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Cycles of creativity weave through the Off Season like an Antarctic gust through a winter elm.

There’s something in the atmosphere at this latitude – the cooler air and the low afternoon light – that sends Tasmania’s community of artists scuttling away to get busy. They write, draw, paint and sculpt. They design new recipes and weld rusty iron into lusty shapes.

In Tasmania, winter is far from barren – it’s downright fertile.

Hone your craft, learn something new, prowl galleries, peruse market stalls or immerse in artsy stays: join the creative dots as you explore the island.

A large group of people gather under lights strung overhead and next to a large bonfire, that billows sparks and smoke into the dark night air.
Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest
Lusy Productions

Get festive

Tasmania’s winter festivals are a mainline into the island’s creative flow.

A few days at the Willie Smith's Mid-Winter Festival or the Festival of Voices is a fast-track education in Tasmanian creativity. Find visual delight at Bicheno Beams, where prisms of brilliant light streak the night sky, or head for the elegant galleries of the esteemed Hadley’s Art Prize where Australian landscapes transport you across the continent.  

Let the festive artists do the creative heavy lifting and don't forget to book your tickets in advance (…we’d say, “You snooze, you lose”, but that sounds a bit mean-hearted).

People walk through a basement hall dug directly out of solid rock, with a bar at one end where people line up to purchase drinks.
Void Bar, Mona
Mona and Rémi Chauvin
A woman walks by a tall wall with an arrangement of portrait paintings in various sizes with lavish frames.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Tourism Australia

Art time

Less ephemeral but just as engaging are Tasmania’s leading art galleries. Don’t miss a cool winter’s day spent pondering sex and death in the warmth of Mona, and take a deep-dive into questions of status at the new Namedropping exhibition (opening 15 June). The exhibition opens with the Mona Gala: an extravagant charity night feeding all your hedonistic desires.

Gain an enriched perspective on Tasmania’s creativity, culture and heritage while perusing the extensive collections at Hobart’s TMAG or Launceston’s QVMAG. Also in Launceston, Design Tasmania is brimming with contemporary wood design and artisan works, while dAda mUse, which houses Australia’s largest collection of Salvador Dali works on paper, lauds dadaism and surrealism. Salamanca Arts Centre is a sensory feast of retail galleries, artist studios and public spaces hidden in the old sandstone warehouses of Hobart’s waterfront precinct.

A man wearing an apron stands with a class group and pours olive oil into a blender.
The Agrarian Kitchen Cooking School
Tourism Australia

Creative community

When someone’s really, really good at doing something and they’re willing to show you the ropes, it’s plain foolish not to listen. Blend your own heady floral scent at a Bridestowe Lavender Estate fragrance workshop in Nabowla, or spark your inner creative at a spoon-carving workshop with Phoenix Creations in the artistic hamlet of Cygnet. Nearby, visit the working studios of the Artisan’s Hand to watch the artists at work, wander the gallery and shop their wares.

In New Norfolk, forage for your own ingredients then whip up a show-stopping meal at the Agrarian Kitchen Cooking School. If you’d prefer to get creative in the kitchen at your accommodation, fill a hamper of seasonal produce at Harvest Market in Launceston or Farm Gate Market in Hobart (or a host of other great farmers’ markets) and cook up a storm. To stock your suitcase with local arts and crafts, peruse the eclectic Salamanca Market, held each Saturday near Hobart’s waterfront.  

A contemporary hotel room with modern furnishings and large glass windows looking out over bushland.
Mona Pavilions
Mona and Rémi Chauvin
A weatherboard and sandstone, two-story house on a street with a rocky mountain cliff in he background.
Ship Inn Stanley
Marnie Hawson

Artsy accommodation

Steep in creativity during a stay at Hobart’s Henry Jones Art Hotel, which puts Tasmania’s artists on a pedestal and offers art and history tours of its vast collection. Extend your Mona visit at Mona Pavilions, each featuring art from the museum’s collection and furniture by Tasmanian designers (water views and wine fridges thrown in for good measure).

Behind the façade of an old Art Deco bank in the north-east town of Ringarooma, Secret Bank Society is a cosy treasure trove of antiques and artefacts. Queenstown’s Empire Hotel features a National Trust-listed staircase carved from Tasmanian blackwood. Admire the craftmanship before savouring a hearty meal paired with local wine in the hotel restaurant – ideal after a day exploring the west coast.

In the far north west, Ship Inn Stanley could be a work of art itself, with the Nut providing a dramatic backdrop. Relax and unwind by the fire, and absorb the fascinating stories of this building’s industrious past.

Want more?

Check out Off Season offers to ignite your creative spark:

  • Tasmanian Walking Company invites you to the enchanting larapuna / Bay of Fires area for a painting retreat in the open air. Depict remarkable landscapes with esteemed artist Peter Gouldthorpe and retreat at an eco-lodge: a place to bond over great food, wine and art.

  • Ever wanted to get stuck into a printmaking, needlecraft or painting workshop? Make your way Beaumaris Beach Guest House this winter. Stay for three days, graze on wine and cheese, draw inspiration from the beach and tap into your artistic side.

  • The idyllic northern town of Deloraine is home to an artsy community. Peruse Yarns Artwork in Silk – a vibrant tapestry of textiles crafted by more than 300 locals – and try your hand at an embroidery class, sewing your own rendition of a Tasmanian devil or thylacine.

  • Immerse in the beauty of Tasmania’s endemic flora and fauna for a couple of hours at the Hibiscus Workshop, where you’ll paint the iconic highland fagus, or a native hen on canvas to keep – you choose.

  • Carve up something creative at a knifemaking workshop with Mattila Studio in the heart of Hobart.

What's on your winter bucket list?

Strike your burning desires off your to-do list: fill your nights with wild wonder, expand your creative horizons, hike deep into Tasmania’s wilderness, and taste seasonal feasts and silky libations. Maybe you’ll even shatter the bounds of your comfort zone on a caving or cold-plunging adventure? This winter, it’s up to you.

Inspire me

A young man with a beard up to his shoulders in water.

Set your compass to Tasmania's regions

Explore things to do across Tasmania's five distinctive regions, from the sizzling south to the gourmet north; the wild west, luxurious east and snow-capped north west. Wherever you decide to roam on this heart-shaped island, you’ll find treasured places to eat, stay and play (that's how you keep the winter chill at bay).

Take me there

Two mountain bike riders riders lean into the corner of a gravel track looking down the side of a slope to a large lake in the distance.

Stay in the know

A flurry of unmissable Off Season offers and events has blown in for the winter. Subscribe for curated Off Season updates and handy tips.

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