Winter in Tasmania

by Carol Haberle

Winter - Magic Lake Burbury
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Winter magic of low lying clouds at Lake Burbury in Tasmania

A New Season: a New Magic Unfolds…

Tasmania has a cool temperate climate, and although in winter the air may be crisp, a new magic begins to unfold. Winter months in Tasmania last from 1st June to 31st August, and are generally the wettest and coolest months in our state, with much of our ‘high lying’ areas receiving considerable snowfalls.


 

In coastal areas our average winter daytime temperature is around 12°Celcius, average winter night time temperature around 4°Celcius. Up in the highland plateau region our average daytime winter temperature drops dramatically to an average 3°Celcius, but night time temperatures of up to -13°Celcius have been recorded. Our days in winter become shorter with an average 8 hours of light per day.

Winter - Mersey River
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The rich winter colours of bare willows along our riverbanks, Mersey River

Of Snowmen and Snowballs…

The snow-capped peaks of Mt. Wellington, Ben Lomond (a popular ski resort here) and Cradle Mountain highlight our rugged, natural beauty in winter and days of snow-coated highlands bring a magical winter wonderland to life… a playground of snowmen and snowball fights. Misty mornings bring low cloud to our valleys, creating a magic as one watches the clouds rise, giving view to the hills & mountains beyond.

Melting snow and winter rainfall refill our rivers, creating an abundance of water to fall from the many waterfalls in Tasmania.  All in all, winter truly brings magic. We also have days of glorious bright winter sunshine, when the air is crisp from a heavy morning frost and a rich clarity brings days alive, vibrant colours filling our landscape.

Winter - Cradle Mountain National Park
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Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania ~ a magical winter wonderland

A Richness of Life as Rain Drips from the Leaves…

Our rainforests take on a new magic in winter; moist, rich and vivid green as the rain drips from the leaves. Our native trees all evergreen (except only one, the Deciduous beech Nothofagus gunnii), the myrtle, the sassafrass, the eucalypts and blackwoods (to name but a few) draw sustenance and nutrients from the winter rains, standing almost dormant until spring will bring forth new growth.

Mosses now grow in abundance, like thick wet sponges underfoot, creeping across the forest floors and up trunks of the ancient trees. A walk through our forests in winter will still have you finding fungi, though not quite as abundant as in autumn.

Winter - Rainforests in Tasmania
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Creeping mosses bring new life to rainforests in Tasmania during winter

Bare Trees Now the Leaves have Fallen…

In many of our historic townships such as Ross, Richmond, Carrick and Westbury our English history becomes evident once more in winter. The great trees our ancestors introduced back in the convict era, the mighty oaks, elms and ash trees now stand bare.  Being deciduous, all the leaves have fallen.  The hawthorn hedges, also now bare of leaves, along many of our country roadsides still bear a few red berries, providing winter food for the birds. The willows, also introduced, now form a golden orange/red splendour along many riverbanks as the cooler temperatures bring a richness of colour to fill the bare branches.

Winter - Bell's Parade, Latrobe
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A frosty winter’s morning at Bell’s Parade, Latrobe Tasmania (click image for more photos)

Fertile Patchwork Tapestries in Winter…

Our crop-farming regions, as always, still retain the sense of a patchwork across acres of landscape.  The rich deep browns of our fertile basalt soil as farmers are preparing fields for spring planting; the mid greens of winter feed for livestock and the bright greens of young crops.


 

Early potatoes are planted in readiness for the early crops of fresh new potatoes in spring. Fields of young onions, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli plantings throw more shades of green into the patchwork which begins to flourish, and crops of winter carrots, cauliflower, cabbages and broccoli are being harvested.

Winter - The Magic of Rural Tasmania
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Rural Tasmania in winter – a magical patchwork of colour

At the End of the Day, a Warm Cosy Log Fire…

No matter where you go in Tasmania, you will find a magic awaits you in winter.  Put on the thermals, wear a beanie and gloves, good waterproof boots, a raincoat and you’re prepared to have your senses awakened. Rain is only water! Get out and explore, jump in puddles and don’t allow a little rain to dampen the spirit of adventure during your Tasmanian holiday.  And at the end of the day, many of our accommodation places have a cosy log fire just waiting to snuggle up near, and get cosy and warm.

Winter - Awaken the Senses in Tasmania
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Winter in Tasmania: awaken the senses, get out and explore!

Note ~ in winter, many of our roads are subject to frost, ice and snow.  Please drive safely to road conditions.  Exercise particular caution when you see road signs warning of ‘black ice’, especially in the mornings. Don’t forget to use headlights in heavy rain, or even when foggy or misty. Slow down, drive to recommended speed limits, and be alert for wildlife.  Much of our wildlife comes out to forage for food in the cooler seasons.  Unfortunately, our native wildlife do not have any road sense.

Winter - Driving Conditions in Tasmania
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Spare a thought for our Tasmanian wildlife and drive to winter conditions

All photos strictly ©Carol Haberle, H&H Photography.
You can follow Carol on Facebook at Haberle Photo Cards
Carol writes feature articles for this website about all things Tasmanian.
If you’d like Carol to visit you, please contact Think Tasmania.

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