100 reasons: South
Walk through towering forests, catch nuyina/Aurora Australis and experience exquisite eateries in Nipaluna/Hobart. Plus much more.
This article is part of our 100 reasons to stay in Lutruwita/Tasmania this winter guide, created in partnership with Tourism Tasmania. This articles explores the 25 best reasons for the South.
1. Mull it over
On a winter’s morning the dark waters of the Huon are often glassy and misted. Sounds a bit nippy, but you can enjoy this scene from the enclosed cabin of a vintage vessel while cradling a complimentary cup of mulled cider. Now we’re talking. Huon River Cruises’ vessel, La Drone, takes up to 12 passengers on 90-minute trips from Castle Forbes Bay. This part of Taluna/Huon River is within South East Nation.
2. Branch out
Styx Tall Trees Conservation Area, near Maydena, protects forest supporting the tallest flowering trees on earth: Eucalyptus regnans or mountain ash. Today, less than 15 percent of these types of eucalyptus forests remain in Lutruwita/Tasmania. So gather your nieces and nephews, your kids and your grandkids, and take them there to appreciate not just the wow factor of these environments but their essentialness. Styx is on Big River Nation.
3. Slow to island pace
Four-kilometre walks are big on Bruny. One is to the dolerite magnificence of Fluted Cape and another through the rainforest of Mount Mangana to the island’s highest point of 571m. Grass Point Track is in South Bruny National Park, as is the island’s longest trail (18km) around Labillardiere Peninsula. Check ferry timetables for super saver tickets. On Lunawuni/Bruny Island, you’re on South East Nation.
Members can save on Pennicott Wilderness Journeys through ract.clubconnect.com.au. T&Cs apply.
4. Track and field
Waterfalls in the rainforests of Mount Field National Park, such as Horseshoe and the fully accessible Russell Falls, can thunder down in winter. For something completely different, drive the 16km unsealed road up to Lake Dobson and walk into the alpine heathland via the ski fields. If the weather is suitable, continue hiking to the string of frozen glacial lakes on Tarn Shelf. When you’re at Mount Field, you’re on Big River Nation.
5. Village people
Richmond has oodles of Georgian architecture, as we know, but also a market every Sunday. “Only highquality handmade local products,” says organiser Gerard Webb. There’s often a food truck and Dave the harpist performing. Stay at Aquila’s adults-only off-grid glamping, which has wood-heated cabins and an equal-access ecotent. Stay two or more winter nights and receive Coal River Valley pinot noir, cheese and chocolates. Richmond is on Oyster Bay Nation.
6. You belong to the city
Get a fresh perspective of your capital on takara nipaluna (walking Hobart), a 90-minute equal-access experience by Blak Led Tours. Joining the ranks of Salamanca Market and Farm Gate Market is Hobart Twilight Market at Sandy Bay and Franklin Wharf on certain Fridays. Upriver, at Piyura Kitina/Risdon Cove, there’s a new one-hour tasting tour called kipli takara (bush foods walk). When in Nipaluna/Hobart, you’re on South East Nation.
7. Tarn good day
On Hartz Peak Track, when snow has settled on the alpine heathlands, emerging from the trees into the open landscape is like walking from the wardrobe into Narnia. Pop something warm in a thermos to have at Lake Esperance or Ladies Tarn. Peak bagging Hartz Peak is more a summer activity unless you’re prepared for sub-zero howling-gale conditions from the pass. When in Hartz Mountains National Park, you’re on South East Nation.
8. Do go chasing waterfalls
Not far from the telephone box at the Besser-block community hall in Pelverata is a well-marked turn-off up an unsealed road to the trailhead for Pelverata Falls. Park and walk for about 3km alongside paddocks and through the bush to a lookout onto one of the longest waterfalls on the island. They cascade over a 114m dolerite cliff into the gorge so, after decent winter rainfall, prepare to be blown away on South East Nation.
9. Take it to the edge
Cockle Creek is the southernmost point of Australia’s public road network. An 8km trail leads you into Southwest National Park and through eucalypt forest, ferny gullies, open grasslands and stands of trees. This is the eastern end of the South Coast Track. Eventually you’ll cross a creek, smell the sea and emerge at black shale cliffs. Cockle Creek, on Laylatiya/Recherche Bay, and South Cape Bay are part of South East Nation.
10. Ewe should try this
Grandvewe and Hartshorn Distillery in Birchs Bay have a treat for you this Off Season. The experience starts with a guided sheep-cheese and sheep-wheyspirit tasting. After that, you choose a blank 500ml bottle of vodka or gin, sit down with a hot beverage and your complimentary Hartshorn Distillery beanie, and decorate your take-home bottle. This one-hour tour is equal-access. In Birchs Bay you’re on South East Nation.
11. Drink in the view
Bangor Vineyard Shed in Dunalley is family-friendly, wheelchair-accessible, pet-friendly (outside only) and carbon-negative. “Our food is sourced from the land and sea around us,” says owner Matt Dunbabin. This winter, Bangor is offering a black-glass tasting – a 40-minute food and wine experience in a private room, designed to heighten and challenge your senses of taste and smell. Book online or on arrival. While in Dunalley, you’re on Oyster Bay Nation.
12. Take the long way home
Who knew that the 176km Midland Highway was called ‘the main road’ or ‘Hobart Road’ back in the day? It’s also called Heritage Highway for tourism purposes. Names aside, it’s our main north-south intercity commute route, but have you ever driven it for pleasure? Imagine dedicating a whole day or weekend to stopping at the little towns and villages you usually fly past, like Longford, Conara, Tunbridge and Jericho.
