It’s winter – time to rug up. Go to Waverley Woollen Mills on George Street. It’s Australia’s oldest woollen mill and quite the icon. Wrap yourself in Merino and head for Cataract Gorge. This urban playground is home to the world’s longest single-span chairlift. Back in 1972 when the first feet dangled high over the gorge, this 457-metre ride was a hit. Today, it remains quaintly so.
Next stop, the Design Centre is a celebration of Tasmanian talent. Huon pine, delicate ceramics and bold craftsmanship find a home beside the city’s main park. Don’t be surprised if a side table takes your eye. Through winter, the centre hosts winter lunches and dinners, too.
From here, head to the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, a museum of visual art, natural sciences, design and history. There are two sites just a few minutes drive apart (everything is close in Tassie). They’ve been building their collection since 1842.
For winter dining, time your trip around the Stillwater Truffle & Pinot Dinner, on 28 July. This gala evening celebrates Tasmania’s black Perigord truffles and, of course, pinot. Even more special, 28 July is the night of the blood moon. Can’t tie this date in? Book into Geronimo Aperitivo Bar and Restaurant up on Charles Street for a Tasmanian take on Euro tradition.
Launceston to Evandale and the Tamar Valley
Evandale is paradise for antique lovers. Beware, you might lose hours in this pretty National Trust classified Georgian village. Evandale Antiques is a must, along with the National Trust Store in Evandale’s old saddlery building. Handmark in Evandale offers the Collect Art Scheme where Australian residents can purchase contemporary art on interest-free loans.
Curious about Tasmanian wine? The Tamar Valley has more than 30 cellar doors dotted across 170 km of pretty wine country. Choose to navigate your own way through the valley or take a Tamar Valley Wine Tour. They’ll pick you up and take you to four vineyards before returning you home for the night.
Put Josef Chromy Wines on your dining list. This state-of-the-art winery and restaurant in the rolling hills of Relbia is the life work of Josef, who fled his war-torn Czech village in 1950 at the age of 19. Their award-winning wine is the product of hand-picked fruit that is processed within 48 hours of leaving the vine.
Stay at Woodbridge Farm, also in Relbia. Follow the hawthorn-lined drive up to a heritage-style home built with century-old bricks. Help yourself to the veggie patch and create your own winter feast. Then warm up by the crackling fire with a nightcap.
After another day exploring the Tamar Valley and sampling exquisite wines, head to Wines For Joanie. With a wood fire and plenty of wine, it’s a true winter winner and a great place to stay. The rustic packing shed cellar door is packed full of curious Tasmanian history for those who enquire. Owners Andrew and Prue are happy to share stories of Glendale Farm, an apple and pear orchard established in the early 1930s.
From the Tamar, head to Ghost Rock Vineyard near Port Sorell. Young winemaker Justin has taken over the reins from his parents. Working with his wife Alicia, the dynamo team hosts lots of events and serve up hearty winter lunches. Time your trip around the Devonport Jazz Festival, 28 and 29 July at Ghost Rock.
It’s worth a small detour to The House of Anvers Chocolates near Latrobe. A creamy hot chocolate in a big Aztec mug near the fire is a delicious way to wrap up your winter escape.