There’s been a lot said about Tassie weather and not all of it is true. Cold: okay we’ll cop to that if you’re used to Queensland temperatures. Wet: sometimes, but not as much as you would think. Honest. Hobart is actually the second driest capital city in Australia, behind Adelaide. You want rain? Spend a winter in Melbourne.
At the moment autumn is in full swing. You won’t believe how beautiful Hobart looks in its autumn colours. Just yesterday we drove past a tree that was shedding beautiful golden leaves like it was raining. The wind was picking them up and swirling them around in a huge cluster. All the parks are a riot of colour at the moment and driving into valleys like New Norfolk take your breath away with all the reds, yellows, browns and oranges shining in the autumn sun.
Or have a coffee at the popular Salamanca place and admire how beautiful the sandstone buildings look with the sun shining on them, I actually think Salamanca is better is autumn then is summer. Tassie always gets a burst of warm weather in April and this year it seems determined to last at least through May as well. It’s still plenty warm enough to engage in all those outdoor activities we are reluctant to give up and outdoor events like the weekly Salamanca Markets are bustling with people. The local pubs in the area also start selling mulled wine at this time of the year and it is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends, spread around an open fire and sharing a platter of local produce.
We do get some cold mornings in Hobart, particularly when it’s been snowing on the mountain (that’s how locals refer to Mt Wellington). You’ll get used to seeing locals rugged up in stylish black quilted down jackets at this time of the year. The snow fall is usually fairly light at this point, but if you’ll be in Hobart towards the end of the winter in July/August, the ubiquitous snow trip up the mountain is a must. Time it right and you can drive right up to the top and admire the view in between dodging snowballs.
If you’re into skiing Tasmania offers some great uncrowded slopes. In the south check out Mt Mawson at Mt Field National Park or if you’re up north the popular Ben Lomond which is situated about a 50 minute drive out of Launceston. For the more adventurous you can also go cross country skiing through national parks like Cradle Mountain. More info on skiing in Tassie can be found at http://www.tas.gov.au/tasmaniaonline/browse/Culture,+sport+and+recreation/Sport,+fitness+and+recreational+activities/Skiing/
Check out the Longest Night Film festival (http://www.discovertasmania.com and follow the links). An annual event, celebrating Tasmania’s close ties to Antarctica, the Longest Night Film festival is hosted by the State Cinema in North Hobart. 2011 marks the Antarctic Centennial Year. Speaking of all things Antarctic; keep an eye out for the Aurora Australis the bright orange ice breaker that’s often in port in between expeditions, it’s a bit of a Tassie icon.
The key to enjoying the outdoors in Tassie in the colder months is to be prepared. You’ll need jeans, thick socks, waterproof shoes, gloves, a scarf, some long sleeves tops and a warm jacket. Bring these with you and you’re sure to have a blast enjoying all the winter months in Tassie have to offer.