A popular destination for summer sun and winter snow, Tasmania is oft overlooked when it comes to the months in between – but that doesn’t mean this southern offshoot has any less to offer when the seasons change. Take a chance on Australia’s island state in autumn and you’ll be rewarded with crisp sunny days, spectacular landscapes and one-of-a-kind festivals – all without the crowds and queues of peak season.
What are you waiting for? Pick up your car rental on arrival in Tasmania and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.
Sample the Season’s Harvest at a Local Farmers’ Market
A favourite weekend activity for locals and visitors alike, a crisp autumn morning at one of the region’s farmers’ markets is an ideal way to kick off your tour of Tasmania. Luckily, no matter what part of the state you decide to discover, you’ll never be too far from the area’s artisan producers. Take a scenic 40-minute drive from Devonport to Burnie, where the state’s first-established market still thrives each Saturday morning. Alternatively, stick close to the city and explore Salamanca Market on the beautiful Hobart waterfront. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to be rewarded with a taste of Tasmania’s finest harvest, from hand-picked seasonal produce and homemade preserves to fresh-baked bread and locally caught seafood.
Get a Feel for Rural Life at Agfest 2016
If a weekend at the markets doesn’t quite satisfy your hunger for Tassie’s farm-fresh delights, take a spin around the stalls at the 34th annual Agfest – a three-day agricultural extravaganza showcasing everything from large-scale machinery to bite-sized morsels of homely cuisine. Held in the historic town of Carrick, this rural-themed show gives more than 60,000 visitors a taste of life in Tasmania’s spectacular countryside – all a mere 17-kilometre drive from Launceston’s bustling city centre.
Experience a Tassie Tradition with the ‘Turning of the Fagus’
Arguably the only state in Australia with four distinct seasons, Tasmania’s dip in temperature also brings about a spectacular foliage display every March, April and May, when its otherwise lush green landscape becomes swept with broad strokes of fiery, red-orange hues. Home to a plethora of trees that originally hail from the Northern Hemisphere – including the legendary Fagus – the state’s countryside bursts to life each autumn, providing an awe-inspiring terrain for bushwalkers and nature enthusiasts alike. Whether you head to Mount Field National Park for spectacular views from the forest floor or opt for a scenic flight to see the full spectrum of colours from the sky, this stunning natural phenomenon has to be seen to be believed.
Sip Cool Climate Wines on the Tamar Valley Wine Route
While the state’s autumn temperatures seldom dip below nine degrees, it’s still the perfect time of year to warm yourself with samples of Tasmania’s finest cool climate wines. Organise a designated driver and embark on a self-drive itinerary, leading from Launceston to Beauty Point and back, stopping in to visit road-side providores and cellar doors along the way. Bringing the whole family along for the ride? No problem. With everything from national parks to the award-winning Seahorse World and Platypus House along the way, this scenic journey has something for everyone.
Discover Wineglass Bay without the Crowds
Not quite ready to leave the delights of the Tamar Valley Wine Route behind? Make the two-hour trek east to the Freycinet Peninsula’s most famed attraction, Wineglass Bay. Typically one of the most visited sites in all of Tasmania, this stunning natural formation is free from crowds in autumn, which means you can enjoy uninterrupted views across the Tasman Sea and down to the wineglass-shaped basin below. Best of all, this season’s cool, crisp temperatures and bright sunny days result in ideal conditions for hiking along the coast.
Ready to hit the road? See Australia’s island state come to life this autumn with a budget car hire.