Mastercard Cash Passport
Mastercard Cash Passport

Latest News

Share this article

What's on in Tasmania this winter? The Off Season is open… to just about anything

Tasmania’s Off Season is back for winter 2023 with endless unique and uber-creative visitor experiences to warm your heart and stir your soul. Let the wild and random revelry begin.

Tasmania’s Off Season is back for winter 2023 with endless unique and uber-creative visitor experiences to warm your heart and stir your soul. Let the wild and random revelry begin.

From winter feasts under the stars, foraging for local produce, wildlife spotting at twilight, and meditative ceramic classes, key to the Off Season experience for 2023 is special offerings from Tasmanian tourism and hospitality businesses for the cooler months.

Crater Lake Tasmania
Crater Lake and Cradle Mountain. Photo Credit: Luke Tscharke

Visitors to Tassie can get started planning a trip with the newly launched Discover Tasmania app, which enables users to build an itinerary filled with events, activities, accommodations, places to see and all the things to eat and drink.

This year’s Dark Mofo running from June 8 – 22, will mark the tenth year of Mona’s midwinter festival in Tasmania, which delves into centuries-old winter solstice rituals.

1494552593371
The Nude Solstice Swim. Photo Credit: Rosie Hastie, MONA

Since its inception in 2013, Dark Mofo has delved into centuries-old rituals to explore the links between ancient and contemporary mythology, humans and nature, religious and secular traditions, darkness and light, and birth, death and renewal.

Signature events include the delectable Winter Feast on Hobart’s waterfront and the colourful community celebration of the Ogoh-Ogoh parade and burning, as well as, of course, the legendary Nude Solstice Swim, with more than 1000 people dropping their clothes and inhibitions to welcome back the light after the longest, coldest night in the nation.

Sarah Clark, CEO of Tourism Tasmania, says, “Winter is Tasmania’s best-kept secret; the air is crisp, the oysters taste sweeter and our tourism operators engage their creative spirit to offer unique and special Off Season experiences. Tasmania during the Off Season is a must-visit winter destination”.

So what’s on this Off Season in Tassie?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjlGU1PH21s&list=PLaj3IwrkwwUqDfixTlx-TzfYAb7Ue1dq_

Let Loose

Sonny PHOTO CREDIT Remi Chauvin
Sonny. Photo Credit: Remi Chauvin

Escape the mundane with Tasmania’s magical winter festivals and events: sing with strangers around a bonfire, sip a warming whisky, or bite into a steaming-hot curried scallop pie.

The Off Season is a chance to push the boundaries, stimulate the senses and let loose. It’s a big red ‘reset’ button, just waiting to be hit. Who’s in?

  • Bicheno once again will play host to a free event – Bicheno Beams (1st – 22nd July). A family-friendly event and a celebration of light, Bicheno Beams awakens the auditory as you listen to spectacular music accompanying the lights shining into the sky.
  • The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival (14th – 15th July) is all about celebrating the region’s apple-picking history, and at its core is the wassail: the ages-old tradition of scaring evil spirits from the orchard to bring on a bumper crop. All the festival’s much-loved traditions make a comeback, including the Big Willie Burning Man.
  • Head north to the seaside town of Bridport and celebrate the new scallop season at Tassie Scallop Fiesta (30 July). There’s a sweet, salty scent in the air as fresh seafood is seared on the grill.
  • Wash it all down with world-renowned whisky at Tasmanian Whisky Week (7th – 13th August). Sample delectable drams from talented Tasmanian distillers such as Turner Stillhouse, Hellyers Road Distillery and Waubs Harbour Whisky.
  • Festival of Voices (28th June – 9th July) has been bringing joy to Tasmanian winters since 2004. The state’s original marquee winter event has become known as Australia’s premiere celebration of the voice, attracting audiences of 30,000 people over two weeks. Gather around a bonfire for a cathartic singalong, relish the swelling sounds of a gospel chorus, or raise your voice in a singing workshop.

Natural Highs

wukalina Walk PHOTO CREDIT Jesse Hunniford
wukalina Walk. Photo Credit: Jesse Hunniford

There’s World Heritage-listed wilderness just down the road. If you’re lucky, the Southern Lights drop by for dinner. Step outside anywhere here, and the natural world doesn’t feel like typical Australia. Whether it’s cold-water plunging, charging through the bush with goats or sled dogs, or hiking along remote clifftops to a fine end-of-day feast, Tasmania’s winter wilds will help you find your natural high.

  • Chocolate Winterfest, Latrobe (13th August) will indulge, inform, astound, and amuse, but above all, celebrate chocolate as you escape from the bleakness of winter. Be indulged by events individually or successively as you immerse in this chocolate experience.
  • Wild Wellness Fire and Ice (14th May – 13th August). Discover the wonders of kunanyi / Mt Wellington like never before as you’re coached through breathwork, icy cold water therapy and writer-led journaling beside a roaring fire and mountain stream.
  • Visit Paradise Road Farm and join the farm’s friendly goat family for a brisk morning walk (2nd June – 31st August). Rediscover your inner child and race the goats down the hill or make it a leisurely stroll.
  • Take a secluded forest bath and ice plunge in the Bay of Fires (1st May – 31st August). Shinrin-Yoku is the Japanese art of healing through forest bathing. It is an immersive experience to reconnect with self and nature, offering health and well-being benefits for the mind, body and soul.
  • Encounter Maria Island and take the Maria Island Brass Monkeys Swim Club (MIBMSC) challenge (1st May – 31st August). Fully submerge one’s person under the surface of the crystal-clear, brain-numbingly cold waters surrounding Maria Island on any given day.

Spark Something

Kelvedon Beach PHOTO CREDIT Remi Chauvin
Kelvedon Beach. Photo Credit: Remy Chauvin

The galleries at Mona are big on weird and wonderful… but Tasmanian creativity doesn’t end here. Around the island, potters spin lumps of clay into voluptuous vessels. Choirs gather in squares and howl tunes into the night. Locals candy abalone, chew on seaweed and cultivate wasabi (of all things). There’s folk punk, punk folk, queer cabaret, grunge metal and 500-year-old sea shanties for your ears to swallow. No matter the medium, Tasmanians are bright creative sparks.

  • With Permission to Trespass (1st – 31st July), the gates will be unlocked, and you have exclusive access to farms, off-limit areas and various events that celebrate local stories, culture, and food. Events include Moonlight Stories, a light show projection on Table Cape, which offers the audience an incredible visual and auditory journey by talented Aboriginal artist Caleb Nichols Mansell.
  • Celebrating 22 years since it all began, Devonport Jazz (27th – 30th July) is ready to get back into the groove with a great festival line in 2023. With warm and cosy venues across the city, don’t hibernate this winter; explore what Devonport Jazz has to offer!
  • Feed your brain at Beaker Street Festival (4th – 13th August), where science and art intersect. Come together with curious minds to hear talks from world-renowned scientists, get stuck into hands-on science experiments, and enjoy slick music and fine drinks at a speakeasy bar.
  • Fancy learning more about sustainable farming practices? Look no further than agriCULTURED (3rd – 6th August), a collision of art and nature highlighting what makes Tasmania, its produce, and its agricultural community so special.
KIng Island Tasmania
King Island, Tasmania. Photo credit: Emilie Ristevsk

Visitors can plan and book their winter Off Season offers directly with operators via Tourism Tasmania’s Discover Tasmania website. Bookings are available now and can be redeemed from 1 May to 31 August 2023.

For more information on Tassie’s Off Season, visit: www.discovertasmania.com.au/off-season.