Why Winter Is the Best Time to Visit Tasmania

Best things to do in Tasmania in winter

Tasmania is one of Australia’s best winter destinations. Though the state offers plenty to do in the rest of the year, it’s in winter that it really shines. From the start of June ‘til end of August, you can catch a glimpse of the southern lights, join in one of the many winter festivals and, if you’re lucky, maybe even see some snow.

Whether you’ve already booked to visit Tassie this winter and are wondering what to do while there, or you’re contemplating booking that trip and needing to see some potential activities to be convinced, you’re in the right place. Ahead, we’re sharing some of the best things to do in Tasmania in winter. Bundle up and let’s get into it.

See the Southern Lights

The island of Tasmania is generally considered one of the best places to see the southern lights, also known as aurora borealis. While you have a chance of seeing the lights anywhere within the state, Bruny Island and Satellite Island are two of the most popular viewing places, as they’re both away from city life and so less polluted.

Best place to see Southern Lights
Image: Getty Images

They can also be seen in Hobart, with your best chance from the city’s highest peaks, like Mount Wellington. They can also be spotted in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Mount Nelson and Bathurst Harbour in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Embark on a Port Arthur Ghost Tour

Port Arthur is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, featuring 30 convict-made buildings, including prison wards, sentry boxes and guards’ homes. The prison was built by the 12,500 inmates it housed, all of whom weren’t allowed to speak and had to wear head masks while exercising.

Port Arthur Ghost Tours run year-round, but it’s in winter that it’s particularly spooky. It’s a 90-minute, lantern-lit tour on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 5:30pm and 7:30pm.

Celebrate at Mid-Winter Festivals

Held in Hobart, Dark Mofo is easily one of Australia’s best-known festivals. It’s a celebration of darkness, running for 10 days every June. Events include Winter Feast, the Mona Gala and the Nude Solstice Swim, which sees folks of all ages swim snaked in the Derwent River. Be sure to book your Hobart accommodation far in advance as most hotels book out.

Whats on at Dark Mofo 2023
Image: Dark Mofo

Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival is another Tassie winter festival. Held in July, it celebrates the region’s apple-growing history, including wassailing. Festival of Voices is also on in winter, starting at the end of June and running until the start of July. Inspired by the age-old tradition of gathering around a fire, it’s centred on the transformative power of singing.

Warm Up at Tasmanian Whisky Week

Tasmania’s large, unspoilt areas of ancient forest, along with its unpolluted water, cool climate and pure air make it the perfect place to produce whisky. For one week every year, usually in August, the state honours the achievements of its distillers at Tasmanian Whisky Week. Over 15 events are held in the north and south of the state, with more than 40 distilleries participating. The finale is The Tasmanian Spirit Showcase, held in Hobart.

Go Truffle Hunting

Tasmania has some of the cleanest air in the world and regular snowfalls, ideal growing conditions for Tasmanian black truffles. While truffles can be harvested in winter and summer, in Australia, truffle hunting in winter is more popular.

Image: Truffles of Tasmania

Tasmania has several truffle farms and tours, including Truffles of Tasmania, Perigord Truffles of Tasmania and Tasmanian Truffles, home to Australia’s first black truffle. Truffle hunting usually lasts about two hours and allows you to harvest truffles before tucking into a truffle-themed meal.

Stroll the Enchanted Walk

Enchanted Walk is one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks, a 20-minute circuit that gives a taste of Cradle Mountain. In winter, trees in the area are usually snowcapped, giving the walk an otherworldly feel. Start near the bridge crossing of Pencil Pine Creek and walk along a creek, looking for colourful fungi, pademelons and wombats on the way.

Related: Tuck Into Bed Post-Sipping and Swirling at These Tasmania Winery Stays

Related: Tasmania’s Home to 867 Walks, But These 10 Are the Most Popular — For Good Reason

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