On more occasions than not, I found myself in the following situations:
- Riding solo on the country roads (no snail trails of RVs)
- Feeling like the only human left on earth as I pitched my tent at the empty campsites (no late night bonfires and rowdy campers keeping me up past my bedtime)
- Basking in stunning mountain top vistas in complete solitude (no fighting the masses for the perfect Instagram picture)
Yes, these little perks of travelling Tasmania in the winter are some I’d rather keep to myself. So I’ll keep reinforcing popular thought that the cold and unpredictable weather isn’t worth it. Stay home. Don’t bother.
For those who are brave enough to venture down, here are a few little tips and highlights to help you in planning your future adventure.
I opted to take the self drive option, bringing myself and my car over the water via the Spirit of Tasmania. It’s a fun little adventure in itself but not necessarily the most economical option if you’re only coming over for a short time. In this case, simply fly into Hobart or Launceston and you can hire a car from there.
Self driving is the preferred mode of transport for most and what I would recommend as it allows you to make the most of the small island.
The roads are easily navigable even for the directionless like myself and coming from the mainland, I found myself in awe at how I could drive from North to South in half a day with rest stops and plenty of sightseeing in between.
Furthermore, this little state is easily the most RV and camping friendly place I’ve ever travelled.
Many small towns make a point to provide facilities for such (varying between free, by donation or paid). Some of my favourite nights were spent sleeping out under the stars in my tent (yes, while a little brisk, this is doable even for a tropical girl like myself).
Sleeping under the stars at the Mayfield Bay Campground
While I spent plenty of time in Tasmania experiencing the natural wilderness through hiking and camping, I did also disperse my time between the gorgeous cities and country towns. I essentially did a loop from the north down the east coast, and back up to the north via the west. Here are just some of my highlights and recommendations.
Hobart & The South
Mt Wellington towers over the capital in a rather theatrical manner. You’ll be treated to jaw dropping views if you make the windy drive up but beware, the winds can be ferocious and bitterly cold, so dress accordingly.
The world famous MONA art gallery which put Hobart on the global artsy map, is considered a bit of an ‘art wank’ (their words, not mine) but one totally worth checking out. You may laugh, you may cry and you may be completely left without words. Come with an open mind and you will leave with a mind blown.
The foodie scene is alive and well in Hobart.
If you’re in town on a Saturday, make sure to stop by the famous Salamanca Markets, drawing in an abundance of locally produced food from the surrounding regions. From here, a stroll through the historic corner of Battery Point will leave you enchanted. While in the area, treat yourself to a famous scallop & wakame pie from Jackman & McRoss on Hampden Road.
I literally lost my mind in the buttery and flaky goodness of their pastry encasing Tasmania’s fresh seafood delights. The Pollen Tea Room across the road is a snug retreat in a quaint little cottage setting if the cold becomes too much to bear.
A short drive south west from Hobart, you’ll find yourself winding your way through the Huon Valley. Delight in the abundance of wineries, cideries and distilleries to suit every taste.
Here you’ll find apples and more apples.
I recommend stopping in at the Willie Smith’s cidery. They’re Australia’s largest supplier of organic apples and their little apple museum is very educating and entertaining. One can’t forget to mention their chic industrial cellar door and delicious cider. Did I mention it’s organic? Need I say more?
I also spent some time in Cygnet exploring the surrounding food scene. There’s so much going on here agriculturally and ecologically speaking – you might be challenged to rethink the plausibility of what’s possible on a small and ethical scale if ever you doubted it!