Times are tough for travellers. But with the world preparing to reopen in 2021, we’re here to keep you dreaming and planning for your next adventure – whether that’s a staycation or flying off to parts unknown. Until then, we’ve got the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates to keep you up to date and ready to go.
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Australia’s only island state is a lovely place to visit all year round. But during the Tasmanian Off Season, it’s especially appealing for adrenaline seekers, sports enthusiasts and those just looking for some fun. Here are a few ideas to get you going.
Feel the magic of the Southern Lights
Aurora-spotting and stargazing can be enjoyed in Tasmania whenever you wish, but winter is the prime season.
If you’re eager to witness the Southern Lights, your best bet is to head as far south as possible, away from city light pollution and flare. And don’t forget your camera — with the naked eye, you’re unlikely to see the Aurora Australis’ colourful beauty in full swing.
Where you may see the glittering Aurora Australis (aka the Southern Lights):
- South Arm Peninsula
- Cockle Creek
- Strahan – West Coast of Tasmania
- kunanyi/Mount Wellington
- Huon Valley
Celebrate winter like never before
In Tasmania, winter is something to be embraced, not endured. So the best way to winter like a local is to join Tasmanians in their vibrant celebration of arts, whisky and darker spirits.
Top winter festivals and events in Tasmania:
- Australian Musical Theatre Festival. Launceston, 19-23 May 2021
- Dark Mofo. Hobart, 16-22 June 2021
- Festival of Voices. Various locations, City and Greater Hobart, 30 June-11 July 2021
- Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival, 16-17 July 2021
- Tasmanian Whisky Week. Various venues, Hobart, 9-15 August 2021
- Junction Arts Festival, Launceston, September 2021
Learn something new (and cook up a storm)
There is something about Tasmanian winters that encourage people to explore themselves and acquire new skills. Get your hands on cheesemaking, sourdough-baking, and multi-course prepping at local cooking schools to unlock yet another talent!
Start your soon-to-be chef journey in Tasmania with one of these classes:
- Fork n Farm Homestead, Glengarry
- Provenance Kitchen, Stanley
- The Farmhouse Kitchen, Wattle Grove
- Red Feather Inn, Hadspen
Have some fun with the snowy Tasmanian Off Season
At times, snow falls at sea level in Tasmania, but it’s quite rare. Mountain ranges are much more likely to be covered in white.
You can enjoy lots of snow fun, including tobogganing and snowman making, during a pleasant stroll around Lake Dobson in Mount Field National Park.
The slopes of kunanyi/Mount Wellington also become a magnet for the locals on snowy days.
Discover the wildlife wonders
A top attraction in Tasmania, Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary is internationally known for its wildlife conservation efforts. The admission price includes free daily guided tours during which you can meet a wombat and watch a Tasmanian devil social feeding.
Do not miss out on The Devils @ Cradle! It is a breeding and conservation sanctuary for three of Tasmania’s unique threatened carnivorous marsupials — the Tasmanian devil, the Eastern quoll, and Spotted-tail quoll.
You are also welcome to visit the Tasmanian Devil “Unzoo” on YouTube:
Explore the mesmerising caves
Mole Creek Caves have the same temperature throughout the year. It is +9 °C over there, so wear warm clothes and hiking shoes whenever you visit.
You can take a pick from three different 45-minute long Mole Creek Caves tours to explore this spectacular and unique world. What a memorable experience for all creatures, great and small!
Get a new perspective on Tasmania
Tasmania has some of the most stunning scenery in the world and it’s all contained on a small island.
In just a few hours of driving along the coast, you can feast your eyes with alpine landscapes, rainforest gorges, fast-flowing rivers and velvet dunes. Just imagine how much more you can see from the air on a helicopter flight! And besides, some of Tassie’s national parks are simply inaccessible by car.
Hint: Winter is the best time to fly south-west.
Top 7 Tasmanian Air Tours
- Par Avion provides heli tours from Cambridge Airport, in Tasmania’s south
- Osborne Heli Tours depart from Osborne’s Port Arthur base
- Tasmanian Air Tours specialise in tailored heli-experiences
- Freycinet Air is offering scenic flights over the east coast of Tasmania (Wineglass Bay and Freycinet National Park)
- Cradle Mountain Helicopters, based in Cradle Mountain in Tasmania’s Central Highlands
- Strahan Helicopters specialises in scenic short Strahan Village air tours and longer flights up to 1.5 hours
- Rotorlift air tours, departing from Hobart in southern Tasmania.
Tee off at world-topping courses
Tasmania boasts picturesque and challenging golf courses. Some of them are perched on the edge of dramatic coastlines, some are scattered throughout dunes.
King Island’s Cape Wickham is one of the most distinctive golf courses in the world. The holes are positioned around the magnificent Cape Wickham Lighthouse which was built in 1861 and remains the tallest in the southern hemisphere.
To experience a true golfing adventure, head to Barnbougle on the north-east coast. Here you can stroll among the coastal dunes on the 18-hole public-access links course, The Dunes, or challenge yourself to nail it on the 20-hole course at Lost Farm with strategic bunkering, undulating greens and wide fairways.
Hint: From April 2021, Bougle Run, the brand new 14-hole short course at Barnbougle, is open for play. Apart from stunning courses, Australia’s premier golf destination offers luxury lodges, a day spa, and a restaurant atop a dune overlooking Bass Strait.
Other top Tasmanian courses include Ratho Farm within an hour’s drive from Hobart (the oldest one), Tasman Golf Club near Port Arthur, Kingston Beach and Claremont in the south, Launceston Country Club in the north, as well as Devonport and Ulverstone in the north-west.
Enjoy cellar-door hopping and get all botanical with DIY spirits
You’re welcome to treat yourself at the Tasmanian family-run wineries. The island’s cellar doors open the way to cosy restaurants with oven-baked pizza and house-made grappa for a warming tipple.
Open your heart to some winter-warming wines
When it’s cold outside, Tasmania’s famous cool-climate pinot noirs taste even better. Make sure to check out these cellars and vineyards:
- Holm Oak Vineyards, Rowella, Tamar Valley
- Pooley Wines, Richmond, Coal River Valley
- Clover Hill Vineyard, Pipers River wine region
- Velo Wines, Legana, Tamar Valley
- Freycinet Vineyard, Apslawn
- Clover Hill, Tamar Valley
- Stefano Lubiana, Derwent Valley
- Pipers Brook Vineyard, Pipers Brook
- Craigie Knowe & Cellar Door, the oldest vineyard on the Freycinet Coast
Rather than just tasting, distil your own bottle on a gin-blending masterclass! And if you’re feeling like something more than just a bottle, simply buy and fill a personal whisky barrel at Old Kempton Distillery.