chelsea löwik’s winter guide to tasmania

Take a trip down to Australia’s island state with this Hobart local and coffee-pro.

by i-D Staff
11 May 2016, 4:46am

Images via @chelsealowik

With its landscapes, affordable rent and you know, Mona, Tasmania has seen a cultural renaissance over the past decade. Increasingly young Australians are recognising it as a place where they can actually afford to live without being forced to give up or compromise any creative aspirations. And once fresh locals arrive, it usually doesn't take long for them to be drawn into Chelsea Löwik's orbit.

Hobart local Chelsea and her boyfriend are behind two of the city's best coffee spots—Pilgrim Coffee and Bright Eyes. The cafes have become social and cultural hubs and have marked Chelsea as one of the state's most beloved local tastemakers. With winter festivals like the delicious Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest and the sweet-sounding Festival of Voices on Tasmania's horizon—and the knowledge that waves of tourists will soon be arriving and asking, "so what's good here?"—we caught up with her for some inside knowledge on what to check out when you're in town. Because life's too short to take recommendations from hotel pamphlets. 

Best coffee: Pilgrim Coffee

"Red brick walls, comfy old cinema chairs, and an offering heaps of different coffees from multiple Australian roasters, it's this caffeine addict's perfect winter cafe."

Best place to stay: #thebarnTAS

"Two young architects bought an old barn and turned it into the most popular Airbnb house in Hobart. Even if you don't stay there it's worth scoping it out. They turned a shitty barn into my dream house."

Best wine bar: Willing Bros. Wine Merchants

"With a solid wine list of local, international, and natural wines—plus a good snack selection—this is where you'll find me most weekday evenings."

Best restaurant: Aløft

"Pedigree chefs that decided to have a sea change to Hobart, Pan-Pacific Asian food and the best music playlist. The head chef is apparently obsessed with disco."

Best cinema: The State Cinema, North Hobart

"100 year old cinema with 20-seater theatres that hosts an eclectic range of art house, international, and award winning films."

Best shop: Music Without Frontiers

"This shop is owned by an old Serbian version of Bernard Black, but has the largest collection of retail vinyls in Tasmania. Just make sure you don't bring any food or drinks into his store."

Best pub: The Winston

"Old pinball machines, a pool table, American street food and live Mississippi-style string bands; this pub is what dreams are made of."

Best secret spot: Willow Court Antique Store

"In what used to be The New Norfolk Insane Asylum, Willow Court regularly imports shipping containers of vintage wares from Europe and has everything from 1960s Harley Davidson bikes to mink coats."

Best tourist spot: Museum of Old and New Art

"David Walsh is the crazy king of gambling and has spent his earnings on a museum dedicated to sex and death. Not only that—he also has a vineyard, restaurant, accommodation, and two bars on the museum grounds."

Best view: Mt Wellington

"You can see everything from up there; city, ocean, mountains. Just make sure you rug up, it's snowcapped for most of winter."

Best place to soak in nature: Mt Field Russell Falls and Horseshoe Fall

"70km out of Hobart there are crazy beautiful waterfalls with easy access and a wheelchair-friendly path."


This article is presented in partnership with Qantas. Discover your curious side, with more flights to Tasmania available now. You can book your visit at

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