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Tasmania in Winter: Safety Tips for Driving in the Snow

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If that itch you’re feeling is more than just dry winter skin, it’s probably an itch to explore! Tasmania in winter is magical, especially when the temperature drops low enough for snow to settle in some parts of the state. There’s only one thing to do… rug up and drive to the snow! Create the first footprints, have win a snowball fight, make snow angels, and craft your dream man out of snow (he really means the sweet things he says, like ‘you melt my heart’ and ‘I can’t exist without you’).

Exploring Tasmania in winter is snow worries when you keep up-to-date with official information and follow safety advice. We’ve put together some tips on staying safe, especially around finding the correct information and driving in the snow. Because we care for you… way more than that snowman you knew once. (Also, moisturiser does wonders for that dry winter skin. See, we really care.)

 Where to find current info

Always check the official information for yourself, no matter what your ex-boyfriend from high school’s grandmother’s best friend posted on Facebook.

Roads affected by ice & snow

The Tasmania Police Community Alerts page is the best place to get accurate information about roads affected by ice and snow. Check the page for up-to-date information on road closures and openings, including which roads are restricted to 4WDs only (snow chains may be required).

Parks & reserves

The Tasmania Parks & Wildlife website is another good, official source of information, and is especially useful for hikers. Check the website for advice on track, campsite and reserve closures and re-openings. Warnings and updates relevant to winter weather are included, as well as driving tips for snow spots.

Weather forecast

It’s a good idea to check the Bureau of Meteorology weather forecast before an outdoor adventure, and adjust your plan according to conditions.

Tips for hikers

It is vital to check the current information in the links above. If bad weather is forecast, please reconsider the timing of your trip. Even with the right gear, hiking in the snow can take considerably longer than hiking in clear conditions and the weather can change drastically in short amounts of time. Circumstances can quickly turn deadly, so please don’t take unnecessary risks. Check out some tips on walking safely in Tasmania and watch the informative short video.

Tips for driving in the snow

Tasmania Police have some great tips on Driving in Winter Conditions, as do the Road Safety Advisory Council. We’ve listed some key tips below.

When planning your trip:

Before departing:

  • Make sure your demister and front and back windscreen wipers are working.
  • Make sure your tyres are suitable for driving in wet or icy conditions and fit snow chains if driving in snow.
  • Distractions can be deadly—turn your mobile off or switch it to silent.

While driving:

  • Turn on your headlights so others can see you.
  • Use the windscreen demister to improve visibility.
  • Roads are subject to frost, ice and snow, so please drive to the conditions. Speed limits are recommended for optimal weather conditions, so reduce your speed to a speed that feels safe for you.
  • Leave plenty of space between your car and the car in front of you.
  • Be aware of wildlife, especially at dawn and dusk.
  • Observe road warning signs and exercise particular caution when you see a sign warning of ‘black ice’. Black ice is particularly hazardous, cannot be seen, and can cause you to lose control of your vehicle without notice.
  • Exercise caution and drive slowly in places that are icy or have not had a chance to defrost (especially early in the morning).
Snow at Derwent Bridge

Derwent Bridge | @chelmaybell/Instagram

Some great places to play in the snow include: kunanyi / Mt Wellington, the alpine regions of the Mt Field National Park, the Western Wilds, and Tasmania’s Central Highlands, including Lake St Clair.

We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.

Related posts:
Our Guide to Exploring kunanyi / Mt Wellington
50 Things to Do with Kids in Hobart & Surrounds
Beyond Hobart: Our Guide for Exploring Southern Tasmania
Top 10 Things to Do in Hobart
6 Winter Walks in Southern Tasmania
Snow Day: 4 Enchanting Winter Spots in Southern Tasmania

Header image:

Isabel Galloway

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