THE HUON VALLEY MID-WINTER FEST

Celebrating Cider with Fire and Song

WHAT SPARKS YOUR INTEREST?

Huon Valley
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Andrew McIntosh

Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest
Image thanks to: Natalie Mendham Photography

Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest
Image thanks to: Natalie Mendham Photography

Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest
Image thanks to: Natalie Mendham Photography

Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Jonathan Wherrett

The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest

For most of the year, the Huon Valley makes for one of the best sights in Tasmania: beautiful countryside, fresh and flourishing apple orchards, and soft charms just a half hour from the island state’s capital, Hobart. Winter is an especially splendid time to be in Tasmania, and there’s no event to better brighten your winter than the annual Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Kate Berry.

What Can You Expect

Sing, shout, hit the drums and make a terrible racket to ward off those nasties from the cider apple trees in order to bring a lively autumn harvest. People young and old, families from all around, and music-lovers come to sing by the firelight and banish evil spirits.

History

Join in the tradition with like-minded locals to celebrate the region’s apple-pickin’ history. At the heart of the festival is a focus on wassailing: an age-old tradition from England’s West Country designed to scare bad luck away and ensure a good apple harvest. A Wassail King and Queen lead a song to be belted out from one orchard to the next until the Queen is lifted up and gives a final gift to the tree spirits. But if that doesn’t bob your Geeveston fanny, that’s alright too-–there’ll be plenty of other activities in abundance.

All of the excitement is coupled with feasting a’plenty, with fantastic food and drink from Tasmania’s best! The festival, which started in 2014, has a strong emphasis on supporting friends from the local community. There will be a variety of foods from different businesses to keep you refreshed for the entire weekend. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Kate Berry.

Fun, Food, and Festivities

This family festival is filled with nights of feasting, music, and storytelling by the fireside to keep you entertained all weekend. Inspired by pagan traditions, festival-goers are encouraged to don their costumes and dress up as kings, queens, goblins, and anything else that tickles their fancy, with prizes being awarded for the best costumes.

Folks will be enthralled by storytellers who weave tales of wonder and amazement and transport children and adults alike to other worlds. When you aren’t gathered by the fire to share stories, there’ll be music to keep you dancing all weekend, from a talented bunch of artists playing everything from folkpunk to traditional Irish to freaky space jazz (yes, you read that one right).

Come to enjoy an amazing weekend with the stunning scenery of the Huon Valley and lend a hand: bring and bang your pots and pans, eat the finest foods Tasmania has to offer, wash it down with cider and any other delicious local cuisine, and proclaim “wassail!” – “good health!” for a bountiful crop. Image thanks to Natalie Mendham Photography.

When & Where

The festival takes place in the dead of Tassie winter, in mid-July of each year.

Held at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, the festival is just a half-hour’s drive from Hobart on the Huon Highway, Grove Tasmania. Parking is available in designated areas.

Ready to have a wassail of a time? Escape to Tasmania this winter and join in the fun! Passes are available for the whole weekend as well as single day passes. If you don’t have a car, fret not. Transportation is available from Hobart throughout the entire weekend.

What to do

Battery Point

Willie Smith's Distillery Experience

Willie Smith’s Apple Shed is located only 30 minutes’ drive from Hobart, at Grove in the Huon Valley, Tasmania.  Here you will find the Charles Oates Distillery where Fine Apple Brandy and Eau de vie apple spirits are made from Willie Smith’s organic apple cider.

The Experience
Spend 1.5 hours as a special guest of the distiller, in the Willie Smith’s Distillery.  You will learn about the French art of cider distillation using a Charentais Alembic Still.  See how Charles Oates apple spirits are made and aged to make Australia’s first Fine Apple Brandy (known in France as Calvados) made using traditional French techniques.  Be guided through a tasting of the Charles Oates spirits matched perfectly with a food plate and cheese platter designed by the Willie Smith’s Apple Shed Head Chef.  Groups for the distillery experience are set at a maximum of ten people so that you will be given the best opportunity to talk with the distiller and enjoy your time learning about and tasting the Charles Oates spirits.

Book Willie Smith's Distillery Experience
AU$95

AU$95

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Cider and Wine Half Day Tour

Huon Valley

Our Cider & Wine Half Day Tour involves a visit to the Huon Valley to taste award winning cider and wine from the heart of the Apple Isle. This is the morning half of our Signature Tour.

AU$109

Half Day Tour

AU$109

Half Day Tour

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It only takes 2 minutes

Where to Stay

Battery Point

Crabtree River Cottages

Grove - South East

Situated in Grove, this cottage is 7.3 km from Home Hill Winery and 15.5 km from Wooden Boat Centre. Mount Nelson Lookout and Kingborough Sports Centre are also within 32 km.
This smoke-free cottage features a garden, barbecue grills, and a picnic area. Free breakfast and free self parking are also provided.
Weekly housekeeping is available.

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Star rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Villa Howden

Howden - South East

Situated in a shopping district, this luxury inn is 2.5 km from Peter Murrell Nature Reserve and within 15 km of Kingborough Sports Centre and Taroona Shot Tower.

Star rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Walton House

Huonville - South

Situated in a shopping district, this luxury guesthouse is 4.8 km from Home Hill Winery and 6.2 km from Wooden Boat Centre.

Star rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Huon Bush Retreats

Huonville - South

Situated in a regional park, this apartment building is within 15 km of Home Hill Winery, Picton River, and Huon Apple & Heritage Museum.

Star rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Nierinna Rise

Margate - South East

Situated in a rural location, this bed & breakfast is 9.2 km from Peter Murrell Nature Reserve and within 20 km of Kingborough Sports Centre and Taroona Shot Tower.

Star rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Huonville Guesthouse

Huonville - South

Situated in a shopping district, this luxury guesthouse is 6 km from Home Hill Winery and 8.5 km from Wooden Boat Centre.

Star rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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