Lean into it and head to where it’s colder this winter with a trip to Tasmania.
When we think of winter, we think of big woolen jumpers, fires, misty forests and – well – snow.
But let’s face it, that’s generally not Australia in the winter.
It is somewhat similar though to what Tasmania has to offer.
So pack your gloves and scarves and maybe another scarf get to Tassie for the winter wonderland of your dreams.
1. There are some GORGE-us sites
We promise the much-loved gorge is better than our much-less-loved puns.
Cataract Gorge is 15 minutes from Launceston and a beautiful spot of rocky outcrops, forests and well-kept gardens.
There are hiking trails, a suspension bridge, restaurant and the world’s longest single span chairlift.
2. It has snow, yes snow
Australia might be referred to as a sunburnt country, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t parts of it that know how to chill.
And Tasmania is one of them.
If you visit in the winter there are some key places you’re likely to see the best of the snow.
The key one would be one of Tasmania’s iconic peaks such as Cradle Mountain and Mt Wellington.
But if you want to actually get on a board or pair of skis, Mt Mawson is one of the key slopes to carve up – complete with snow dusted gum trees (the most bizarre sight ever).
3. There’s a thing called the Southern Lights
The Northern Lights might be a pipe dream for most of us – being just a slight trek off to Europe or Alaska.
But the Southern Lights – or Aurora Australias – is a phenomenon very much in our reach, occurring in Tasmania between June to August.
There are some pretty specific conditions you’ll need: a not-too-bright moon on a very clear night. But it happens, this lightshow is something to behold.
Popular spots to view the Southern Lights include Cradle Mountain and Mt Wellington.
4. It feels like the Land Before Time
Yes, the dinosaur movie.
With its lush rainforests of ferns and moss, Tasmania offers hikes that make you feel like you’re walking among the (long extinct) dinos.
Especially beautiful spots include the Tarkine Rainforest or Styx Valley, the latter of which includes an 85 metre tall swamp gum called Gandalf’s Staff.
5. The only beaches you want to visit in winter
Yes it’s a very cold part of Australia and yes that doesn’t exactly sound like beach weather.
But there are a bunch of places in Tasmania where the power of the ocean is truly epic, and even more so when it’s a bit blustery.
One of the key ones is the Devil’s Kitchen. It’s a dramatic 60-metre deep gorge at the coast which gets filled with frothing waves. There’s a reason it got its name after all.
6. Cavernous caves
Beyond the rainforests and rugged coastline, Tasmania’s rock formations inland and underground are also something to behold.
Trowutta Caves State Reserve includes an amazing rugged archway that definitely makes you feel like you’re passing into a fantasy realm.
Marakoopa Cave in Mayberry is also a major Tasmanian attraction, boasting the biggest display of glow worms in the country.
7. The best of modern art
You may have heard of a little modern art festival called Dark Mofo. This festival includes music and contemporary art, and celebrates the darkness of winter.
It’s the opposite of the MONA FOMO festival – which is the State’s summer arts festival.
While COVID has thrown both of those festivals into uncertainty, there are plenty of permanent centers of modern art in Tasmania, including MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art.
Check the site for which exhibitions you’re interested in, you could see painted or sculpted work, light shows or pieces you couldn’t even imagine.
8. Island hopping in the cold
It’s not your Greek cruise kind of island hopping, but it’s no less beautiful.
One of the most famous and popular is Bruny Island. You may have seen the photos of the thin stretch of land with water on both sides AKA “The Neck”.
With views like these it doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, it’s nothing short of a must-see
9. High up views
As you may have guessed, Tasmania has many amazing peaks – a few of which we’ve already mentioned.
Cradle Mountain particularly is beautiful, especially because the surrounding national park is a World Heritage Area.
But there are also some amazing bays you want to get on top of for a huge 180 degree view of the ocean.
The absolute top spot is wineglass bay (looks like what it sounds like), in Freycinet National Park.
You can drive the roads that give you a pretty good view, or – for the fittest among us – take the half day hike to the tallest view point.
10. Wine, wine and more wine
Tasmania is one the country’s premium .
With it’s cool climate, it’s well known for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
There are four main wine trails in Tasmania to explore – one on the east coast, two in the north and one in the south.
Sipping a glass of your new favourite red or white by a wood fire (a staple feature in many Tasmanian wineries) will show you the definition of a winter wonderland.
All images supplied by Tourism Tasmania
Explore more of Tasmania
- Tasmania’s Wild West: Corinna Wilderness Experience
- Penguin Paradise: Tasmania’s Private Island Escape
- How To Keep Your Cool At Tasmania’s Bay Of Fires
For further Australia travel inspo on SoWhereNext.com.au