Autumn in Tassie is really something special. We know our lovely isle has a heart of gold, and in autumn the outside matches the inside! There’s magic in the air as deciduous trees transform their greenery into enchanting displays of glowing golds, rusty reds and vibrant oranges.
As we (sometimes brutally) learn in life, the nature of change means nothing lasts forever, so get outside and enjoy the season. Before you know it, the trees will begin their awkward goth phase (this IS the real me, Mum!), drop all their colour and strip bare for winter (in solidarity with the brave punters pledged to this year’s Dark Mofo nude solstice swim). Here are 10 spots to set your heart on fire and crunch some serious leaf.
1. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
We know just what to do at the RTBG. Push deliciously crunchy leaves into a big pile. Take a respectable run up and leap through the air onto the big pile of leaves. Repeat. Repeat again. Stop to refuel via picnic basket. Repeat the leaf thing again until deliriously happy.
When you’re ready for some zen, take a stroll through the Japanese garden. Pause on the bridge and admire the vibrant bursts of colour.
2. The parks around Hobart & Beyond
There are some lovely parks around Hobart and surrounding suburbs where you can relax and enjoy the autumn colours. St David’s Park is a good one, and you can have a stickybeak at the old headstones if you have a taste for the macabre. Say ‘ahoy autumn’ from aboard the pirate ship in Princes Park, and find a quiet spot to people watch on Parliament Lawns, Salamanca. (Note: There are lots of parks to discover, these are just a few!)
3. The Derwent Valley
The Derwent Valley is one of the most picturesque spots in southern Tasmania, and truly comes alive with autumn enchantment. There is even a Derwent Valley Autumn Festival! The New Norfolk Esplanade walk along the riverside is magical, with the rich autumn colours displayed by the wide variety of old Oaks, Elms, Willows and Poplars providing lots of beautiful reflections in the River Derwent. The Salmon Ponds at nearby Plenty are well worth a visit, and the drive itself is an absolute delight.
Image (Bushy Park): @jones_linzie/Instagram
4. Mount Field National Park
Australia’s only cold climate winter-deciduous tree, the Fagus, is only found in Tasmania. The annual turning of the Fagus is superb, and we reckon it’s extra special because it only happens in our corner of the world! Visit the Mt Field National Park (pass required) between late April and May to witness the spectacular range of colours, from rust red to brilliant gold. The observation area at Lake Fenton is probably the easiest place to view the Fagus.
5. The Heritage Highway
The drive along the Heritage Highway, with its charming 19th century towns, is delightful during autumn. Be sure to stop at Kempton and enjoy the autumn vibes (the avenue of elms is incredible). You’ll definitely want a driver reviver at St Peters Pass, near Oatlands – it’s absolutely stunning in autumn. Take a walk in Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary, near Bagdad, and admire the autumn tones of the bush.
The historic Georgian town of Richmond is a favourite day trip, and it’s magical in autumn! Pack a picnic or grab some takeaway lunch, then wander down to the serene banks of the river to gaze up at the historic sandstone bridge. The lovely autumn colours enhance the town’s colonial charm.
If you’re looking for an excuse to go on a cheeky winery tour, autumn is here to help you out. To miss the mesmerising rows of vines shimmering down the hillside like a river of gold would just be cruel. The good news is, you’re spoilt for choice with wineries in Southern Tasmania – here’s a list of our picks.
8. The Port Arthur Historic Site
The World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site is the best preserved convict site in the country. In contrast with the brutal conditions experienced by the 19th century prisoners, the site’s gardens are absolutely flourishing. Spend a fascinating day wandering the grounds, enjoying the autumn colours and brisk air. You’ll learn a thing or two about about daily life for the poor sods who lived and worked there in the 1800s. There are some fantastic activities for kids on offer, so take the family.
9. The Huon Valley
The drive through the rolling hills of the Huon Valley is super scenic, with its orchards and wineries. In autumn, the golden heart of the apple isle is next level picturesque! Go for a relaxing stroll along the Huon River, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the colours reflected in the water. The region serves up a real feast for the eyes.
10. The Cascade Brewery
The Cascade Brewery in South Hobart is a Tassie icon. Autumn is a wonderful time to visit and enjoy the gardens (you may as well do the tour and tastings while you’re there). Gaze over the rich golds and rusty reds, past the brewery’s gothic facade, towards stoic kunanyi / Mt Wellington – it might even be dusted with snow.
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.
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Convict Ruins: Walk the Coal Mines Historic Site
10 Enchanting Walks in the Southern Trove
Winery Tastings & Tours: Cellar Doors of Southern Tasmania
Parliament Lawns, Salamanca | @ameliae/Instagram