The crisp night air has arrived and the buzz around Hobart winter is just as palpable. Once a season of hibernation, today it's about festivals, cosy whisky bars and even singing to apple trees. These are our top picks for Hobart and surrounds.
1. Pull up a pew beside The Whaler’s crackling open fire, the same cosy pub whalers returned to from 1829 for payment and an ale. Just make room for the chef to place his fire pot over the flames….slow cooked beef cheeks in red wine anyone?
2. Wrap your mitts around a hot chocolate with a view from Cubed Espresso at Pirates Bay Lookout or Bentwood Coffee on your way up kunyani/Mt Wellington. Both parties deliver warm drinks with rosie-cheeked winter smiles from their mobile outposts.
3. Festivals have re-invented winter here….no more hibernating until warmer climes. Sign up for a Dark Mofo nudie dip or find yourself singing to apple trees at the Huon Valley Midwinter Festival. Both options entirely normal.
4. Snuggle up at one of our boutique stays like Montacute – where fluffy Made in Tasmania throws, open fire and snow-capped mountain views come standard. Well we can’t promise the snow but we can assure a toasty warm welcome and stay. Then there’s the Hayloft, Hobart’s latest city pad, stylish Arthouse Salamanca, 55 Davey, Villa Howden, Henry Jones Art Hotel or Pumphouse Point further afield, designed to showcase Tassie’s wild winter theatrics.
5. What better time of year to sink into a lounge with a nip of single malt made by the Godfather of Australian whisky, Bill Lark. Whisky lounge bars and new distilleries are popping up all over and Drink Tasmania can take you to those beyond the capital including None Such, McHenry Distillery, Shene Estate and more. Gourmania Food Tours also do a great breakkie tour that includes a sneaky visit to Lark.
6. Find yourself in an old school house! Head for the hills of Lachlan and under the watchful eye of Agrarian Kitchen’s Rodney Dunn learn the art of Winter Braising or Cooking with Truffles. Beyond the south, of course there are other wonderful cooking school options including Kiss A Fish and Red Feather Inn.
7. Rough it in a rustic hut! For around $10, toast marshmallows and overnight in a Government Hut at Mt. Field. Drop into Waterfalls Café as well as The Drill Hall Emporium and Fly Wheel on your way home. Great for snowy day walks around the Tarn Shelf or take on Tasmania’s latest multi-day walk, the Three Capes Track....already hailed the country’s premier coastal walk.
8. When night falls early, Hobart does dinner and a movie/show with panache. Slip into a warmly-lit restaurant on the North Hobart strip for a-few-steps commute to the elegant State Cinema. Or fancy up for a night at the Theatre Royal, Australia’s oldest continually operating theatre after dining at Aloft or Small Fry. Don’t forget Mona have a cinema tucked away too, aptly named Cinemona.
9. Head out on a ghost tour in the misty night air at Port Arthur Historic Site. Follow the lantern light and see where it leads. Be sure to drop into Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed on the way. You'll find another inviting wood fire there and of course wine and oysters!
10. Play a round on Australia’s oldest golf course and follow it up with an overnight stay at Ratho Farm. Just know that there’s a roaring log fire in the homestead that’s difficult to leave.
11. Between Salamanca Market, The Market Hobart, Twilight Market, Farm Gate Market and the Brooke Street Pier there are enough stalls showcasing handy local Tasmanians to fill a full winter. Keep an eye out for Hartshorn's sheep's whey vodka, Domaine Simha, Dick and Dora, Elliott My Dear at the pier and Bury Me Standing's coffee window.
12. Take in the view from Mt. Nelson Signal Station Café. On crisp, clear winter evenings the stars are bright up here and if you're lucky it's the ideal location to view an aurora.....or any spectacular beams lighting up the night sky during Dark Mofo. Who knows what Hobart winter may bring.
Want to plan your own Tassie escape? Order a Tailored Tasmania book before May 15 and receive one complimentary for a friend. Click here for two-for-one winter warmer.
Words and images: Alice Hansen
Your launch pad for exploring Tasmania like a local.