86% of Malaysians think Australia is better to visit in the summer than the winter.
Australia’s summer may boast beach days and balmy nights, but its winter season is full of surprises, too. A Tasmanian winter brings eclectic festivals, rugged coastal hikes and adventures in alpine national parks often blanketed in snow. Indulge in a whisky by the fire, trek through ancient wilderness and discover the beauty of winter in Tasmania.
Relax in Cradle Mountain
Unwind with a winter escape to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. An alpine wilderness retreat nestled in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Cradle Mountain offers outdoor adventures, wildlife and cosy, luxurious accommodation. Whether you embark on a hike through the snow-dusted rainforest or soak in Waldheim Alpine Spa’s private sanctuary overlooking wild mountain rivers and tall stands of ancient pines, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to experience the beauty of Tasmania's winter wilderness. The King Billy Suite at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge comes with your own private outdoor tub and wood fireplace, so you can soak in the scenery and stay toasty warm. Alternatively, stay in cosy cabins at the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village, set within a quiet, temperate rainforest.
Sip spirits at Whisky Week
With its crisp, clean air and pure water, it’s no wonder that Tasmania is home to almost a third of Australia’s distilleries. During one week in the winter, whisky lovers can learn, sip, dine and experience just what makes Tasmanian whisky different. Held in August, Whisky Week offers a jam-packed calendar of events that aren’t just held in distilleries, but also bars, barns, stables and restaurants across the state. Meet the makers, taste single malt spirits and indulge in five course dinners on Hobart’s waterfront. As you travel around Tasmania, you’ll access unreleased whiskies, listen to the stories of local distillers and tour the behind-the-scenes spaces that transform tasty native ingredients into sought-after spirits.
Walk the Dove Lake Circuit
Tasmania is renowned for its many hiking opportunities, particularly within Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park. While serious hikers can take on the famous multi-day Overland Track independently, there are several shorter circuits ideal for novice hikers and more relaxing winter getaways. The six-kilometre (3.7 mile) Dove Lake Circuit offers up views of Cradle Mountain and little-known lake beaches as well as the ancient Ballroom Forest, where you may even spot the occasional echidna or platypus. The Dove Lake Circuit has a boardwalk for most of the hike, making it a relatively easy two-hour trek that brings you right down to the edges of Dove Lake at the north end of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
Experience Mid-Winter Fest
The Huon Valley, located just a 30-minute drive from Hobart, is known for its quiet, charming apple orchards. But once a year, the region comes alive with a festival full of music, costumes and community. Huon Mid-Winter Festival comes from the tradition of banishing evil spirits from the local orchards to ensure a lively autumn harvest. While there’s plenty to discover in the Huon during the day, you’ll have to wait until the sun goes down to revel in the event’s festivities. Witness a Tasmanian Aboriginal Welcome Ceremony, which sees the burning of a 13-metre (42-foot) tall effigy meant to eliminate negative energy and make way for the new. Sing, shout and bang pots and pans as you participate in the tradition of wassailing, which awakens the apple trees and scares evil spirits.