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When is the best time to visit Tasmania?

Any time is the best time to visit Tasmania. But we’re biased. 

Tasmania has four distinct seasons. And for many travellers, seasonal experiences are the main reasons to come to Tasmania.

Tasmania does winter well. Winter, aka the Off Season, is the prime time to get cosy by a log fire with a glass of pinot noir, warm up on a bike ride, indulge in beachfront storm-watching or visit alpine national parks. Winter days are generally bright, clear and crisp and, in the highlands, snow-capped mountains sparkle in the sunshine. This is the season of hunting with truffle dogs, when oysters and scallops are at their peak, and Tasmanian whisky tastes best (well, we think so).

Prepare for longer, warmer days and fresh cool nights during spring. This is the season of wildlife breeding, waratah flowering, and blooming cool-climate gardens in the grounds of renowned historic houses and flower farms.

Summer is when the days are long, and the beaches are longer. The lavender fields are blooming beautiful and there’s a sizzling bunch of summer festivals. It's the busiest time of the year, so book well ahead to secure car hire and accommodation.

Prepare for the best touring and walking season in autumn, with calm sunny days, cool crisp evenings and lots of autumn colours – don’t miss the “turning of the fagus”, when Tasmania's only winter deciduous native turns hillsides gold and russet.

Find more here about what is happening each season.

Do you have a listing of special events?

For details on great things happening in Tasmania, see our What’s on calendar.

What weather can I expect?

Tasmania has four distinct seasons. (And we love them all.)

The warmest months are December, January, February and March. Autumn has sunny, still days. Winter runs from May through August. However, being located by the Southern Ocean, the world's weather engine, the climate can vary greatly – on any given day.

Average maximum temperatures in summer sit between 17 and 23 degrees Celsius. Winter maximum temperatures are between 3 and 11 degrees.

Rainfall varies dramatically across the island. Hobart, with an annual average of 626mm, is Australia's second-driest capital city (after Adelaide), while on the west coast an annual average of 2400mm ensures the rainforest thrives. 

Be prepared for sudden, temporary deterioration in the weather, especially if bushwalking. Always carry extra warm clothing, including a waterproof outer layer. And while 23 degrees might not sound particularly warm in summer, it’s a dry heat and the sun can be hot. Sunscreen and a hat are essential during the warmer months.

Check out the monthly average temperatures around the state.

What should I wear in Tasmania?

It’s possible to experience a few seasons in one day here and the temperature can vary greatly from one side of the island to the other. It’s all about the layers in Tasmania. Pile them on to keep warm and peel them off to bask in the sunshine. 

In the warmer months carry a hat, sunscreen and a light long-sleeved shirt – despite what the weather forecast says, the sun gets hot and can come with a bite. 

The surest way to blend in during a Tasmanian winter is to dress like a local. Puffer jackets (typically black) are ubiquitous enough that Tasmanians have coined a nickname for them: the Tassie tuxedo. Woollen beanies top off the winter wardrobe and are best seen while you’re soaking in a steaming outdoor bath. Gloves and a scarf seal the deal.

Want to know what to pack?

Is it too cold to visit Tasmania in winter?

No way. There are areas of inland and regional Australia that experience colder winters. Tasmanians embrace winter. It’s the Off Season. The days are generally bright, clear and crisp. Snow-capped mountains sparkle in the sunlight. It’s the ideal time for walking, then warming up by a crackling fire with a glass of Tasmanian pinot or whisky. Winter is when locals celebrate the dark with warming festivals.

Where can I find snow in Tasmania?

Grab the toboggan and head to Mount Field National Park (70min drive north-west of Hobart) when there’s been talk of snowfall in the region. Tasmanians flock to the park’s Lake Dobson for snow fights and picnics.

Ben Lomond National Park in the north-east, a 1hr 15min drive east of Launceston, is the perfect place for downhill and cross-country skiers. Both Ben Lomond and Mount Mawson, in Mount Field National Park, operate ski tows during the season.  

The Central Highlands and the more mountainous areas often get snowfalls in winter. However, snow rarely settles at sea level.

kunanyi / Mount Wellington in Hobart has sporadic snow in the colder months (although it's even been known to have snow in December). Drive up the mountain to The Springs to meet it.

Where can I get information about walking in Tasmania?

Tasmania's tracks and trails are world-renowned. If you're a keen bushwalker, there's no better place to be. Find more information on walking in Tasmania. Learn more about the national parks and a guide to bushwalking in Tasmania

Do I need to pay to enter Tasmania’s national parks?

Yes. A Tasmanian national parks pass is required for entry to national parks. Daily passes and two-month holiday passes are available online from the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, at national park visitor centres, and at most accredited Tasmanian Visitor Information Centres. Passes are not required to access conservation areas or state forest reserves, although some require permission to enter.

Do I need a fishing licence to fish in Tasmania?

You don't need a licence to fish with a rod and line in marine waters in Tasmania. You do need a licence for freshwater fishing. Find more at the Inland Fisheries Commission website.

When and where is Salamanca Market held?

