People are often surprised to learn that it snows in Australia. It’s not like the snowfalls you get in Europe or the USA but parts of Australia get snow in winter. We even have ski resorts in the mountainous parts of NSW and Victoria.
As I am from England I saw snow as a child but then we moved to South Australia where once in a blue moon there might be a little snow on top of Mt Lofty (727 metres above sea level) On these occasions it would make the news and anyone who was able would rush up to the summit to see it before it melted. You had to be quick!
Consequently, David grew up never having seen snow. Then we went overseas. His first experience of snow was in Siberia.
Here in Tasmania, the most southerly state in Australia, it snows a little more often than it did in South Australia but rarely enough for me to still get excited about it.
People who have lived here all their lives tell me that winters used to be colder here and that once Mount Wellington (1,271 metres above sea level) had a covering of snow it would remain that way for several weeks but now the snow may only last a few days. I’m blaming climate change.
Snow is most likely to fall in Tasmania between June and October. The first few years we were here it tended to be more towards September-October but the last few big falls we’ve had have been in June or July. Oatlands, where Naomi lives, gets a bit of snow in winter. I remember the first time I was there house sitting for her in July 2008 and it started to snow heavily one day. It was about minus three degrees outside but I was so excited that I put a pair of track pants over my jeans, an extra pair of socks and gloves and went out to take photos in the middle of the snowstorm.
I saw one other lunatic out doing the same thing. The next day the snow was still on the ground so I managed to get a few more photos but by mid-morning it was all gone.
As Geeveston is 60km south of Hobart it’s not unusual for the hills around the area to get snow in winter although it doesn’t usually last long here either unless it is very cold. A few of my friends who live on properties out of town get snow in their gardens. However, I’ve only had snow in my garden two or three times in nearly 17 years of living here which is somewhat disappointing to me. Last year a friend took me out to see the snow just outside the town which was fun.
I probably would not like it if we had so much snow that we had to shovel our way out. It would make getting around for me harder than it already is but it is pretty to see once in a while.
It is almost summer here so this week’s photos will be mostly reruns.
Compared to the weather some of my blogging friends experience in winter ours are pretty mild. Although mountainous areas get snow in winter low-level snow is rare enough that we get a bit excited about it. If we get some it usually isn’t a lot and doesn’t last long. Here are a couple of pictures from snowy days in 2015 and 2017. In 2015 we had some very heavy falls that came below 300 metres which meant that bus services to Hobart were restricted for a day or so. I was traveling to see David in the hospital during this time and the second photo was taken on one of those trips.
What we mostly get in winter though is rain, frost, and fog. The damp and the greyness of almost everything is what makes it seem colder than it probably is.
It rained almost continuously when we went to Strahan for a weekend. During a stop on our Gordon River cruise, our guide soldiered on regardless telling us about the flora and fauna and while Bruce and I took as many photos as we could.
This was a tricky subject for me this week. Winter is long gone and compared to the winter that those of you in Europe and the USA have been experiencing I feel a bit of a fake for calling our winter cold at all. On the other hand it has not been hot and summery this past week either so no nice photos of ice chilled drinks and swimming pools.
Here are a few snow pictures from past winters. The first couple of photos are from last winter and were taken on a quiet road just outside Geeveston, the next one was taken from the bus during the big snow we had in 2015. The last two were taken nearly ten years ago while I was staying in Oatlands minding Naomi’s house while she was on holidays.
Although Cee is not hosting the Which Way Challenge at present I could not resist posting these Which Ways as I have been waiting to post snow photos for a long time.
A friend was kind enough to take me for a drive to the outskirts of Geeveston late Friday afternoon. It had been snowing since the night before but was now starting to melt away. These were taken on one of the roads that lead out to the forestry areas. We were not in a four-wheel drive so we stayed on the main track, a good graded earth road where there was snow on the verges. The tracks that lead to the various coupes are 4WD only and they had a lot more snow. It actually did start to snow while we were out so at least I can say I have been snowed on for the first time in about ten years.
Snow on the verges.
Tracks in the snow
One of the forestry tracks.
Untouched snow. This is about as heavy as it usually gets in Geeveston although higher altitudes will get more.
Last night the weather forecast was for more snow down to the 300 metre level so I expected that there might be a bit on Vince’s Saddle where I took some photographs recently. I had to go to Hobart today but as the snow was not forecast until later in the day I thought it would be OK to make the trip. Although I was not expecting to take photos at the last minute I picked up the camera bag.
It was a cold wet morning and as the bus travelled through Longley on the way to Hobart I could see that the hills above the township had fresh snow. The rain changed to hail and by the time we reached Kingston which is 11km from Hobart it was hailing very hard. From Kingston the bus travels on the Southern Outlet to Hobart and as we continued the hail turned to sleet. Suddenly I noticed that the road was white, we slowed right down as did all the other traffic. I saw cars stopped at the side of the road whose owners didn’t want to continue in these conditions.
Normally after the morning rush traffic on the Southern Outlet is not heavy especially going away from Hobart but now cars were banked up as everyone tried to negotiate the icy road and make it down to Hobart safely.
The upside of this was that as we were going so slowly I was able to take photos out of the window without the usual problems of trying to focus.
I made it safely to Hobart but was concerned about whether I would be able to get home again later so after visiting Hubby I rang the bus company to check. The weather had improved by then and all the ice and snow I saw on the road on the way down was gone on the way back although we did have more hail.
Despite being a bit anxious about getting home I was pleased on the whole because now I have a “Which Way” for this week.
I have missed a couple of Which Ways lately because I’ve not really been anywhere except to Hobart and back. Earlier this week we had some big falls of snow right down to sea level and the buses didn’t run for two days because of ice and snow on a section of the Huon Highway. It didn’t snow much at my place so I was champing at the bit to get out and see some snow; and to take Hubby his clean laundry of course.
Vince’s Saddle is the highest point on the Huon Highway at 376 metres. I’ve seen snow up there before but only once since I’ve lived here has the road been closed because of it. It was not a nice day, there was drizzle, fog and in patches it was still snowing but the bus made it up and over the hill and down into Hobart. A lot of the snow from the previous two days had melted by this time. I took a few pictures from the bus. Please excuse the reflections.
Mount Wellington was so completely obscured by cloud that if a giant had come and taken it away we would not have known. I had to go to Hobart again the next day with more laundry and the clouds were gone. Mount Wellington was still there!