Tasmania offers everything you need to have a Scandi-inspired holiday, fit for a royal.
Tasmanian-born Mary Donaldson has officially become Queen Mary of Denmark. Although her transformation from Hobart local to Scandinavian royalty is a major shift, there are plenty of parallels between the small Nordic country and Mary’s home state of Tasmania.
In celebration of Australia’s first queen consort, we’ve rounded up a Scandinavian-inspired bucket list of things to experience in Tasmania. From wilderness saunas to fine arts and culture, these Tasmanian experiences are fit for a queen.
Wine and dine like a queen
Fine dining and fresh produce go hand in hand. Launceston, in Tassie’s north east corner, has been named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, thanks to its outstanding local produce and abundance of impressive culinary talent. Stillwater, a fine dining restaurant housed in an old flour mill, is a stand-out for its modern dishes which draw on fresh, local ingredients. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to wine, too. The Tamar Valley, a stone’s throw from the city, is one of the best cool-climate producers.
Josef Chromy Wines is a wine-lovers paradise. (Image: Andrew Wilson)
Check out innovative architecture and design
Nordic design is known for its elegant, pared-back sophistication, but Tasmania has the architectural prowess to rival it. A new vanguard of designers and architects is creating sleek, modern spaces, such as the Mona, the Museum of Old and New Art, which is impressively carved into the rockface. The luxurious Saffire Freycinet also features a high concept, sustainable design, with a breathtaking view of the Hazard mountains to boot. Down in Hobart, The Tasman hotel accentuates its 1840s Georgian heritage bones with restored bathtubs and fireplaces, and adds a modern twist with sleek interior design and a refined colour palette.
Check into Saffire Freycinet for breathtaking views of Freycinet National Park. (Image: Saffire Freycinet)
The Tasman in Hobart combines its 1840s heritage exterior with a sleek, modern interior.
Marvel at art
Mona is largely responsible for putting Australia on the map as an arts destination – in one of the country’s more unexpected locations, too. Now, thousands flock to Hobart to view Mona’s world-class collection, as well as the museum’s two festivals, Dark Mofo and Mona Foma.
Mona is perched on the banks of the River Derwent. (Image: Jesse Hunniford)
Indulge in the art of bathing
Scandinavia is known for its sauna and bathhouse culture. But Tassie is carving out a reputation as a wellness epicentre with a slew of difficult-to-beat saunas and wilderness spas. Get your sweat on in The Wilderness Sauna on the Tasman Peninsula, overlooking the vineyard-fringed Impression Bay.
Head to Derby’s Floating Sauna for a well-deserved R&R. (Image: Dearna Bond)
Derby’s Floating Sauna seems as if it was plucked straight from Northern Europe, surrounded by a placid lake and pristine nature. Wilderness and wellness are a winning combination – and nowhere does it quite like the Apple Isle.
Dip your toes in the water. (Image: Dearna Bond)
Chill out in the snow
While Australia is known as a summer destination, its southernmost state thrives in the winter. Tasmania comes alive during the off-season, celebrating all things hygge (think cosy cabins in the woods, and even dog sledding). When it comes to snow, Mt Wellington near Hobart often gets a sprinkling, but if you want to see mountains blanketed in white, head to the beautiful, UNESCO-listed Cradle Mountain National Park. Those with more active inclinations can check out the ski fields at Mt Mawson.
See Mt Wellington blanketed in snow. (Image: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman)
Witness an Aurora
Seeing the Northern Lights is a bucket list item for many. But did you know that the same phenomenon exists in the southern hemisphere? It’s called Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights, and they can be seen year-round from Tasmania.
Goat’s Bluff on Tassie’s South Peninsula is where you’ll have the best shot of catching the beautiful light display. But for those who don’t want to stray too far from the city, you’ll stand a decent chance on the summit of Mt Wellington, too.
Admire enchanting views of the Aurora Australis. (Image: Tourism Tasmania; Simon Kruit)
Get cosy at a cafe or bakery
Tasmania is home to a vibrant, bustling cafe scene. Here, you can expect top-notch coffee and delicious pastries to accompany your beverage. You’ll find plenty of quaint, heritage bakeries with pastries that give the Danes a run for their money. We’ve rounded up the best cafes in Launceston and the best coffee spots in Hobart for you to check out.
Get your caffeine fix at Sweetbrew. (Image: Lusy Productions)
Roll around on a bike
Denmark (Copenhagen in particular) is known for its bike-riding culture. Granted, Tasmania is not as flat, but the beautiful scenery is certainly worth peddling up hills for. Roll around the slopes at Derby with Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails, or if you feel like something a little more easygoing, explore the port city of Hobart by bike.
Roll around with Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails. (Image: Natalie Mendham)