Best Time To Visit Tasmania: Weather, Crowds And More

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Heading to Tasmania and wondering what the best time to visit Tasmania is? You are not alone, and we are going to do our best to answer your question here!

The reality is, though, it’s not a one word answer.

The best time of year to travel to Tasmania is going to depend on where you are going, what you want to see, your budget and how much you tolerate crowds.

Derwent Bridge
Hobart

The best time to go to Tasmania for one person may not be the best time for another person.

In this full guide to the best time to travel to Tasmania, we are going to cover all the details of exactly when the best time of year to visit Tasmania is based on your requirements. We’ll cover the best season to visit Tasmania by discussing the weather in each, the cheapest time to visit Tasmania, what crowds are like at different times and more.

So keep reading!

Best Time To Visit Tasmania, Australia – Summary

If you just want short answers to everything about the Tasmania best time to visit, here they are!

Best Time To Travel To Tasmania Weather-Wise is Summer. If you take nothing else into account then summer is definitely the winner. Days are longer, the weather warmer and you have less chance of severe weather conditions when hiking.

Best Time To Travel Tasmania To Avoid Crowds is any time between Easter and December. This does not include the school holidays or during a big festival though.

Best Time Of Year To Go To Tasmania To Save Money is during the winter months outside of school holidays. This is when you can find the cheapest prices.

So when is the best time to visit Tasmania?

I actually love early December before Christmas. It can be surprising how much less busy it is, even the week before Christmas. And the weather is relatively good too.

Weather In Tasmania

Tasmania has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons – summer, autumn, winter and spring.

Summer

Boat Harbour beach
Boat Harbour beach is fabulous in summer

If you want consistency weather wise, the best time of the year to visit Tasmania is summer.

Summer in Tasmania is generally warm and pleasant with longer days. It rarely reaches over 30 degrees and even when it does, it doesn’t stay there for long. Most days are in the mid to high 20’s. Nights can either be warm or cool.

Don’t be fooled, however. Some summer days can be cold and it is not super uncommon for it to snow on Mt Wellington, even in summer, which can make the city quite cool when the sun is not out! So pack for all seasons.

Summer in the centre and west of the state is different. The centre is at a higher elevation (it averages over 1000 metres above sea level) and so it can still be quite cold in summer. I have been to Cradle Mountain in summer when it is snowing.

The west of the state will still be warm, but rain is more likely.

If you want to minimise the chance that your plans will be impacted by weather, then summer offers the best months to visit Tasmania.

Autumn

Port Arthur Historic Site
Port Arthur in Autumn

The beginning of autumn in Tasmania can actually be quite warm, as summer seems to meld into the start of autumn, and there’s certainly not a clear distinction between the seasons.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t some cooler and wetter days thrown in, especially as autumn progresses. Towards the end of autumn, it can start to get quite cold.

Therefore if you’re asking is April a good time to visit Tasmania, we’d generally say yes! Note, however, that the centre and west above of the state will be colder and wetter than the east.

Winter

Mount Wellington
Mount Wellington in Hobart

Winter starts to get quite cold in Tasmania. While it isn’t somewhere that snows all around, the cooler weather even in Hobart can be a shock for people visiting from interstate.

There’s also less daylight around the middle of winter, reaching about 9 hours maximum each day.

Winter is definitely the best time for snow in Tasmania. Mt Wellington in Hobart can regularly be seen blanketed in snow.

The centre of the state is often covered in snow. Note that only 4WDs and vehicles with snow chains are recommended to drive in the Central Highlands during winter. It is fine to drive along the Midlands Highway, however.

Winter does have a lot to offer. Winter is the best time to see Aurora in Tasmania. There’s also the extremely popular winter festival in Hobart – Dark Mofo.

Spring

Bay of Fires Binalong Bay St Helens Tas
Bay of Fires, Binalong Bay in Spring

We love spring. It’s a beautiful time to visit anywhere, Tasmania included.

Spring in Tasmania means breaking through the cold of winter with longer, sunnier days. The weather can be beautiful when the sun is out, and quite cold when it’s not and at night.

You can also expect rain but rarely will it rain all day (with the exception being the west of the state).

If you’re asking is September or October a good time to visit Tasmania, we’d certainly recommend it. Just note school holidays are in the beginner of October where prices can be higher.

