Walking in winter: tips for making the most of your adventure
There are so many wonderful walks to experience in winter on the Cradle Coast and there's something incredibly special about bundling up and venturing out to explore even when the elements are variable. For the adventurers, wilderness seekers and fresh air finders, here's a few tips for making your winter walking days nothing short of top notch.
1. Have a plan
Everything is better when you have a plan. Because many of our walks are some distance apart and in the winter when the hours of daylight are limited, it's always a good idea to get up early and hit the road with a plan. We have many short walks in the Cradle Coast, as well as longer ones that can take the better part of a day. Depending on what your ability and desire is for the day, you will definitely get the most of it when you have a plan.👌🏼
2. Layer up!
It goes without saying... the weather in winter can be very hit and miss, and occasionally fairly harsh. Though on any given day you can experience all four seasons, it doesn't make the exploration any less exciting. As a rule of thumb in any season in Tasmania, we recommend layering up. What does this mean exactly? Wear layers that can keep you warm in different temperatures. Merino wool is a great layer to use because it does exactly what you need it to: keeps you warm when you're cold and cool and when you're warm. It's also a good idea to pack a down jacket and waterproof layer in case you get one of our famous "surprise" downpours. Also in your daypack, be sure to bring a beanie, gloves and an extra dry layer in case you sweat through the one closest to your body. Once sweat cools, it can send your body temperature down, so it's always good to swap layers if that happens.😊
3. Always pack snacks
We're lucky to have many incredible food products in Tasmania and you don't have to travel far to get your hands on them. Likely while you're making your way around the region you will have seen places like Ashgrove cheese or the Raspberry farm which have wonderful farm gate shops where you can purchase delicious snacking goodies. It's always important to pack drinks and snacks for your winter walks, so make sure you stock up before heading into the wilderness!
4. Wear good shoes
Wearing good shoes can really turn your winter walk into an optimal experience. We have a lot of varied terrain in the Cradle Coast and depending on the environment you're heading into you could be in slippery or difficult conditions. Merrell Australia is a great place to find high-quality walking shoes that are perfect for Tassie terrain. So ditch the flats and make sure you get some good shoes to support your adventures.
5. Don't forget the camera!
Along your walk (and on your travels to the trailhead) you will surely find beautiful things that you'll want to photograph for your memory bank. There are so many wonderful photo opportunities throughout the Cradle Coast and bringing your camera on your adventure is an absolute must.
6. Always allow extra time
Winding roads, unpredictable weather and opportunities to stop and take in the scenery... you will definitely benefit from giving yourself some extra time to travel. Rushing from one place to the next doesn't allow for the full experience to really settle in, so to make the most out of each spot you stop at, give yourself more time than you think you need. Additionally, our roads are winding and narrow and what would normally take half the time on a wide four-lane highway, sometimes takes twice as long on the back country roads that lead to many of our bushwalks.
7. Don't rush to the top
In Tasmania, we have beautiful endemic trees, plants and wildlife and if we rush to the top, we sometimes miss the beauty that surrounds us. Whether it's a native pepper berry tree or a friendly wombat, allowing extra moments to enjoy the little things will make your walking experience all the more worthwhile.
8. Listen to the locals
If you happen to stumble upon one of our friendly locals and they give you advice or a recommendation about a bush walk, the weather or traveling to a certain place, you should definitely listen to them. Our locals love to share the beauty of this region with visitors and their knowledge is supreme. The internet can be very beneficial for planning our travels, but once you're in rural Tasmania, locals trump the World Wide Web.😊
9. Let the environment woo you
There's no question about it, nature wants to wrap you up in her wonder and leave you in awe. This region is pristine and offers an experience unlike anywhere else in Australia and if you let her, Mother Nature will woo you with her rays of light, colours of the sunset and smells of the forest. So when you're on your bushwalk, tune into those cues from the environment and let them draw you in to revel in the beauty.
10. Be flexible
Even our best laid plans can change. And if they do, there's always another activity around the corner. Being open-minded and flexible are quite possibly the best qualities an adventurous person can have. Going with the flow and taking the things that are out of our control with a grain of salt, and then shifting perspective to see things with a new frame of mind is a wonderful way to view the world. There are plenty of adventure that awaits you here, even when it's different than what you had originally imagined. It's all magic: all the sunshine and all the storms.
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