Best time to visit Tasmania


Locations: Hobart | Launceston | Strahan
Tassie’s weather varies greatly, with maritime, mountain and myriad other microclimates keeping meteorologists busy. The best time to visit Tasmania is not clear cut. In summer (Dec-Feb), the average maximum temp is around 21°C. Autumn is a guessing game but still gorgeous, and winter brings snow and sunshine from Jun-Aug, with white topped mountains as late as Oct. Hiking, biking and cross country skiing are all superb at this time. The west and SW coasts get more rainfall than the east – but a lot fewer tourists enjoying the gorgeously green landscapes.

Month by month guide

The summer months of December, January and February are peak season in Tasmania. Peak season doesn't mean crowds though, and you're never far from spectacular wilderness.

The autumn months of March, April and May are quieter. The weather is changeable, but so are the leaves, with the famous Fagus tree changing to glorious reds and yellows in April, the glowing swathes of forest a wonderful sight.

If you want to see southern right and humpback whales, the best time to visit Tasmania is when their migratory path passes the east coast in May, June and July, and back again in September, October and November.

The winter months are still gorgeous in Tassie, with temperatures between June and August an average maximum of 12°C. But still wonderful for hiking, with high areas getting snowfall at this time too. This is also the best time of year to see the Southern Lights in Tasmania. Look out for clear nights and head into more remote areas - luckily, not very difficult in Tassie.

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Susie de Carteret from our leading Tasmania vacation supplier, Tasmanian Odyssey, shares her Tasmania travel advice: “Most visitors make the mistake of thinking they have to visit in the Tasmanian summer, but my advice would be to avoid the peak season. My very first visit was in August and I will never forget standing on the shores of Lake St Clair in the snow with a wild wallaby just a few feet away. There is nothing to beat coming back from an exhilarating bush walk to the smell of wood smoke and a delicious bottle of Tasmanian Pinot Noir to wash down some of its famous local produce.”
“March and April – Tasmania’s autumn – is also a brilliant time of year to visit. This is usually the driest time of year, and the days are still warm and long, but the nights are beginning to cool down and everywhere is much quieter. However, this is mating time for Tasmanian devils so the chances of seeing them in the wild are less than at other times of the year.”
“Tasmania’s weather is very fickle – Hobart is often Australia’s driest state capital yet just five hours’ driving time away is Strahan on the west coast, gateway to the rainforest, which is one of the wettest places on earth! We say if you don’t like the weather come back in five minutes and that is absolutely true.”

Did you know about?...

The Turning of the Fagus may sound like a Shakespearean romp, but it actually refers to the autumnal change in colour of the island’s only deciduous tree. A beech species, it covers the glowing gamut of reds, oranges and yellows during the month of April. Seek it out in Cradle Mountain and Mount Field National Park where the effects are particularly dramatic.
Photo credits: [Temp chart: Alex] [Itinerary tips - orange-bellied parrot: JJ Harrison] [Getting off the beaten track: NeilsPhotography]
Written by Catherine Mack
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