In our opinion, the best month to visit Tasmania in spring is November. The weather is warmer, more consistent and there are less crowds.

Peak Time To Visit Tasmania

Hobart Waterfront
Hobart’s Waterfront is the place to be over New Years with the Taste of Summer festival and Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, but it is busy

The absolute peak time to visit Tasmania is from Boxing Day to mid January. Prices can be crazy at this time! This can be a good time to visit Tasmania if you want the best weather and love the vibe of crowds but not if you want to get away from it all. Book far ahead at this time. The Spirit of Tasmania and flights can fill up, as can car rentals and hotels.

Next up is from this period to after the Easter school holidays. This is still quite busy and you should book ahead.

Even at peak times you can get away from people though. It depends where you plan to go in the state.

School Holidays

School holidays are always more popular times and you are likely to find the places that are popular with locals to be quite busy. I recommend you book ahead at these times as much as possible.

However, not everywhere fills up and if you are in Tasmania at school holiday time during the year, you can still get places to yourself. For example, last time we travelled in a term break, finding accommodation on the east coast was horrendous but there was barely anyone around in Stanley and Low Head.

School holiday times are different in each state and territory and the Tasmanian holiday periods have the biggest impact. You can find the latest school holidays here.

They are usually two weeks in each of April, July and October and from just before Christmas to early February.

Festivals

Tasmania hosts some awesome festivals which draw in huge crowds from interstate.

Smaller festivals are hosted year-round with bigger festivals in both summer and winter.

Tasmania’s Taste of Summer, previously the Taste of Tasmania (or simply the Taste), is one of the biggest festivals of the year. This festival really focuses on showcasing Tasmania’s quality produce. Held near Salamanca place between the 28th of December to the 3rd of January, there are heaps of food stalls, live music and a great atmosphere.

This is just after the Sydney to Hobart yacht race which draws in its own crowd.

Up north, MONA FOMA is a popular food, music and art festival held in February during summer. The festival will also be held in Hobart in 2023.

As stated above, winter has its own share of wonderful festivals and for many, this is the Tasmania best time to travel.

During winter, Hobart embraces the colder days with another huge festival – Dark Mofo. This is a hugely popular festival run by the world renowned museum MONA. It features art installations and exhibits all over the city, as well as the hugely popular winter feast, which is another celebration of Tasmania’s great local food!

The Festival of Voices is also on during winter, with live music and attracting over 30,000 visitors.

While these festivals certainly make the city more exciting and alive, they can also hike up the prices of flights, accommodation, and car hire considerably. Book ahead.

Cheapest Time To Travel To Tasmania

Tamar Ridge Winery
Tamar Ridge Winery – even in winter, days are often very sunny

If you’re looking at the Tasmania best time to go from a cost perspective, then you’ll want to avoid the summer months and the school holiday periods mentioned above.

These are the peak travel periods and accommodation and car hire can be particularly expensive during these times.

You’ll also want to avoid the Dark Mofo festival if you’re looking for the best time to travel to Hobart from a low cost perspective. However, if you’re just wanting to explore the north or west of the state, prices can still be reasonable (and even cheap) during these times.

Outside of these peak periods, you can find some very reasonable prices around the state – especially during winter.

Best Time To Visit Hobart, Tasmania

You’ll likely want to balance the weather, things to do, prices and your own availability when working out the best time to go to Hobart. My favourite time in Hobart is around the New Year’s Eve period.

The things that might impact your decision are the crazy prices for accommodation and car hire in Hobart over this period. However, there is just so much to do and see during this time especially with the yacht race, the Taste and the beautiful weather. Booking 11 months ahead helps with the cost.

For a more cost effective time, late November to just before Christmas is also great.

Best Time To Go To Tasmania To…

Best Time To Visit Tasmania For Southern Lights

Tasmania is world-famous for being the best place to see the Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights. If you’re wondering when to visit Tasmania to see them, the best time is during winter.

While the lights can be seen year-round (one of the best displays was actually in November 2020), the most likely time to spot them is in winter between July and September. Unfortunately there’s still no guarantee you’ll see them and they’re not easy to predict, but winter is your best chance!

