Emilie Ristevski
Emilie Ristevski
Travel Tip

Ten commandments of a Tassie Summer

Tourism Tasmania
For a quiet little island at the end of the Earth, summer in Tasmania sure is lively. Warm balmy days, long lingering evenings, good company and serious fun all combine into a season for throwing caution to the wind. Take a wild drive, dance in public, feast at a festival and stretch out in the bush under a million stars. There are bubbles to be sipped, adventures to be had and no time to waste. Follow these 10 unburdening commandments for a summer in Tasmania you’ll never forget.

1. Thou shalt stay in a seaside village

A small town with a streetscape trapped in time and views over Bass Strait from a volcanic plug, the small fishing village of Stanley on Tasmania’s north-west coast is a great escape. Let a few days drift by at The Retreat, a private waterfront hideaway for two. Stroll to collect fresh crays from the wharf and gather crusty bread, Tasmanian cheeses and a bottle of vino from the local Providore 24. Enjoy by the water’s edge, or take your picnic supplies to Stanley’s higher ground and conquer The Nut. Nearby, Osborne Heli Tours will fly you over the Tarkine, Australia’s largest tract of temperate rainforest.

A helicopter flying past the nut at Stanley Tasmania
Paul Hoelen
Osborne Helitours: Stanley and the Tarkine Coast

2. Thou shalt mix great food with good company

Gather your friends for Festivale in Launceston’s City Park. The delicious food and wine festival entertains with live music by the Hoodoo Gurus, Jon Stevens and Kate Ceberano and roving performers including a lost giant hairy snail and dancing fashionista zebras. A Taste of the Huon in Tasmania’s lusciously green Huon Valley is more of a laid back country affair serving local produce from food vans and country kitchens. Unfold your deckchair, lay out your rug and enjoy all the tasty food farmed and produced in and around the valley. Both events feature great music, entertainment, atmosphere and, of course, Tasmania’s incredible fare at its finest.

A group of outside food stalls at a food and wine festival in Launceston
Rob Burnett

3. Thou shalt step back in time

The Australian Wooden Boat Festival features hundreds of classic and modern wooden boats along with great food, wine, markets and events for all ages. The buzz of the family-friendly atmosphere makes it Australia’s most beloved maritime festival. If cycling is more your thing, then don’t miss the Evandale Village Fair and National Penny Farthing Championships. A bike race like no other, watch professional and amateur penny farthing enthusiasts put life and limb on the line to finish first. In between races explore the wide variety of stalls, music and street entertainers, and fantastic locally sourced food.

four wooden boats moored at a pier with onlookers at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival
Samuel Shelley
Australian Wooden Boat Festival

4. Thou shalt camp under the stars

If the only stars you like to sleep under are 5 stars, then why not add a million more and enjoy the best of both worlds? Mix safari tents, pillowy queen-size beds dressed in Egyptian cotton and, of course, those amazing southern stars with Wingtons Glamping. Explore one of Tasmania’s most unique coastlines at the Bay of Fires Bush Retreat where a comfy futon and fresh food awaits you after a day of discovery. Or experience the rugged south west in style with flights, guided tours, catering and glamping courtesy of Par Avion’s Southwest Luxury Wilderness Camp.

A glamping tent with a bed and fireplace
Allison Cosker
Glamp Sandridge

5. Thou shalt join a carnival of creativity

With the belief that ‘magic happens in far-flung places‘, Ten Days on the Island, a regional art festival spread across Tasmania, delves into the minds of local artists, exposing a collision of the island’s diverse creative expression. Prepare for opera, a Bosnian folk music singing sensation, storytelling, live orchestra and physical theatre acrobatics. With the spotlight still firmly on Tasmanian artists, this year the festival has been extended across three weekends, so you can see even more.

An exterior photo of a winery cellar door
Supplied Courtesy of Clover Hill Wines
Clover Hill

6. Thou shalt explore

You haven’t seen Tassie until you’ve explored some of its more remote and unique wonderlands. Catch the ferry from Triabunna to Maria Island for a 25km e-biking adventure with Tasmanian eBike Adventures. History, wildlife and fascinating stories aplenty reward those willing to make the effort. Bathurst Harbour on Tasmania’s wild South West Cape is nature at its most spectacular and raw. With no roads in or out, the Harbour is best explored by plane or boat, where you’ll discover wilderness and wildlife unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

aerial of darlington probation station
Flow Mountain Bike
Darlington Bay

7. Thou shalt get wild in the west

You can’t beat a good road trip, and Tasmania’s west coast will provide you with many a story to bring home as it reveals something new to stop and see around every bend. Covering the full diversity of the Tasmanian landscape, you’ll see everything from age-old rainforest and waterfalls to mirrored alpine lakes and the dramatic mountains of the highlands, finishing at the pristine beaches of the state’s north west. Stop and chat with the friendly locals, find your new favourite drop and take hundreds of photos to show your friends back home. This is one drive you’ll never want to end.

A person standing on the summit of a mountain in the wilderness
Jess Bonde
Mt Farrell

8. Thou shalt have an entire island to thouselves

It’s not just movie stars that hire out entire islands. And Tassie islands aren’t your average affair. There are islands where you can shuck your own oysters straight from the rock shelf, like Satellite Island. You’ll feel the Roaring Forties winds cleansing every ounce of stress at Three Hummock Island. Or, park yourself at Picnic Island where the clear waters of Tasmania’s east coast are yours to paddle from your front door.

aerial of Coles Bay and the Hazards mountain range at Freycinet National Park east coast Tasmania
Luke Tscharke
Coles Bay and the Hazards

9. Thou shalt hunt nature’s treasures

Rumour has it that every 7 years, hundreds of paper nautilus shells wash up on Flinders Island. Thinner than a sheet of paper, it’s rare to find one undamaged. Life on the island follows a relaxed rhythm, so there’s no need to rush here. Get chatting to a local, and they just might know where those shells wash up.

A person standing close to the edge of a rock face on the summit of a mountain
Stu Gibson
Mt Strzelecki

10. Thou shalt enjoy a drop

There are over 120 whisky distilleries in Australia, with over 20 of those in Tasmania alone. Now that is punching above your weight. Then there’s the boutique cideries and craft breweries seemingly popping up around every bend, not to mention the many cool climate wineries and small-batch gin distilleries. There are plenty of opportunities for you to raise a glass in good company. Meet the makers, learn about the processes and sample directly from the hand that crafted them. Thou can’t help but enjoy a tipple in Tassie.

a couple at a whisky tasting
Samuel Shelley
Lark Cellar Door

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