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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Five Ways to Make Your Winter Trip to Tasmania the Warmest One Yet

For those who prefer to get rosy-cheeked by getting the blood pumping or those who rely on good old fashioned fire-water.
By Stephanie Monteith
May 17, 2019
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Five Ways to Make Your Winter Trip to Tasmania the Warmest One Yet

For those who prefer to get rosy-cheeked by getting the blood pumping or those who rely on good old fashioned fire-water.
By Stephanie Monteith
May 17, 2019
  shares

in partnership with

Winter is an area where Tasmania truly excels. While the rest of the country might shiver through a mild chill or a few rainy, foggy months, the island has the full snow-and-frost experience; the kind you can properly bundle up for in your thickest of woollen socks and jumpers.

Revel in the clear, sharp bite of winter on your skin on a brisk walk with soul-stirring views then thaw by a crackling fireplace with a dram of whisky in hand — Tassie is the perfect spot for getting toasty.  So, we've compiled a guide for making your southern winter jaunt a heart-warming and cosy one.

There's something for everyone — from the irrepressibly outdoorsy to the decidedly indoorsy to folks who crave the convivial warmth of a great big gathering. Whether you prefer to get rosy-cheeked by getting your blood pumping or rely on good old fashioned firewater to do the job, Tasmania is an island of winter-warming opportunities.

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Eagles Nest Retreat and Summer Rain Photography.

STAY SOMEWHERE WITH AN OUTDOOR HOT TUB

Stripping down to your birthday suit in the great outdoors may not sound like an ideal way to get warm, but hear us out. You can luxuriate comfortably in an open-air spa bath at your own private retreat while immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of nature. A steaming, saltwater timber hot tub on the wilderness deck at Aerie Retreat offers a secluded view over Bruny Island and Storm Bay — perfect for eagle-spotting — while the hot tub at Porky Beach Retreat on King Island lets you enjoy a midwinter seaside soak without having to brave the frigid waters. If you yearn for mountain vistas instead, book one of the 'nests' at Eagles Nest Retreat near Cradle Mountain. (Re)treat yourself this winter and make your hot-tubbing a little wilder.

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Dark Mofo festival.

PARTY AT A WINTER FESTIVAL

Nothing's warmer than the collective heat of an enthusiastic crowd; so get yourself to one of Tasmania's great winter festivals. First up is Dark Mofo (June 6–23), the annual revelry of fire, feasting, music and challenging new art that takes over MONA and the city of Hobart. Catch world-class performers and avante garde acts or brave the naked solstice swim. From June 28–July 14, the Festival of Voices in Hobart will be celebrating 15 years as Australia's most significant choral festival, complete with performances, workshops and a huge bonfire sing-along that attracts thousands of revellers in Salamanca. Plus during that time, there's the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest, celebrating the depths of winter with costumes, warm apple cider and plenty of convivial gatherings from July 12–14. And finally, for lovers of firewater, Tasmanian Whisky Week (August 12–18) gives you a behind-the-scenes look, with distilleries opening their doors for tours and events, sharing their stories and offering exclusive tastings.

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Rocky Cape Circuit Track, Rocky Cape National Park by Jess Bonde.

HIKE YOUR WAY WARM IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

If you can't sit still inside and need to sweat out the cabin fever, there are winter-appropriate walking routes throughout Tasmania. The Three Capes Track is a three-day journey with well-appointed, insulated shared cabins along the way, so you don't have to haul along all your camping gear. Guided track walks can also take in the Port Arthur Historic Site, while Rocky Cape National Park has a number of short walks with varying levels of difficulty, taking you along the majestic, sweeping coastline overlooking Bass Strait. For Hobart daytrippers, it's worth heading to the Hastings Caves State Reserve to experience the misty winter forest, bathe in natural thermal springs and explore dolomite caves for a different adventure out of the weather.

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Adventure Bay Retreat.

HAVE AN INDOOR PICNIC BY A COSY FIREPLACE

One of the special joys of winter is getting properly toasty, cosy and rugged up beside a crackling fire. It's the most comfortable way to picnic on some renowned Tasmanian produce in the frosty season, and you have some seriously posh options. Consider Quamby Estate, a 19th-century homestead with an impressive history, unique Anglo-Indian architecture and rooms with private fireplaces — so you won't have to share. On Bruny Island, Adventure Bay Retreat offers self-contained accommodation with wood-fire heating that feels a world away from the city bustle. And for those who want the comfort of the great indoors in the midst of nature, set up your wine and blanket beside a potbelly stove in a safari-style tent at Wingtons Glamping in the Tamar Valley.

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Shene Estate and Distillery's roadside stall by Samuel Shelley.

STOP BY A DISTILLERY FOR A TIPPLE TO SIP LATER

Nothing puts a fire in your belly quite like a dram, and when it comes to spirituous liquors, Tasmania has some of the finest. The historic Shene Estate may channel old-world aristocracy with neo-gothic architecture and polo games, but it also welcomes visitors for tours and tastings of their award-winning spirits — including Poltergeist gin and Mackey single malt whisky. Southern Wild Distillery produces Dasher + Fisher gin from the snowmelt rivers that pass by to create their Mountain, River and Ocean varieties with uniquely local flavours. For some country-style cooking to go with your whisky, head to Old Kempton Distillery for a cellar door experience in a heritage 19th-century coaching inn.

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Top image: Dark Mofo's Winter Feast, shot by Rémi Chauvin.

Published on May 17, 2019 by Stephanie Monteith

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