Summer, 1st December to 28th/29th February, is the season when we can appreciate our cool temperate maritime climate. Influenced by the oceans surrounding our island state, Tasmania escapes searing heat and high humidity. Average Summer temperatures in Tasmania are between 17° and 23° Celsius (62° and 73° Fahrenheit) but we do occasionally record temperatures right up to the mid 30s Celsius range.
Summer… Fun in the Sun in Tasmania
by Carol Haberle
Daylight Savings continues throughout the whole of the Summer season, providing us with an average 14.7 hours of daylight each day. Hobart sees the most summertime daylight hours of any capital city in Australia with 15.2 hours at the summer solstice on 22 December.
Due to our global position below the 40th Parallel (Tasmania lies between latitudes of 40° and 43° south of the equator) Tasmanian Summer evenings have a beautiful lingering twilight, a golden hour just before sundown. At this time the sun is low on the horizon creating a rich glow which is cast across the countryside, and so often giving way to a magical sunset.
A Rich Tasmanian Bounty
As one travels through the rural, farming countryside, signs of Summer become apparent in the patchwork fields. Rich golden shades of the yellow of flowering Canola fields, contrasting white fields of flowering pyrethrum and the beautiful mauve hues of the flowering poppy fields intermingled with green fields of Summer food crops make for a magic patchwork spread. Hay and silage making sees huge round bales scattered across fields as farmers harvest feed in readiness to store for Winter. Our fresh fruit season begins, berries and cherries in time for Christmas, followed shortly after with stone fruits, pears and apples. Summer is a busy season for the farmers and fruit producers in Tasmania.
Travelling around the coastal regions sees people at the beaches, swimming a popular Summer recreation for both locals and tourists alike. Seaside towns come alive as the weather conditions improve; boats can be seen navigating both ocean and rivers. Tasmanian waters are also rich with massive kelp forests and a great variety of marine life, making Summer the ideal time for sea fishing or to go diving. The trout fishing season continues throughout Summer, with the rivers and Highland Lakes popular venues to cast fly, lure or bait.
Summer: The Season of Festivals
Tasmania holds a unique variety of festivals, fairs, markets and sporting events throughout summer. Late December sees the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race arrive at Sullivans Cove. These famous finish-line celebrations coincide with Hobart’s largest food and wine event – the Taste of Tasmania Festival. For three days in February, Festivale transforms Launceston’s historic City Park with live music, much fun, and exceptional regional produce.
Music fans head to Tasmania in summer for the Falls Festival at Marion Bay, the International Folk Festival in Cygnet or MONA FOMA for a five-day carnival of culture. The tiny town of Evandale will in 2014 present its 32nd annual Penny Farthing Championships, the most competitive race of its kind in the world. All this and so much more happens in Tasmania during our Summer months.
The Cool of the Rainforest
No experience in Tasmania is complete without a visit to our rainforests, whether it be on the rugged West Coast, The Tarkine in the far north-west or down south in Mt Field National Park… and Summer is no exception. Due to higher rainfall levels in these areas, the rainforests retain their magic even in Summer. Much of our native flora continues to flower in Summer: Tasmanian waratah (Telopea truncata), Copperleaf snowberry (Gaultheria hispida), Callistemon, the flowering eucalypts and Richea scoparia just to name a few. A walk (or even a drive) through a rainforest is delightfully cool on a hot Summer’s day. Cool night time temperatures within the forest and warmer days bring a feeling of magic… with soft mosses underfoot, the towering eucalypts and rich green myrtle trees above, the beautiful cool shades of the greens of native shrubs and ferns. Summer is a magical season for bushwalking in Tasmania, though please be aware, we do have snakes.
Tasmania has three species of land snake:
- Tiger snake, Notechis scutatus – legally protected in Tasmania
- Lowland copperhead, Austrelaps superbus
- White-lipped snake, Drysdalia coronoides
And all three are active in the Summer months, not only during daylight hours, both tiger snakes and lowland copperheads can be active on warm nights. Many people have an overly fearful attitude towards snakes. The reality is a snake will flee, unless it feels threatened… the majority of people bitten by snakes are those who try to capture or torment them, or a bite on the feet or lower legs can be the result of stepping on a snake (this can occur when stepping over logs, where an unsuspecting snake can be basking in the sun on the other side). Snakes rely on their venom in order to capture prey, or as a defence mechanism. If bushwalking, wear good walking boots and be aware of where you place your feet. There have been no recorded deaths in Tasmania from snakebites for several decades.
NOTE : Even though temperatures are relatively low, Tasmania has very high levels of UV rays throughout the year. Even in winter one can get sun burnt with just 20 minutes in the sun on a sunny day (and yes, I am speaking from experience!) but the levels are extremely high here in Summer. When visiting in Summer, ensure you have packed sunscreen and a hat, you WILL need them!
All photos strictly ©Carol Haberle of H&H Photography. You can follow Carol on Facebook at Haberle Photo Cards. Carol writes feature articles for us about all things Tasmanian. If you’d like Carol to visit you so your place of business can be promoted online, please contact Think Tasmania.
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