When is the best time to visit Port Davey, Southwest Tasmania?
Should we book our trip in February, March or April? These are questions we often get asked.
Our answer: Any time during our 3 month season is a fantastic time to go.
Why? We’ve deliberately limited our season to the very best of the weather in what can be a very wild part of the world.
During February, March and April, we generally see more high pressure weather systems passing through, which means long runs of lovely, settled weather. This means that it’s the perfect time of year for those people want to explore our pristine paradise to visit. And while there can still be cold fronts passing through, they often don’t last as long, or hit with as much ferocity as other times of year. This unknown is also the beauty of exploring such a wild place. You never know quite what you’re going to get!
It often surprises people to hear that December and January, which are technically ‘summer’, often aren’t the period of best weather in Southwest Tasmania. During early summer, this coastline still sees some capricious, strong fronts passing through
As we’re in Port Davey for such a limited time, there’s no ‘shoulder season’, just three months of weather as good as it gets. This means that visiting in February is just as fantastic as visiting in March or April. But depending on your interests and what you’d like to experience, there can be a better time for you personally to make your visit, as even just in these 3 months, we do see some variation of the seasons.
Here’s a month-to-month breakdown of what you can expect from February to April.
It’s summer time and the days are long – the sun doesn’t set until after 8pm! These endless days are fantastic for active people who want to make the most of all of the daylight hours. Perfect if you’re a walker or a keen explorer wanting to pack your days with water or land-based adventures.
When the sun is shining, it’s going to be hot. The Tassie sun always surprises people with it’s strength and warmth. Be sure to pack a hat!
February is a great time to see the Orange-bellied Parrots, one of the world’s most rare and endangered birds. Visitors have an excellent chance of spotting this precious parrots in Melaleuca, the home of their recovery movement. Bird lovers are also likely to see other migratory birds at this time of year, such as the Cuckoo.
Earlier in the year, we’re also likely to find blossoming wildflowers, including the famous leatherwood flowers (which smell just incredible!)
In March, we generally experience the most settled weather. The wind tends to drop off and guests are rewarded with the most amazing reflections of quartzite peaks and lush green rainforest on the tannin stained waters of Bathurst Harbour. Saying that though, during our 2017 season it did take until late March till it finally felt like the weather had become more stable. Long days of sunshine means that we start to see the water temperature heating up too.
Early March, guests will still have a great chance of seeing an Orange-bellied Parrot. The adult birds begin their migration back to Southern Australia in early March, but the juveniles don’t make their journey until a few weeks later.
April is also inclined to be a beautifully calm month. However, the days do start to get shorter and temperatures can be a little cooler. The waters do stay nice and warm though! The tea-like colour of the harbour means that the waters heat up like a bath. Great for those people who like to sneak in a beach swim after a walk.
You also know that in April, you’ll have this paradise completely to yourself. In February and March, we tend to see other visitors, generally brave yachtmen who have sailed around Southwest Cape to holiday in Port Davey for a week or so, or fisherman taking a break from their tireless work. While it’s often only 1 or 2 other boats which you might pass in a day, in such a remote place two can even feel like a crowd. In April, these visitors drop off, and you can almost be guaranteed to have the beach (in fact, the whole harbour) to yourself!
Of course, as I’m sure you’re aware, weather in this wild part of the world is often hard to predict and subject to quick changes. No matter what time you visit, be prepared for four seasons in one day! We take each day as it comes in Port Davey, running fluid itineraries so that we can make the most of every day and jump on any opportunity! That’s the beauty of this wild place.
To find out more about what you can do on our expedition cruises through Port Davey, click here.