The big chill
If you visit Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park in winter there’s a greater chance of seeing snow and wombats than at any other time of year. Not because wombats get out more in winter, but because they’re much easier to spot against a white backdrop.
On your bike
Due to popular demand, Blue Derby Pods Ride is peddling its three-day experience right throughout winter. This fully supported mountain biking and eco-accommodation adventure in the north-east is perfectly set up for the crisper months.
Riding warms you up and cold weather keeps you alert.
The communal hub is wood-fire heated, the pods are toasty and there’s hot chocolate on demand, full-bodied wines, hearty meals, drying racks and steaming showers.
Factor in time one afternoon for a session in the Floating Sauna on Lake Derby.
Don’t forget about the wild and woolly west coast. A cottage at Corinna, nestled in bushland, is a great base for day trips to takayna/ Tarkine and Queenstown. There’s also plenty to do at Corinna in the winter months such as cruising or kayaking on the Pieman River. Hot meals are available at the cosy Tarkine Hotel.
Corinna’s Wild Stay Deal, from May to August, is a two-person package that includes three nights in a Queen cottage, breakfast daily, a dinner pack and wine.
Instead of coming to a standstill in winter, Maria Island Walk simply adapts to the season. The two night Winter Escape gets you onto the island for hiking, spotting wildlife and learning about history at a time when annual visitation is at its lowest. Choose to do short walks or longer hikes. Evening meals and overnight stays are in the heritage-listed Bernacchi House. On a clear night you may catch Aurora Australis.
A day on the farm
Pull on your Blunnies, throw on a Bluey and stay at working farm Curringa in Hamilton. This 300-hectare, family-owned property has working farm dogs, 3000 sheep, opium poppies and cereal crops.
The range of cottage and studio accommodation is set in bushland overlooking a lake. For evening meals, you can take your own supplies or Curringa provides barbecue hampers to prepare using the provided cooking facilities or an outdoor gas barbecue. Farm tours can be arranged when booking.
There are many exceptional short walks in the Meander Valley and kooparoona niara/Great Western Tiers region that are accessible year-round, including Westmorland Falls, Liffey Falls and tulampanga/Alum Cliffs – a sacred place to the palawa First Nations people. Up on the Central Plateau, a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk winds through gnarly pencil pines to Pine Lake. For a hike that’s equally challenging and rewarding, Meander Falls Track is 10 kilometres return.
Stay at Mole Creek’s Wandering Trout – a small-batch craft brewery with a tap house serving superb tacos. Glendalough, in Deloraine, is an Edwardian homestead offering accessible facilities. At Cedar Cottage in Meander, enjoy the hot tub and mountain views.
Sweet & salty
Sleep beside the Inglis River at Coastal Pods Wynyard on the north-west coast. These well insulated, up-cycled shipping containers share an outdoor fire pit and offer north-facing decks. Port Pod has been carefully designed with ramped access. Within easy reach are fish and chips from Wynyard Seafoods on the Wharf and the riverside boardwalk.
For a day out, head west to Sisters Creek for morning tea at Cuppa, Cake & Collectables. Go inland to Mawbanna to one of Tassie’s oldest family-owned commercial apiaries, Blue Hills Honey, where the on-site Colony Cafe serves truffle-infused toasties and mead. Carry on to see the Big Tree and hexagonal basalt columns of Dip Falls.
On a cold day in Hobart, visit kunanyi/Mount Wellington to see what the mountain has prepared for you. You may be able to drive to the Pinnacle or, if there’s ice and snow, park at the Springs and walk in a winter wonderland.
Hobart festivals and events run throughout winter. The new Home HEARTh Market, every second Sunday at the Long House, is hosted by Nayri Niara. It unites First Nations people’s ancient knowledge with modern innovation of all practices and cultures to show what’s working in the world. Take your appetite.
Alabama Hotel has a groovy retro lounge thing going on for afternoon drinks. Hang out on the docks at MACq 01. Book ahead for dinner at Templo or Bar Wa Izakaya. On cold evenings Preachers has music blasting and an open fire roaring.
- The state’s winter conditions, especially at higher altitudes, can affect best-laid plans, so keep an eye on the weather and always have a Plan B up your windproofed sleeve.