Some would assume the galleries of Mona keep the weird and wonderful in - but Tasmania's creativity goes beyond these walls.

Potters spin lumps of clay into voluptuous vessels. Choirs gather in squares and yell tunes into the night. We candy abalone, chew on seaweed and cultivate wasabi (of all things). There's folk punk, punk folk, queer cabaret, grunge metal and 500-year-old sea shanties for your ears to swallow. No matter the medium, we don't do creativity by halves.

Shelly Beach, Tasman Peninsula.
Shelly Beach, Tasman Peninsula.
Stephen Dupont

The Off Season is here to shake up your inner artist. Prime yourself for cooking classes, singing lessons, ceramics sessions and poetry slams. Learn some skills in leatherwork, basketry, photography, song-writing… The Off Season is the mother of invention - all you have to do is channel the creative vibes.

Tasmania's winter festivals provide the spark: Dark Mofo the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest and Winter Light are programmed to the hilt with curious installations, pulsating performances and good things to eat and drink. Or fine-tune your harmonies in a vocal workshop at the Festival of Voices.

Tick all the boxes - art, food, drink and invention - with a guided Ewenique Tasting House experience at Grandvewe Cheeses and Hartshorn Sheep Whey Distillery on the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Taste, talk and learn about the farm, the sheep and the production - then illustrate the label of your take-home bottle of vodka or gin.

In the dark west-coast winter, World Heritage Cruises takes brave souls on a night-time lantern tour of Sarah Island. Beyond Hells Gates in Macquarie Harbour, this lost little island has a dark convict past – some real-life inspiration for your next gothic novel. Whisky, mulled wine and warm morsels keep the shivers at bay. For a while...

Lodge

Rest your head in some imaginative accommodation this Off Season. A night in one of Mona's a luxe riverside pavilions is hard to beat – you'll hear Tasmania's artistic heart beating through the walls.

Or change it up with a stay in a historic B&B or hotel in surprising Queenstown on the west coast. Mining – rather than art – has long been the focus of life here. But things are changing: artists are outnumbering miners, and the town celebrates its new-found maker spirit. Stop by LARQ – Landscape Art Research Queenstown – and see what's on the boil.

At Dover in the far south, lodge yourself above the waterline in a stylish boathouse hideaway at the Peninsula Experience. Survey the scene from a hot tub on the deck, sipping a hot spiced cider you made yourself, using apples from nearby Surges Bay Orchard.

Back in Hobart, the redbrick Assemblage Boutique Art B&B fills an 1890s post office with handmade objects and artworks. Downstairs, join a collage and mixed-media workshop and conjure-up your own Tasmanian art story – playing a small part in the Off Season's rich creative legacy.

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LARQ - Landscape Art Research Queenstown
LARQ - Landscape Art Research Queenstown
Jesse Hunniford

Feast

Fine Tasmanian food and drink is one of the reasons you're here, right? Maybe the reason.

Head south into the fertile Huon Valley, where the Farmhouse Kitchen nourishes body and soul with a winter-warmer cooking masterclass. Plate-up seasonal Tasmanian produce, prepared with traditional southern Italian fun, passion and generosity.

On the liquid front, Lawrenny Estate in the Derwent Valley is a vision from another era – a historic riverbank homestead, offering guided whisky tasting experiences. Sip a dram of single malt drawn directly from the barrel, and learn how to make it (hot tip: it's not something you can do in the laundry sink).

Tour, taste, make and shake at Western Tiers Distillery in the northern town of Westbury. Learn how gin is made, taste the botanicals that go into it, make a personalised bottle, then shake it up in a winter cocktail to send you on your way.

And don't miss the Dark Mofo Winter Feast on the Hobart waterfront – a red-lit winter solstice banquet that will fan the flames of your culinary desires.

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Dark Mofo Winter Feast
Dark Mofo Winter Feast
Adam Gibson

Revel

Revel in an imaginative realm this winter.

Down at Deep Bay, shake off the winter chill alongside the glowing kiln at Bronwyn Clarke Ceramics. Making pottery is an ancient, meditative art – and 'throwing' on a potter's wheel is harder than it looks. Bronwyn will help stop your lump of clay from spinning off sideways.

Continuing the ceramics theme, Campo de Flori Farm at nearby Glen Huon offers the chance to learn about raku firing techniques and concoct your own dazzling ceramic glazes.

In Spreyton in the north west, open the door to the rich aroma of leather at Simon Martin Whips and Leathercraft. The makers here will help you craft your own leathery Off Season memento.

At a workshop at Glass Manifesto in Launceston, learn how to turn molten glass into beautiful beads. Take a quick-fire walk into this fiery world, then parade your new jewellery out the door.

On the wild ocean fringes of Turrakana / Tasman Peninsula, view the Three Capes Lodge Walk through a camera lens on a 'Nature and Night Photography' experience. Will the Aurora Australis – the spectacular Southern Lights – be dancing in the dark?

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Visitor at Bronwyn Clarke Ceramics
Visitor at Bronwyn Clarke Ceramics
Remi Chauvin

What's on offer this off season?

Businesses across Tasmania join the Off Season festivities with inspiring offers and rare experiences for winter wanderers – things to do, places to stay and good things to eat and drink. Come inside and see what's cooking.

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Three people trying on leather boots and laying on the floor

Plan your adventures