Best Time To Visit Lavender Farm In Tasmania

Bridestowe Lavender Estate Tasmania

Tasmania has some stunning lavender farms. What is the best time to visit Tasmania to see them? You’ll want to go during summer between December and early February to see them at their best and most vibrant.

There are quite a few farms around including Bridestowe Lavender Estate near Launceston, Port Arthur Lavender Farm on the Tasman Peninsula, Lavender House Tasmania in the Tamar Valley, and Campo de Flori Tasmania in the Huon Valley.

You’ll also find a range of unique souvenirs and sweet treats made from lavender. Read more about lavender farms in Tasmania here.

Best Time To Visit Table Cape Tulip Farm In Tasmania

Each year, the Table Cape Tulip Farm draws in huge crowds, both local and from interstate, to see the tulips bloom. This happens between late September to late October, making this the best time to see Tasmania tulips!

There’s a truly marvellous variety of tulips to see, as well as many other things to see in Table Cape.

Best Time To See Platypus Tasmania

Seeing a Platypus in Tasmania is on many visitors to-do list. This is because it can be easier to spot them here than in other parts of the country.

Platypus can be seen year-round but can be more active during the day in winter, so this may be the best time to travel around Tasmania to see them. Both dawn and dusk are the best times to spot them as they are most active just before sunset and sunrise.

There are many places where you can see a platypus. My last memory of seeing a platypus was just last year at Salmon Ponds.

Hiking the Overland Trail
Hiking the Overland Trail

Best Time To Hike The Overland Trail

The Overland Track is one of the most stunning walks in the state and one of the best ways to get connected to Tasmania’s vast wilderness.

The best time to tour Tasmania on the Overland Track is during summer. Weather conditions are more pleasant and you’re less likely to be impacted by rain, cold and snow. However, it can still get cold and wet. The downside is that this is also the most popular time.

Day trips to places like Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain National Park can be problematic at peak times. It’s not fun waiting hours to get on the bus into the lake because things are so busy. This has happened to us at the start of January and Easter weekend so try to visit here at a different time.

Best Time To Visit Tasmania For Snow

Unlike many states of Australia, snow in Tasmania is actually quite common. Snow can be seen on Mt Wellington near Hobart in all seasons.

Of course, if you’re looking for the best time to holiday in Tasmania to see snow, you’ll want to go in winter.

During this time, Mt Wellington can quite literally be covered in snow making for a stunning sight. Getting close to the snow can be tricky as vehicle access to the mountain can be cut off during this time, but it’s still possible to see it and for kids to play in it.

Snow on Mt Wellington
Snow on Mt Wellington

If you want to stay near the snow, you’ll want to head to one of the higher spots in the state like the Central Highlands, Cradle Mountain or Ben Lomond National Park (about a 50 minute drive from Launceston).

While every Tasmanian has a story about “that time it snowed at Christmas”, this is not a common occurrence. So while I have seen snow many times in December, there is a great chance you’ll be disappointed if you head to Tasmania in summer wanting snow.

Is It Ever A Bad Time To Visit Tasmania?

Having lived in Tasmania for a large portion of my life, I can happily say there’s never really a bad time to visit. However, as I’ve tried to highlight in this article, it really depends on where you’re going and what you want to do.

The biggest determinates for most people will be the weather and the prices. Most people enjoy warmer, predictable weather conditions. If this is what appeals to you, then try to visit during summer or at least early autumn or late spring.

Tasmania is not a place of extreme weather events like some areas of Australia. However the conditions in certain areas can be trying! For example in winter 2022, a group of eight hikers had to be rescued when trying to climb to the summit at Mt Wellington – this is just near Hobart!

When it comes to hiking it’s probably best to know what you’re in for and plan ahead. Inexperienced hikers will want to stick to warmer months (which can still present their own challenges).

Final Words

I hope you have some answers about the best times to visit Tasmania!

As stated, I’ve lived in Tasmania for a large portion of my life and always find something to do no matter what time of year it is. While different times/seasons present different opportunities, I think it’s fair to say there’s never really a bad time to visit Tasmania!

Planning your trip to Tasmania? Find all our itineraries and more planning information here. You can also find more information about most destinations in Tasmania here.

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon grew up in Tasmania, moved away and then came back with her family twenty years later. She loves re-discovering her home state and sharing it with you here.