Salamanca Market operates every Saturday of the year along Salamanca Place in Hobart, rain, hail or shine. It's open 8.30am-3pm and has some of the best arts, crafts, food and flowers in Tasmania. It's also a great spot for breakfast or lunch. If Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, the market is held on the Sunday (Boxing Day). Find more here.

Where can I see a Tasmanian devil?

Visit a wildlife park to see a Tasmanian devil up close. They are noctural and difficult to find in the wild, though their feeding frenzy may be heard from a long distance.

What are the quarantine restrictions when coming to Tasmania?

Ditch that apple core before getting off the plane. Tasmania has some of the world's most stringent quarantine regulations. Please help us retain Tasmania's disease-free status by ensuring that you're not carrying or importing any restricted items. For details about what you can and can’t bring into Tasmania, see Biosecurity Tasmania.

How can I get to King and Flinders islands?

King Island is 80km off the north-west tip of the Tasmanian mainland, in Bass Strait. Flights operate to the island from Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Melbourne.

Flinders Island is about 55km off Tasmania's north-east coast, in Bass Strait. Sharp Airlines flies between Whitemark (Flinders Island) and Launceston, Hobart and Essendon Airport in Melbourne.

Bass Strait Freight offers car and passenger service to Flinders Island departing Bridport on Monday nights at high tide.

When is the best time to see tulips in bloom?

Wynyard is carpeted in tulips for a month or so in spring each year, from late September to the end of October. Visit the Table Cape Tulip Farm on open days during these months, or enjoy the week-long Bloomin’ Tulip Festival in Wynyard in October.

When is the lavender in bloom?

Lavender season runs from December through to early February in Tasmania. This is the time to see vast purple fields, bursting with colour and fragrance. Find more here.

What should I pack to come to Tasmania?

It’s all about the layers in Tasmania. Pile them on to keep warm and peel them off to bask in the sunshine. 

The weather can change quickly here. Be prepared. Pack warm, fast-drying layers for maximum flexibility. If hiking, wear sturdy waterproof shoes and woollen socks. Always carry a waterproof jacket.

In the warmer months carry a hat, sunscreen and a light long-sleeved shirt – despite what the weather forecast says, the sun gets hot and can come with a bite. 

The surest way to blend in during a Tasmanian winter is to dress like a local. Puffer jackets (typically black) are ubiquitous enough that Tasmanians have coined a nickname for them: the Tassie tuxedo. Woollen beanies top off the winter wardrobe and are best seen while you’re soaking in a steaming outdoor bath. Gloves and a scarf seal the deal. 

Check out these handy items for the suitcase.

Are there snakes in Tasmania?

There are three snake species in Tasmania: the tiger snake, the lowland copperhead and the white-lipped snake. All of them are venomous.

When is the best time to do a long hike?

Each season has an advantage for multi-day hikes. There can be a spectacular display of wildflowers in spring. In autumn and spring the days are crisp but can still be warm, making them ideal hiking months. In summer the days are long and warm. Careful planning and preparation are needed for some long hikes in winter. Keep up to date with safety guidelines in national parks before attempting a long hike.

Is there a good network of road trips across Tasmania?

There sure is. Tasmania’s compact size and diverse landscapes make every road trip an adventure. 

There are five drive journeys to follow – Great Eastern Drive, Western Wilds, Heartlands, Southern Edge and Northern Forage – and a raft of special-interest trails covering wine, whisky, produce, convict history and more. 

Road conditions vary and can be winding and steep, so allow extra time when estimating driving times and distances. Because wildlife is so abundant, native animals often wander onto the road, especially between dusk and dawn – please slow down and take extra care, especially at these times.

How do I safely view wildlife?

With few introduced predators and a relatively large area of intact habitat, Tasmania is a final refuge for many animal species including the Tasmanian devil, the world's largest surviving carnivorous marsupial. There are wombats galore, spotted quolls, echidnas, platypuses, pademelons, Bennett’s wallabies, little penguins – and many more fascinating animals. 

Tasmania is home to many species of endemic birds, including the forty-spotted pardalote and orange-bellied parrot. Head out to sea and spot sunbaking seals, dolphins and whales when the season is right. 

As cute as the creatures are, never touch or feed them and always keep a respectful distance (3m minimum) from native animals.   

A wildlife park is a great way to see wildlife a little closer and find out more about them.

Learn more about wildlife here.

When can I see the Southern Lights?

Winter is the ultimate time to witness the Southern Lights, also known as Aurora Australis, because night falls earlier at this latitude. That said, the Southern Lights can be seen year-round in Tasmania.

No one knows precisely when a light show may occur – it can be elusive. Space weather maps and predictions are helpful, but ultimately the sun decides. 

The Aurora Australis Tasmania Facebook page is a good way to keep up with real-time sightings. There are apps such as Star Walk, Solar Monitor, Aurora Forecast and Aurora Australis Forecast & Southern Lights Alerts. The Facebook group  Aurora Australis Tasmania Alert NOW is where watchers post up-to-the-second accounts of aurora sightings in Australia.

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