Are you wondering what to do in Tasmania in winter season? You might be fearing that you’ll find it frightfully cold with little happening around the time you visit. In fact, as I write this, the temperatures in Hobart have already started to dip. Over the next few months, we’ll experience single-digit temperatures, some rain, some frost and some occasional snow. Some of us will cringe, and yet for a lot of us, despite the cold and the dark and the damp, Tassie will become even more inviting, charming and magical. Let me share some of the ways that make winters truly special in the beautiful city of Hobart.
1. The spectacular Aurora Australis
Photo courtesy: Suman Dhungana
Clear and crisp winter nights bring the beauty in everything around and these could well become the perfect nights for stargazing and idyllic chatter on their own. But just to add that little charm (read a lot more charm), Lady Aurora could decide to give you your very own spectacular night show. After all, Tasmania is probably the best vantage spot in the world to view Southern Lights. The night sky can shine in vivid blues and green or swirls of reds and purples just about anywhere in Tassie. This pic above was taken from Rosny Lookout and Mt Stuart, just about 6kms from Long Beach House. Aren’t we lucky?
Winter is the ideal season for aurora-spotting because it’s darker for longer. To track aurora when you’re visiting, you can use apps like Star Walk, Solar Monitor, Aurora Forecast and Aurora Australis Forecast. The Facebook group – Aurora Australis Tasmania Alert NOW provides alerts from people in Tasmania with actual sightings of the greenish and blueish hues in real time.
Unlit parking lots and remote beaches with an unobstructed view to the south and little light pollution make some of the best spots to catch the southern lights. Some great spots around Hobart include Mt Nelson, Mt Wellington, Rosny Hill, Howden, Dodges Ferry and Seven Mile Beach. Taroona Beach and Kingston Beach near Sandy Bay are also great vantage points.
Your smartphone will probably not capture a decent aurora image. An SLR camera in manual setting with a tripod and a remote will yield much better results. Another Facebook Group – AuroraAustralis provides some great tips and resources for photographing the night sky.
2 Winter brings some of the best Hobart Festivals
Winter is abuzz with many great festivals, each one spectacular in its own merit.
Dark Mofo has become hugely popular since its inception only a couple of years ago. Its annual Winter Feast, Ogoh Ogoh Parade and the nude solstice swim at Long Beach, are reasons alone to book a trip to Hobart. Dark Mofo 2016 attracted 10,000 people to Hobart waterfront each night, and crowds are expected to increase further this year.
The Huon Valley Winter Festival, aka the Burning Man festival, follows closely after Dark Mofo. This three day pagan inspired celebration has people of all ages dressed in fairy wear, huddling around bonfires, feasting and singing and dancing to bring in a bumper apple harvest the next season.
The Festival of Voices is the next big event full of concerts, workshops and pop-up performances in Hobart and surrounds. Thousands of choristers, punters and vocalists come together for 17 days of singing and song. The Big Sing Bonfire in Salamanca attracts the biggest crowds with general community joining in to create a magical night of massive fireside singing.
With all these, winter is still not over and we’ve got the and there are further more engaging festivals coming up, a good enough reason to inspire us to do a whole new post. We’ll be posting it soon.
3 Is their any better time for Whisky or Wine tasting?
Tasmania has slowly been establishing itself as the whisky capital of Australia with lots of local distilleries winning top awards overseas . And winter offers just the perfect excuse for whisky tasting. The Tasmanian Whisky Week spans 10 days and promotes local distilleries, bars, barns, stables, restaurants and hotels. Visitors get a sneak-peek into the businesses by meeting the distillers in person and accessing some award winning or previously unreleased whiskies. Tasmania Whisky Week is held in August each year.
And not to leave wine lovers behind, Hobart celebrates an annual Red Wine Weekend in May and White Wine Weekend in October. Join in to sample some of Tasmania’s finest wines from across the state and to figure out why Tassie is the buzz word in the Australian wine world, or simply to have a great day out with incredible food and live music.
So, do you love Hobart in winters? Share your story with us.