6 Things to Do in Tasmania's Winter Wonderland
Enchanted Walk, Cradle Mountain / Paul Fleming
There’s no better place to reconnect with nature and breathe in clean, fresh air. Rug up, pull on your walking boots and pack some hot soup to sip – in Tasmania we like to keep warm from the inside out.
1. Satisfy your wanderlust on a winter walk
Courtesy Maria Island Walk
Winter transforms every corner of Tasmania, and the best way to explore it all is on foot. We have tracks from twenty-minute strolls to two-hour treks. Montezuma and Liffey Falls are a sight to see in winter, and a climb to the top of an ancient volcanic plug called The Nut in Stanley will get your heart pumping, or wander east coast beaches for some quiet reflection time. On Maria Island our wild wombats are thriving, take the ‘Maria Island pledge’ not to touch them, and help keep the furry creatures wild.
2. Have a devil of a time spotting wildlife
Even the wildlife in Tasmania embraces the cool weather, and nowhere more joyfully than in the alpine surroundings of Cradle Mountain. Devils@Cradle is a world-class conservation park where you can observe Tasmanian devils playing up close – often in the snow. Join a guided tour at Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary, Tasmanian Devil Unzoo or Wings Wildlife Park to learn more about Tasmania’s unique wildlife. Other wildlife hotspots include Narawntapu National Park, home to protected Forester kangaroos; Stanley where you can watch Little penguins come to shore, and Bicheno where you can join the evening penguin tour.
3. Meet our ghosts
Poon Wai Nang
When night falls, Tasmania's dark side is explored on chilling ghost tours. The Port Arthur Ghost Tour leads you through the haunted buildings of a penal settlement. Hobart Convict Penitentiary, known locally as the Tench, and Willow Court Asylum in New Norfolk also offer haunting tours of historically significant buildings. The north of the state has its own eye-opening past, which is uncovered in dark laneways on the Launceston City Ghost Tour.
4. Walk to a winter waterfall
In winter, rain and snowmelt from surrounding hills and mountains makes for spectacular waterfalls. At 94 metres, St Columba Falls near Pyengana is one of the state's tallest, and the well-maintained walking track makes it easy to reach. Russell Falls at Mt Field National Park is an enduring favourite and, if you keep moving west, you'll reach seasonal Horsetail Falls in Queenstown. For a memorable waterfall experience in the Tarkine rainforest, follow the fungi-lined track to Philosopher Falls near Waratah.
5. Explore the underworld
The air might be chilly above ground, but Tasmania's caves stay at a constant temperature all year-round. At Mole Creek Karst National Park enjoy sparkling crystals and reflection pools of Marakoopa Cave, and keep an eye out for glow worms. These tiny living lanterns can also be seen at the Spray Tunnel – an abandoned railway tunnel – just outside Zeehan. Gunns Plains Cave, in the north-west, was discovered during a hunting trip when hunting dogs fell into a hole forming part of the cave. Follow a guided tour of fascinating cave formations and glow-worms.
6. Step out of your comfort zone
Courtesy Par Avion Wilderness Tours
As long as you’ve packed winter woollies, there’s no excuse to stay inside: enjoy a cruise on the Pieman or Gordon Rivers. Fly to the Tamar Valley and land in a vineyard for lunch before heading to Ben Lomond National Park to check out the mountainous views. If you’re keen to push your boundaries even further, fly to King Island and tee off at Ocean Dunes or Cape Wickham, explore Tasmania’s remote south-west wilderness with Par Avion, or ride some of the world’s best mountain bike trails at Derby.
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