29 May, 2019

Winter wonders await indoors, from galleries and museums to games old and new

Step inside and discover some of the island state’s hottest experiences during the colder months.

Tasmania’s famous for outdoor attractions, but a cold, wet or windy day is the perfect opportunity to discover what’s behind a few closed doors. In fact, winter’s ideal for exploring everything from Mona to the National Automobile Museum, watching the centuries-old sport of kings, and admiring nature through day-spa windows.

Explore museums and art galleries

Mona’s old and new art and numerous eating and drinking pleasures make it a Hobart essential, but many other museums and galleries await in the capital. There’s a whole world to explore at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, from colonial art to the permanent ningina tunapri exhibition exploring Tasmania’s Aboriginal cultures. Hobart‘s other notable cultural institutions include the Transport Museum, Maritime Museum, and Mawson's Huts Replica Museum, which offers a window onto early 20th century Antarctic exploration.

Mawsons Huts Replica Museum
Mawsons Huts Replica Museum

Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery is full of fascinating objects and experiences – don’t miss the planetarium! – but Tassie’s second city also boasts the National Automobile Museum and Launceston Tramway Museum. Elsewhere in the state there’s everything from the Australian Fly Fishing Museum to the Pooseum, which has fun with the science of poo.

QVMAG (Image: Queen Victoria Museum Art Gallery)
QVMAG (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett)

Indulge at a day spa

What better way to escape winter’s chill and enjoy your getaway than being pampered in a cosy day spa. From city to sea there are many to choose from, including Cradle Mountain Lodge’s Waldheim Alpine Spa, where the wilderness views may well be draped in snow during winter. At Saffire Freycinet lodge, the sea air might inspire you to try the day spa’s organic salt scrub, while touring the Tamar Valley’s wineries could lead to the Vinotherapy Renew treatment at Barnbougle resort east of Devonport. It uses the wine-making process’ grape residue to exfoliate, cleanse and nourish skin. Hobart’s hot spots include the luxurious Savoy, Quay and endota spas.

Waldheim Alpine Spa at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge (Image: Laura Helle)
Waldheim Alpine Spa at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge (Image: Laura Helle)

Enjoy games old and new

If the weather’s against you, consider getting the gang together for the brainy fun of an escape-room challenge. Hobart’s Evolo and Escape Tasmania in Launceston both have three differently themed rooms to test your powers of observation and problem solving. Good luck!

Or enjoy a surprising blast from the past at the Hobart Real Tennis Club, one of the southern hemisphere’s oldest sporting clubs. Watch the centuries-old indoor sport of real, or royal tennis, which inspired all racquet games. There’s always action on the court, whether for matches or practice, and visitors are welcome.

Evolo (Image: Evolo)

Frolic at a festival

Dark Mofo isn’t the only cultural festival heating things up during the colder months. The annual Devonport Jazz on 25-28 July will have everyone tapping their toes if not on their feet getting into swing dancing – this year’s festival features several swing bands, plus swing-dance classes with no experience or partner required. Other Devonport Jazz highlights include trumpet great James Morrison and The Syncopators Tribute to Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong.

Take a cave tour

Mole Creek Caves south of Devonport is among nature’s best ‘indoor’ experiences, with a constant temperature similar to a typical Tasmanian winter’s day and no wind or rain. What wonders you’ll see on the guided tours, including crystals, stalactites, stalagmites, colourful limestone shawls, reflecting pools and, in Marakoopa Cave, Australia’s biggest glow-worm display. There’s also Gunns Plains Caves not far away, and the Huon Valley’s Hastings Caves State Reserve, where you can soak in a thermal spring pool too

Mole Creeks Caves (Image: Cam Blake)
Mole Creeks Caves (Image: Cam Blake)


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

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