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Environment


Climate

Tasmania enjoys four distinct seasons. There’s neither the scorching heat found elsewhere in Australia nor the deep cold winters that affect northern hemisphere countries at similar latitudes.

Most of Tasmania enjoys a temperate maritime climate, influenced by the surrounding oceans. The westerly ‘Roaring 40s’ airstream makes the west coast and highlands generally cool, wet and cloudy – perfect for the forests and wildlife that flourish there. The east coast and lowlands are milder, drier and sunnier.

Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart, is the second driest capital in Australia after Adelaide. In summer, Hobart sees the most summertime daylight hours of any capital city in Australia with 15.2 hours at the summer solstice on 22 December – that’s two-and-a-half hours more daylight than Darwin receives in summer and an hour more than Sydney. In mid-winter there are around nine daylight hours per day.



Bureau of Meteorology annual climate summary 2010 -
Capital city summary

Highest
temperate
degrees C

date

 

Lowest
temperature

degrees C

date

Average maximum

temperature

degrees C

Average minimum

temperature

degrees C

 

Rainfall (millimetres)  number of rain days


                              Australian capital cities summary

Hobart

36.5

11 January

1.1

23 May

18.2

9

524.0

150

Canberra

39.8

12 January

-5

28 June

20.3

7.3

959.6

105

Melbourne

43.6

11 January

3.2

20 July

21

12.1

780.6

148

Adelaide

42.8

11 January

2.2

14 June

22.5

12.6

592.6

128

Sydney

41.3

23 January

4.3

30 June

22.6

15

1154

150

Perth

42.9

17 January

-0.6

26 June

25.3

12.3

503.8

65

Brisbane

35.1

18 January

6.1

14 August

25.8

16.8

1659

156

Darwin

36.5

24 October

16

5 June

32.6

23.9

2257.2

151


                              Tasmanian cities summary

Launceston

33.3

9 February

-2.4

13 June

19

8

673.8

133

Devonport

33.2

9 January

-0.8

13 June

17.5

8.8

815.4

160

Burnie

32.7

9 January

1.9

26 August

17.4

10.1

956.5

168


Rainfall: Rainfall varies dramatically across the state and Hobart has an average of 626 mm (24 inches).  The mountainous West Coast can record over 3500 mm per year while parts of the East Coast and Midlands receive less than 600 mm per year.  The West Coast has some of the largest tracts of rainforest in the southern hemisphere.

Tasmania has an abundant water supply with 12 per cent of Australia’s total annual run-off, but the state comprises less than one per cent of Australia’s total land area.


Geography

Population: 508 500 people

Capital: Hobart - Australia’s second oldest city, founded in 1803.

Size: Tasmania is 68 000 square kilometres (km), or 0.9 per cent of Australia’s total land mass. It is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland, or about a third the size of the state of Victoria.

Location: Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located at latitude 40° south and longitude 144° east. Separated from the continent by Bass Strait, just 240 kilometres (150 miles) south-east of mainland Australia.

300 island archipelago: The state of Tasmania is actually an archipelago of 334 islands with a main island 315 km (180 miles) from west to east and 286 km (175 miles) from north to south. The main island has a land area of 62 409 sq km (24 096 sq miles) and the minor islands together total only six per cent of this area. The biggest are Flinders (1 374 km/539 sq miles), King, Cape Barren, Bruny and Macquarie. The Kent group, the most northerly part of the state, is only 55 km (34 miles) from the coast of Victoria.

Mountain ranges in the south-west date back 1 000 million years. Ancient sediments were deeply buried, folded and heated under enormous pressure to form schists and glistening white quartzites. In the south-west and central highlands, dolerite caps many mountains, including Precipitous Bluff, Frenchman’s Cap and Tasmania's highest peak, Mt Ossa (1 617 metres / 5 300 ft). More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park, and marine or forest reserves.

Flora and fauna: Vegetation is diverse, from alpine heath lands and tall open eucalypt forests to areas of temperate rainforests and moorlands. Tasmania has unique wildlife including the famous Tasmanian devil. Tasmania is the last refuge for several mammals that once roamed the Australian continent such as the eastern quoll (or native cat) and the spotted-tail quoll (tiger cat). The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was Australia's largest surviving carnivorous marsupial.

For more information visit the Parks and Wildlife website.

 

Time zone

Tasmania operates on Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). Daylight saving in Tasmania begins at 2 am on the first Sunday in October each year and concludes at 2 am on the first Sunday in April the following year.



livingRHSenvironment

livingRHSenvironment

livingRHSenvironment

livingRHSenvironment

This page has been produced by the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts. Questions or comments concerning the contents of the site can be directed to the webmaster by email to info@development.tas.gov.au.

The URL for this page is: http://www.development.tas.gov.au/liveintasmania/living_and_playing/living/environment    This page was last modified on 19th March 2012 .