Arrivals & Departures Why you should visit Tasmania this winter

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

Pull on the beanie and button the coat: Tasmania may get chilly in winter, but it’s anything but boring.

This winter Tasmania will play host to foodie feasts, arts and music festivals, and much more. From Dark Mofo and the Festival of Voices to AFL games and Tasmanian Whisky Week, there's winter revelry to suit every persuasion.

Dark Mofo

June 8-21 

The winter festival at Hobart's famed Museum of Old and New Art (aka Mona), Dark Mofo brings centuries-old winter solstice rituals to life across intimate exhibitions, performances and large public gatherings such as the dockside Dark Mofo Winter Feast.

For music lovers, there will be performances by Mogwai and Ulver. Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch will present his confronting work 150.Action for the first time in Australia and then there's the nocturnal art playground, Dark Park.

If you want to combine the festival with a cruise, P&O is sailing from Sydney.

Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival

June 9-12 

The festival's opening ceremony kicks off with the $20,000 Bay of Fires Art Prize and exhibition, Sunday's Arts Market, an open studio trail and open gardens, and the official Australasian Barbecue Alliance Championship Competition.

Steampunk Tasmania

June 24 

This playful day of music, exhibitions, displays and workshops takes place across Georgetown, a historic town with a strong European maritime history. 

Festival of Voices

June 30 – July 16 

Concert halls, theatres and public spaces across the State throw open the doors to voices, trained and untrained, for this festival, which attracts critically acclaimed artists to share vocal workshops and performances.

The much-loved City of Hobart Big Sing Bonfire will also return for its 13th year.

Great Chefs Series

July 7 and 28, August 11 

The likes of Phil Wood, executive chef at Sydney's Eleven Bridge; Mark Best, electrician turned three-hatted maestro; and Mike McEnearney, executive chef and owner of No. 1 Bent St Sydney and Kitchen by Mike, star in the program in Launceston and Hobart. 

AFL in Tasmania

July 8, July 29, August 13 

Catch some Aussie Rules when the Hawks play the GWS Giants and North Melbourne in Launceston, and Melbourne in Hobart.

Winter on the Farm

July 12 

Tour Fat Pig Farm, just south of Hobart, with TV's Gourmet Farmer Matthew Evans to meet the pigs and harvest the produce for a late lunch.

Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest

July 14-16 

Celebrating the region's apple-picking heritage, this festival shares the tradition of wassailing, a method of scaring bad vibes and nasties from the orchard's cider trees. Besides lots of banging and yelping, there are costumes (think dark, pagan-inspired numbers and donning greenery, feathers, fur and leather), the Friday Night Feast, local tunes and cider to welcome the Burning Man, the Big Wassail on Saturday evening and a family fun day on Sunday. 

Indulgent Winter Weekend

July 28-30 

Hosted by Stillwater Restaurant in Launceston, the Indulgent Winter Weekend of Tasmanian Pinot Noir and Truffles allows guests to piece together their itinerary from events such as a tasting of 40 top Tasmanian pinot noirs alongside their makers, a truffled egg breakfast at Stillwater or dinner of six courses laden with Tasmanian truffles. 

Devonport Jazz Festival

July 27-30 

Leading Tasmanian and interstate jazz musicians take the stage at the Devonport Jazz Festival, with a diverse program of traditional, contemporary, swing, Latin and be-bop jazz. This year's headline acts are the Idea of North and Monica Trapaga, Django's Tiger, Annia Baron and Tucker, Ottaway & Watkins. 

Tasmanian Whisky Week

August 4-13 

Over 10 warming days, Tasmanian distilleries, bars, barns, stables, restaurants and hotels will host behind-the-scenes tours, meet-and-greets with distillers, tastings of unreleased whiskies and dinner events showcasing the golden drop.

Chocolate Winterfest

August 13  

The pretty town of Latrobe on Tasmania's north-west coast is the home of Anvers Chocolate. The festival celebrates the pleasure of chocolate in all its forms, including tastings, workshops and exhibits.

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