Does it REALLY snow in Australia?

One of the hardest things to convince some of my friends in colder European countries is that it snows in Australia!   Thankfully, technology such as the internet has made it easier for me to prove that it does snow here, but I can understand their initial reluctance to believe me, especially as most see Australia as a hot, dry country.

In winter, in this part of the country at least, snow is one of the most talked about weather phenomena's, with a thriving ski industry relying on it for its very survival.

Ok, so we know it does snow in Australia, but my overseas friends aren't entirely wrong for, in reality, snow is rare in Australia, particularly when compared to countries in the Northern Hemisphere.

Although snow occasionally falls in the SW of Western Australia, the SE of South Australia, the highlands of Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and even SE Queensland, regular falls outside the Snowy Mountains area of SE New South Wales, NE Victoria and central Tasmania are extremely rare.

So what is Australia's 'snowiest' town?'

To be a fair contest, we should exclude the towns directly in the snowy mountains (towns like Cabramurra, Adaminaby and Jindabyne).   This leaves the probable main contenders as Oberon, Orange, Blackheath, Katoomba, Guyra, Nimmitabel and possibly Cooma in NSW.   In Victoria, there's really only Ballarat, Bright and Beechworth.

Of Australia's major cities, Canberra is the most likely to receive snow, followed by Hobart.

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© Gungahlin Weather Centre - June 2002.