7 Reasons Why You Should Definitely Visit Tasmania This Summer
Love food, festivals and nature? Look no further.
Once regarded as Australia’s ‘forgotten state’, Tasmania’s cauldron of cutting-edge culture, gourmet cuisine, untouched wilderness and swath of festivals has made the compact island one of the county’s hottest destinations. With summer months December and January being the best time to visit, there’s never been a better time to book your Tassie escape. Here’s why.
#1 Avoid FOMO at MONA FOMA
The subversive art museum that put Tassie on the map, MONA will once again host the Dionysian MONA FOMA early next year, January 13 – 18. Helmed by Violent Femmes’ Brian Ritchie, the MoFo festival is legendary for dishing up a heady mix of exceptional and experimental music and art from across the globe, as well as gourmet dining experiences and wild, late-night blowouts.
The 2016 line-up won’t be revealed until October, but if past acts – Swans, Client Liaison, Shonen Knife, David Bryne and St Vincent, and PJ Harvey – are anything to go by, it’s sure to be a festival you won’t want to miss. While in town, do not miss the chance to check out MONA’s major retrospective on Gilbert & George, Britain’s enfant terribles of the modern art world. The exhibition features around 100 of the legendary duo’s work, and runs November 28 – March 28.
#2 Australia’s best new walking track
Around 30% of Tasmania is protected wilderness and with over 2000kms of hiking trails to choose from, you’d be mad not to try at least one. The newly opened Three Capes Track was declared ‘the world’s hottest new experience’ by Lonely Planet before it was even open to public. The Three Capes Track is a four-day and three-night, 46 kilometre adventure that passes along Australia’s highest sea cliffs, through eucalypt forests and offers jaw-dropping ocean views. It’s raw, rugged and remote; like walking along the edge of the world because, well, you kind of are, with the next stop being Antarctica.
What really sets this track apart is the standard of public facilities available. Hikers stay in environmentally-sensitive cabins that include comfy mattress, spacious living areas, communal spaces with gas cooktops and panoramic views. The luxury accommodation also means you won’t be weighed down carrying heavy tents and sleeping gear. Tasmania’s mild summer temperatures, of around 25 degrees, are perfect for getting outdoors and exploring the state’s rugged wilderness without working up a sweat.
#3 A lazy coastal roadtrip
Two words: summer roadtrip. There is no better way to spend a few, sunny days than cruising down the wide open roads with good tunes and good company. Tassie’s Great Eastern Drive has it all: 220 kilometres of lazy, seaside towns, beautiful beaches, forests, waterfalls, national parks, award-winning wineries and views that will leave you breathless. The east coast’s mild climate is perfect for growing some of the state’s best produce. From premium cheese factories to award-winning seafood producers, there’s plenty of places to stop off on those lingering, summer nights to grab a bite and take it all in.
#4 Taste Tasmania
Homer Simpson-style, eat and drink your way through Tasmania’s finest produce at the foodie-heaven festival that is the Taste of Tasmania. We’re talking slow-cooked wallaby burritos with savoury chipotle and jalapeño sauce; Thai mussels poached in cider; salted caramel ice-cream sandwiches; and cannoli stuffed with cherries, coconut, chocolate and hazelnut ricotta. Is your mouth watering yet? The week-long celebration takes place in the famous Salamanca precinct and on the city’s waterfront, where you can sit and watch the Sydney to Hobart yacht race contestants sail in. Festival entry is free – except on New Year’s Eve when the festival hosts a ticketed party with entertainment and fireworks.
#5 An NYE festival in the best nature has to offer
Speaking of New Year’s Eve, what better way to ring in the new year than with a bunch of your best mates at a secluded festival that overlooks the stunning Marion Bay with some of the world’s hottest international acts playing just for you? This year’s Tasmanian instalment of the Falls Music and Arts Festival takes place December 29 – January 1, with Foals, The Maccabbees, Bloc Party, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizzards, Courtney Barnett and Django Django some of the local and international big names on the bill.
#6 Raft punk
For the more adventurous, take a multi-day rafting trip down the mighty Franklin River, one of the world’s last great, wild rivers. Accompanied by an experienced professional, Franklin River Rafting takes you through surging rapids and white-water, passing deep gorges, cascading waterfalls and temperate rainforests. The Franklin was famously saved from development in the ‘70s and remains one of the most pristine ecosystems on the planet.
#7 Summer camping at The Bay of Fires
The Bay of Fires has long been luring travellers to its shores, but since Lonely Planet declared it the world’s hottest travel destination in 2009 this wild, untouched haven is no longer one of the state’s best kept secret. Still, it has a laid-back charm and remote vibe that makes it perfect for a lazy, summer camping adventure. Swim, kayak, boat or snorkel the impossibly-clear sea, exploring underwater caves, reefs and abundant sea life. Take-in spectacular sunrise views across the perfect-white sand and orange lichen-covered boulders for which the region is famous for, spotting the odd Forrester kangaroo. Best of all, there are plenty of free camping sites to choose from right along the beach.
(Lead image: Supplied)