Dark Mofo Cancelled: 30 Things to Do in Hobart Winter Instead

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Dark Mofo 2020 has been cancelled. Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool.

We eagerly look forward to Dark Mofo every year—we love running wild in the night and welcoming interlopers to our dark island—so we share your disappointment. Hell, we might even be typing this in the fetal position under a desk. However, we can’t fault the very sound logic behind this decision.

On the upside, sometimes the best experiences are the ones that don’t go according to plan (sounds wise, like something your nan would say, doesn’t it?). Even though the 2020 Dark Mofo party isn’t on anymore, we’d still love you to visit us here in charming old Hobart Town. We promise to show you a real good time.

There are lots of awesome things to do in Southern Tasmania in winter (we hear some of you have never seen snow?! We can fix that right up). We’ve got experiences for foodies, outdoor adventurers, photographers, couples, art hipsters, and pretty young things who just want to party. We’ve listed tonnes of things to do in Hobart in winter to help you plan your visit.


1. Catch the bus up to the summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington and play in the snow. Or hire a car and adventure further out; our tips include the alpine region of the Mt Field National Park, the Hartz Peak track in the Hartz Mountains National Park, and the Central Highlands region (wombats in snow!).

2. Go whale watching (they migrate northward from May to July) and search for playful humpbacks, the rarer southern right whale, and sometimes even orcas. Bonus dolphins, seals and seabirds likely.

3. David still needs the money for Dark Mofo 2021. So, catch the ferry from Hobart to Mona Museum to get your quirky art and culture fix, admire the awesome architecture, and eat and drink at the fancy bars and restaurants. They also have a new exhibition by Sally Rees called “Crone”. So, as of 17 March, Mona is closed… over 18s, please, therefore, feel free to stock up on wine from Moorilla or some Moo brew. Join the MONA mailing list and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

4. Embrace the night — dress up and head out to the local restaurants, bars, and clubs.

5. Book yourself into a luxurious wilderness retreat such as Pumphouse Point on glacial Lake St Clair. Cosy up in front of the fire with a glass of pinot and a tasty Tassie nibbles platter. Enjoy views of the wilderness and revel in the seclusion.

6. Outdoorsy types, some great walks to do in winter include: the Three Capes Track (cosy cabin digs at night); the alpine tarns in the Mt Field National Park; and the glacial lakes and peak in the Hartz Mountains National Park (remember your Parks Pass in all of Tasmania’s national parks). Bonus: if you’re really lucky, you might catch the disappearing tarn on kunanyi/Mt Wellington (a local secret).

7. Explore the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery (TMAG) on the Hobart waterfront and discover art, culture, and history (nice and cosy indoors).

8. Head south! Visit the Tahune Airwalk (now re-open) and then venture onto Hastings Caves State Reserve, tour the giant underground cave, then enjoy a relaxing float in the thermal springs. Yes, there is a naturally heated thermal pool in the forest! Pure bliss.

9. If you’re heading south, you may as well drive to the end of the southern-most road in Australia (good bragging rights) and visit pristine Cockle Creek. You might even have the beach all to yourself.

10. Tasmania’s most epic and dramatic places—such as the Gordon Dam on the mountainous Western Wilds Journey—are way more atmospheric in winter. Don’t get swallowed by the fog.

11. Make your trip into a hot romantic getaway with our budget-friendly date ideas or our tips for a most extravagant Tasmanian getaway.

12. Do go chasing waterfalls in winter—they look their best after a good bit of rain.

13. If you’re keen on mountain biking, you will have a blast (and keep yourself warm with all the action) at Maydena Bike Park.

14. Alternatively, join Tasmanian E-Bike Adventures to experience the wildlife, beaches and cultural stories of Bangor or Maria Island.

15. Visit the snow up at Lake Dobson in the Mt Field National Park. See our safety tips for driving in the snow.

16. Tasmania’s World Heritage-Listed Convict Sites have the heaviest atmosphere in the cold, dark depths of winter. Visit the Port Arthur Historic Site and the Coal Mines Historic Site on the Tasman Peninsula to learn about the hardships faced. In Hobart, visit the Cascade Female Factory Historic Site and the Hobart Convict Penitentiary.

17. It can feel very dramatic on the water under winter skies, especially with some of the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere looming over you. Jump aboard Tasman Island Cruises, Bruny Island Cruises, or Iron Pot Cruises and enjoy a thrilling eco-cruise with epic scenery.

18. Wander the historic suburb of Battery Point, admire the 19th-century cottages and grand historic homes, and relax with a hot drink in one of the cosy cafes.

19. Catch the ferry from Kettering to Bruny Island and discover a microcosm of Tasmania’s best—fine food and drink, incredible views, nature, beautiful walks, history, beaches, surfing, wildlife, and relaxing retreats. If you feel like having all the planning done for you to maximise your trip, check out some great packages from Free Spirit Pods.

20. Eat to stay warm! Indulge on a gourmet food tour (try Bruny Island Traveller or Bruny Island Safaris Foods, Sightseeing & Lighthouse Tour) or enjoy a special culinary experience, such as Fat Pig Farm’s Friday Feast, a visit to Grandvewe Sheep Cheesery, or the lunch cruise from Hobart to Peppermint Bay).

21. Learn to cook a hearty winter feast at the local cooking schools.

22. Rug up and enjoy a picturesque walk around the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. You could pack a picnic or eat a hot lunch in the restaurant on site.

23. Wander historic Richmond Village, admire the famous convict-built sandstone bridge, and grab a bite to eat or hot pot of tea and scones in the village cafes, restaurants and pubs.

24. If you’re fond of a tipple: tour the local wineries and sip vino in the cosy cellar doors; sip mulled cider on the Huon Valley cider trail; stay warm on the inside on the Tasmanian Whisky Trail, and tour Cascade Brewery to taste the goods with a snowy kunanyi/Mt Wellington in the background.

25. Walk off the cold and learn about Tasmania’s dark history on an Augmented Reality exploration of Southern Tasmania.

26. Take to the winter skies with Par Avion Wilderness Tours (out to the Southwest National Park), Above & Beyond Tasmania seaplane tours, Rotorlift Aviation Helicopter Tours, or Osborne Heli Tours Port Arthur.

27. Meet the local wildlife, including Tasmanian devils, at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary or the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo.

28. Wander the quaint sandstone town of Oatlands, take a self-guided tour of the Historic Military Precinct, admire the Georgian windmill at Callington Mill, and visit the local shops and cafes in the quaint 19th century buildings (the pancakes and crepes are very popular).

29. Pack your camera gear, hire a car, and head out on a photography adventure. Winter makes for some very moody shots.

30. Take your babies (human or fur-children) out for a day of fun and making memories!


There are lots of unique places to stay in Southern Tasmania. Please check out our full range of accommodation listings, things to do, and places to eat and drink.

We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.


RELATED POSTS:

No Car Required: Tips for Exploring Hobart on Foot
Craft a Tasman Peninsula Getaway Around the Three Capes Track
Weekend Adventure: 7 Things to Do on Bruny Island
Discover Battery Point’s Treasures
Tasmania in Winter: Safety Tips for Driving in the Snow
6 Wonderful Winter Walks in Southern Tasmania
Snow Day: 4 Enchanting Winter Spots in Southern Tasmania

HEADER IMAGE:

Summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington in winter | @sophiefaz/Instagram

WORDS:

Isabel Galloway

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