Weather News

Start your working week with these magnificent Tassie autumn colours

Anthony Sharwood, Monday May 3, 2021 - 10:33 EST

Autumn is finally doing its thing in southern Australia and all the usual places are putting on a show - but Tasmania is different for one very special reason.

While leaf-peeping hotspots like Canberra, the valleys of northeast Victoria, and elevated parts of southern, central and northern NSW are all renowned for displays of autumn splendour, the most colourful autumn trees in those areas are introduced (non-native) species.

But in Tasmania, there’s a very special tree which locals simply call fagus or deciduous beech (Nothofagus gunnii), which is Australia's only cold climate winter-deciduous tree. And wow, does it put on a show in autumn.

Image: Crater Lake. Bleak name, beautiful spot. Source: Perry Mason.

The above image shows the effect of a grove of fagus from afar. This photo was taken from Marion's Lookout, overlooking Crater Lake, a small body of water just over the hill from the better-known Dove Lake.

And below, here's a slightly closer look at some golden fagus from down at water-level.

Image: We have a feeling Perry's weekend was better than ours. Source: Perry Mason.

These magnificent pictures were taken on the weekend by Tassie local Perry Mason, who went for a bit of a walk around the Cradle Mountain area.

"The colours were just stunning so I had to grab a few shots," Mason told Weatherzone.

We're glad he did. Lovely weather for a hike and a spot of bush photography too, as Tasmania was unseasonally warm on the weekend.

  • Temps reached as high as 23°C in parts of Hobart. The average May maximum is 15.3°C.
  • Even the weather station on Mt Wellington above Hobart topped 14°C. Its average May maximum is just 5.7°C.
  • Anomalies of around 8°C above the norm were recorded at weather stations across Tassie.

But of course, anyone familiar with the weather in Tasmania's highlands knows that windows of benign weather like this are usually brief.

Indeed, snow is forecast above 1000 metres for parts of the state on Monday evening in a brief cold snap. Perhaps this historic boatshed surrounded by magnificent golden colours on Crater Lake could serve as shelter in a blizzard.

Image: OK Tassie, you're just showing off now. Image: Perry Mason.

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