It’s official – Sydneysiders are feeling ripped off by a so-called “winter” and heading south in search of a cooler weather escape.Sydney has just experienced the warmest Autumn on record since 1910 and this unseasonal warmth is set to continue throughout August. It appears Sydneysiders are craving cosy activities and escaping to cooler climates to get their seasonal fix.

The results of an IPSOS poll conducted in June 2019 have revealed Sydneysiders are seeking out bona fide winter experiences including bushwalking, festivals/events, wine regions, alpine experiences over beach, snorkelling and fishing for their winter holidays in Australia.

In fact, the most preferred locations for Sydneysiders to visit during the winter months were three cold-weather destinations, Tasmania, the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley.

In line with this trend, Tasmania has experienced an uplift in winter visitation over the past few years, up by 23% between 2013 and 2018. In its seventh year, winter festival Dark Mofo also received a surge in popularity with a 61% increase in interstate visitation.

Tasmania’s winter experience offers a sharp contrast to Sydney’s unseasonal warmth and  over half the population surveyed in the IPSOS poll listed that they were looking to ‘experience something different from home’ when considering a winter short break in Australia so it makes sense that Tasmania is the flavour of the season.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, Tourism Tasmania Chief Marketing Officer Emma Terry said it was very encouraging to see destinations like Tasmania benefiting from this trend.

“Many Australians tend to endure the winter months, but in Tasmania we revel in the cooler season. Tasmanians have a knack for turning darkness into light, chill-factor into cosy-factor and creating winter events that are truly worth travelling for.”

“We have winter festivals and experiences that are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. From events like Dark Mofo or Festival of Voices to exploring boutique distilleries, getting cosy in luxury accommodation, sipping fine Tasmanian wine or indulging in fresh produce, the winter experience in Tasmania is deeply restorative. It is this feeling of being enriched, alive and connected, that visitors are coming to experience in droves,” she said.

Top Seven Winter Experiences in Tasmania  

While visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to winter experiences in Tasmania, here are some of our top picks.

Chase the Southern Lights
Take advantage of winter’s earlier nightfall to catch a glimpse at the Aurora Australis and starry sky.

Don your beanie in the bathtub
Fill your tub to the brim and sink in with nature. Thalia Haven coastal hideaway on Tasmania’s east coast comes with your own secluded beach, an outdoor bath and a wood-fired sauna.

Walk in a winter wonderland 
Take the leisurely 20-minute Enchanted Walk at Cradle Mountain during the cooler months to enjoy a magical dusting of show.

Find your fire
There’s nothing better than rugging up beside a crackling log fire. This winter, rub your hands together at Thousand Lake Lodge, in the alpine reaches near the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. It’s a treat knowing that after an active day outdoors, the lodge’s fire awaits you.

Hit the road 
Pack your thermos, choose your playlist, and take the wheel as you cruise the Great Eastern Drive – one of Australia’s greatest road trips.

Warm your spirit
Sample southern Tasmania’s award-winning whisky or gin during a full day tour to three distilleries where you’ll be able to go behind the scenes of the distillation process.

Bathe in thousand-year-old forests
Stop for a moment and catch your breath while forest bathing in Australia’s largest cool temperate rainforest, the Tarkine Forest Reserve, an ancient and primitive place for connection and reflection.