As the skies brighten and cherries ripen down here in Van Diemen’s Land, we’re dreaming of our favourite things about summer in Tassie. Most people agree that it’s the best time of year to visit, with temperatures set at Goldilocks level – not too hot, not too cold, juuuust right. But even if you can’t catch a boat, plane or albatross to spend Christmas on the island, we hope you enjoy this vibrant and juicy Tassie to-do list that even Santa agrees is epic.
Speaking of Santa…
Tasmania has the distinction of being one of the first places on the planet each year to score a visit from St. Nick. After loading up the sleigh on Christmas Eve, Santa travels down the international dateline into the Southern Hemisphere. After a quick stop in New Zealand, the big man and his reindeer enter Australian airspace and land happily in Tasmania. Hopefully he likes the Sloe Gin and freshly shucked Freycinet oysters we’ve left him!
Speaking of freshly shucked…
When your home is surrounded by cold clean ocean and kelp forests, it’s positively compulsory to consume seafood. We’ve got world-class oysters, abalone, scallops, saltwater crayfish (or southern rock lobster), fresh fish and fine riesling to wash it all down with. Make the most of Tassie’s abundant (and blissfully low cost) fruits of the sea while the sun shines.
Speaking of fruits…
It’s not a Tassie holiday unless there’s a giant bowl of cherries on the table. Make that raspberries and strawberries too. What a happy coincidence that our climate and growing season coincides with end of year celebrations! Stop in at one of the countless roadside stalls selling just-picked produce and have yourself a cherry little Christmas.
Salamanca shopping spree
Sometimes you’ve just gotta book yourself a solo Christmas getaway, giving tense family gatherings at Auntie Trixie’s the flick. Make it up to your abandoned fam by going all out at Salamanca Market [link to blog] and sending one-of-a-kind local gifts back home with a postcard that says: Wish You Were Here. Ish.
Spreyton’s Xmas Eve party
The good people at Spreyton Cider Co. are not only our suppliers of premium apple cider vinegar (the star of our Hair + Scalp Saviour Gel), but our longtime pals. They throw a mighty good shindig on Christmas Eve with local bands and refreshing beverages aplenty. Check it out.
Twilight Market shenanigans
Tasty food, live music, water views and a heckin’ good hangout. There’s so much to love (and devour) at the twilight markets that happen in Sandy Bay and at Brooke Street Pier over the summer months. Make like a moth and get amongst their twinkling lights!
Anything but smooth sailing
The Sydney to Hobart race kicks off on Boxing Day, with yachts of every size and epithet traversing the treacherous strait between Sydney Harbour and Constitution Dock. Boats start appearing in Hobart over the following days, and it’s worth being part of the crowd who cheers and applauds them safely home.
A statewide sampling platter
Imagine nibbling a little bit of everything that’s seasonal, artisanal, small batch and special about Tassie’s food scene. This is the Taste of Tasmania, a high summer celebration of our gourmet island. Held at Prince’s Wharf on Hobart’s waterfront over the Christmas and New Year period, The Taste is utterly unmissable.
Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals
Here’s one for the sporting crowd. Tascarnivals is a series of carnivals held in December through January around the island featuring high-octane events such as cycling, spriting, woodchopping and competitive rock drilling! Warm up your vocal chords and prepare to barrack, these dare-devilish events will have you gripped.
Cygnet Folk Festival
If you’re still hanging around come January, consider grabbing tickets to one of Australia’s best loved folk music festivals in a quaint maritime town full of artists, farmers, tree changers and craftspeople. Follow the sound of banjos and tambourines to Cygnet on the second weekend in January… just don’t run off with the minstrels.
Lavender fields forever
Lavender ice cream, lavender tea, lavender chutney, lavender candles, lavender everything! Tasmania blushes purple as vast tracts of lavender bloom over summer. Bridestowe Estate near Launceston is the world’s largest privately owned lavender farm and is the place to be for snapping selfies and swanning about. Port Arthur Lavender Farm down South is another rolling purple hills and lavender latte situation.
Tassie residents know how to rest. While you might be used to other tourist destinations catering to your every need around the clock, many shops and services take a break over the holidays or stick to their usual Country Town hours. Plan in advance. Don’t arrive late to sleepy towns. Stock up on provisions. And soak up a slower, steadier island pace.