13. Tier it up
Before Snug River pours off a cliff, many other tributaries feed into its flow so, in the Off Season, it can be pumping. After rain or snow, the 2km track down to Snug Falls can be slippery so take care. Expect to cross paths with Snug locals and their dogs. It’s not a long walk but there’s no reason you can’t take your thermos and have a nice warm cuppa. This area is part of South East Nation.
14. See the light
Catching sight of nuyina/Aurora Australis – the southern lights – isn’t something you can count on but you can be proactive in seeking it out. The deeper it is into winter, the later it is at night, the further south you are, the bigger the skyscape and the higher the geomagnetic activity – there are apps for that – then the greater your chance of witnessing nuyina.
15. Head in the clouds
The eroded dolerite intrusion overlooking Nipaluna/Hobart is magical in winter. At 1271m above sea level, seasonal snow often falls on Kunanyi/Mount Wellington, though when Pinnacle Road closes, you can still hike and bike along roads and tracks. At The Springs, halfway up, drink hot chocolate under a blanket around the fire at Lost Freight Cafe. Pakana woman Theresa Sainty tells us “Kunanyi was one of the first place words we revived”. The mountain is on South East Nation.
Members can save on Mount Wellington Tours through ract.clubconnect.com.au. T&Cs apply
16. Get a taste for something new
Even if you live in Nipaluna/Hobart, there are probably many places you haven’t eaten at yet because you’ve got your favourites. Understandable, but you should go to Moonah for Afghan cuisine at Zafira. The kabuli pulao is winter comfort on a plate. Also in Moonah you’ll find Nepalese restaurant Chulesi and the warm and welcoming Nara Thai. In Nipaluna/Hobart, you’re on South East Nation.
17. Be on the lookout
Nununi woman Trukanini (1812-76), is honoured and remembered with a lookout in her name on her homeland of Lunawuni/Bruny Island. Truganini Lookout, at the island’s isthmus or The Neck, is a 20-minute drive from the ferry terminal. It’s nearly 300 steps up to a memorial plaque and views in every direction. Down at sea level are muttonbird and penguin rookeries to visit (only use red torches to view the birds). This is South East Nation.
18. Road to somewhere
When Strathgordon was built in 1969 it rained every day for six weeks. Not a surprise as it rains on average 300 days a year there. Also not a problem because, near the end of scenic 119km Gordon River Road, you’ll find the fire-warmed Pedder Wilderness Lodge serving hot meals and warming spirits. Where the road terminates at Gordon Dam you can traverse the 140m-high wall. In this area, you’re on South West Nation.
19. Fall for seclusion
If you’re in the Mount Field area without a Parks Pass or you want to see waterfalls in a natural setting but without the infrastructure or other people, it’s a 45-minute walk from the carpark in Tyenna to Marriotts Falls. Mid-year, the track can be quite muddy and there may be fallen trees across the rainforest trail. In that area, you’re on Big River Nation.
20. Hunt for treasure
There are more antique stores in New Norfolk than you can throw a convict-made brick at. Start your antiques journey somewhere manageable like 20th Century Artifacts and work your way from there through the rest of the town’s antique stores. For time out, have coffee at the exquisite Black Swan Bookshop (closed Tues and Wed). Wulawali/New Norfolk is on Big River Nation.
21. Just cape walking
While winter can be the best time for hiking here at lower altitudes, tenting can be brutal. Three Capes Track, in Tasman National Park, is a four-day/three-night Parks and Wildlife hut-based route to the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest sea cliffs. When you’re visiting Tukana/Tasman Peninsula you’re on Oyster Bay Nation.
22. Get tunnel vision
Maingon Bay Lookout, south of Port Arthur, is an accessible viewing platform close to the car park from where you can scan the bay for migrating whales. There are more than 100 steps down to another viewing platform for Remarkable Cave where, on an incoming tide with decent swell, you will get sprayed. If that leaves you wanting more, walk to Maingon Blowhole (90 minutes return). While travelling Tukana/Tasman Peninsula, you’re on Oyster Bay Nation.
23. Karst your eyes
Junee Cave and State Reserve are just a few kilometres from Maydena. Take an easy 10-minute walk along a forestry road and a stunning rainforest track to the entrance of the cave. Here, Junee River surfaces after a 30km subterranean journey through nearly 300 caves. Fun fact: Australia’s deepest known cave is here in Niggly-Growling Swallet cave system. Around Maydena you’re on Big River Nation.
24. Winter springs
A short walk from Hastings Caves Visitor Centre can see you lolling in a thermal pool surrounded by tree-ferny forest. At 28 degrees Celsius it’s not hot but, on a chilly day, far warmer than the air temperature. Nearby are picnic tables and an open fire in an undercover area where you can warm up afterwards and relax over a barbecue lunch. Hastings Caves State Reserve is part of South East Nation.
25. Live on the land
Curringa Farm is a 300ha property in Hamilton that owner Tim Parsons says is “much more than the typical hobby farm”. There’s cottage and studio accommodation, including equal-access Blue Wren, and you can get barbecue hampers or self-cater. Stay two nights or more this winter and receive a $35 bottle of wine or lanolin hand cream. Around Hamilton, where Lukina Minanya/River Clyde flows, is Big River Nation.