmanian winters your go-to zone for witnessing these otherworldly curtains of light.

When there’s minimal cloud and moonlight, find somewhere with clear views to the south, including mountain peaks and coastal areas. You don’t need to go far from the cities: South Arm Peninsula and Dodges Ferry, both about 40 kilometres from central Hobart, are top spots. Visit the Aurora Australis Tasmania Facebook page for news about when nature’s on your side, and tips about places to watch.


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

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