Winter in the east

East coast views - Adam Gibson

Winter in the east

It’s sunny side up in the east, where the Off Season delivers oysters and wine direct from the producers and the chance to wander among wombats.

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Evenings with Tasmanian wine by the fire are cosy, but it’s the sight of so many wombats that’s truly heart-warming on Maria Island Walk’s “wine and wombats” long weekend. Travellers explore the twin wonders of the Painted Cliffs and Fossil Cliffs and learn about the history of Maria Island on a stroll through Darlington. There’s the option to climb one of the national-park island’s peaks, before well-earned rests by the fire over candlelit dinners at historic Bernacchi House.

Learn about the fine art of photographing the night sky on a three-day Freycinet Winter Nights tour with Luke O’Brien Photography. Under the darkness of a new moon, there’s the chance to capture the Milky Way, Magellanic clouds and – fingers crossed – perhaps even the colourful dance of the Aurora Australis, aka the Southern Lights, before returning to the comforts of Freycinet Lodge.

Tackle the Off Season head-on with an ALL4 all-terrain-vehicle tour on Freycinet Peninsula. Splash through cold, crystal-clear streams and finish mud splattered and exhilarated, then warm the hands around a mug of hot chocolate or Tasmanian blackcurrant juice.

Find road-tripping freedom on the Great Eastern Drive in the Off Season, when the clear winter air brings the brilliant colours of the east coast into vivid detail.

Stay

After a day of exploring the east coast, embrace refined simplicity with a stay at Sea Stacks – Shacks of Denison. The three distinctive Stacks shacks have wood fires, luxury bathtubs and views over the white sands of Denison Beach north of Bicheno. Off Season stays include a hamper of Tasmanian produce and a discount.

Settle into farm life with an Off Season twist at Fairfield House Goshen. Packages include the likes of Soma Breathing and Riverbend Cold Water Therapy, evenings stargazing by a firepit with homemade apple crumble, and a Bay of Fires Whale Trail photographic tour.

Find another great farmstay at Twamley Farm. Soak up the rural views from a wood-fired cedar hot tub on the 2800-hectare working farm, which has an exclusive Off Season offer of a fondue picnic pack with local cheeses, artisanal bread and a bottle of Tasmanian wine.

Think outside the box. Go coastal glamping in tented luxury at Bay of Fires Bush Retreat, warmed under starry skies by roaring log fires and house-made mulled wine.

Eat and drink

Cellar doors on the east coast are personal and personable. Make time to meet the winemakers, taste a drop or two, and discover the magic of Tasmanian pinot noir. The Farm Shed East Coast Wine Centre at Bicheno is a one-stop showcase, stocking wines from every east-coast vineyard, including those without cellar doors. The Off Season is the ideal time to sample the coast’s robust reds - drop in for a tasting of five regional wines for $12 a head.

Does anything go better with wine than oysters? Tasmanian oysters are at their best during winter, thriving in cold clear waters, so settle on the deck at Freycinet Marine Farm, where oysters are served freshly plucked from the sea and paired with a glass of wine.