Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival, Huon Valley, TAS © Mia Glastonbury

Guide to Tasmania's winter secrets

Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest, Huon Valley, TAS © Lusy Productions

Experience midwinter festivals

Mona (the Museum of Old and New Art) hosts the midwinter festival Dark Mofo every year in June. Highlights include the Winter Feast, which attracts thousands of food lovers, and the Winter Solstice Nude Swim, in which people of all ages brave the chilly temperatures to swim naked in the Derwent River. Head to the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival in July to celebrate the region's apple growing history and join in the age-old tradition of wassailing. It's a ceremony in which revellers sing and bang drums and pots to scare away evil spirits, wake up the cider apple trees and ensure a good harvest.

Enchanted Walk, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, TAS © Paul Fleming

Follow the Enchanted Walk

Visit Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and follow the Enchanted Walk through rainforest bejewelled with frost. Or wander around shimmering Dove Lake beneath the black spires of Cradle Mountain. On the southern side of the park, walk the 18-kilometre (11-mile) circuit around Lake St Clair, Tasmania's deepest natural freshwater lake.

Tasmanian Expeditions, Overland Track, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, TAS © Andrew Bain

Snowshoe the Overland Track

The Overland Track is hugely popular for hiking during summer, and a number of local companies, including Tasmanian Expeditions, offer snowshoeing trips along the track during winter. It provides a different perspective on Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park as you explore highland landscapes, deep forests and snowy peaks. Not only will you enjoy the breathtaking nature, but also the quiet tranquility of the Tasmanian winter.

Lark Distillery, Hobart, TAS © Osborne Images

Sip a nip of Tasmanian whisky

Tasmanian whisky has taken the world by storm, with many locally-produced blends winning top awards overseas. Follow the Tasmanian Whisky Trail, visiting distilleries such as Lark and Sullivans Cove in Hobart, or the Launceston Distillery and Hellyers Road Distillery in the north of the island. Complete your education in Tassie whisky by attending Tasmanian Whisky Week (usually held in August). The week-long festival features exciting events hosted by Tasmanian distilleries, bars, restaurants and hotels. You'll be able to go behind the scenes, meet the distillers in person, have access to unreleased whiskies, and dine on delicious produce matched to the spirits on offer. 

Ghost tour at Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur, TAS © Alastair Bett

Take a ghost tour of Port Arthur

The convict ruins of Port Arthur can be a spooky place at any time of year, but on a cold winter's day you'll really get a sense of how desolate and frightening it must have been for the poor souls transported here from the other side of the world against their will. Take a lantern-lit ghost tour to discover the site's haunted side and hear stories of unexplained events and paranormal activity.

Festival of Voices, Hobart, TAS © Lusy Productions

Sing along at the Festival of Voices

The Festival of Voices is Australia's premier celebration of the voice, attracting thousands of Australian and international singers, choristers and music lovers who gather each June and July to hear and perform beautiful harmonies in concert halls, theatres and public spaces across the state.  

Chocolate Winterfest, Latrobe, TAS © Tourism Tasmania & Latrobe Council

Indulge at Chocolate Winterfest

The indulgent Chocolate Winterfest gives chocolate lovers a great reason to visit Tasmania in August. The festival takes place in Latrobe in northern Tasmania and offers plenty of chocolate to taste as well as workshops in which you can learn how to make your own chocolate delights. 

Saffire Freycinet, Coles Bay, TAS © Saffire

Cosy up by the fire in a luxury lodge

Winter in Freycinet National Park is another well-kept secret. Stay at Saffire, a luxury lodge overlooking the Hazards mountain range, Freycinet Peninsula and the pristine Great Oyster Bay. By day, you can marvel at the sweeping mountain views or walk the vivid blue curves of Wineglass Bay. At night, huddle next to a roaring fire or watch the sky ablaze with stars. 

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