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Widespread snow dusts icing over parks


Tasmania's big snow dump has created a true winter wonderland in some of the State's national parks.

Ben Lomond, Lake St Clair and Cradle Mountain reported major falls and at Mt Field there were signs of a good cover on the surrounding peaks.

There was even some snow at Hastings Caves as shown by Visitor Centre Coordinator Keith Vanderstaay's photo.

Keith said snow was a bit of rarity at Hastings. It had settled in the trees and around the chalet.

There was plenty of white powder on the Hartz Mountains and the Huon Parks office was a bit light on for staff today with several road closures in the region.

Ranger Albert Thompson said there was snow right down to the river's edge at Franklin and some "serious ice" on the roads last night.

Down on Maatsuyker Island, caretaker Paul Woolmer was in the front line of the icy weather system.

While no snow settled on the island he could see a thick blanket covering the peaks on the South Coast .

Paul said Maatsuyker was enjoying a rare moment of fairly calm weather.

There is sleet and it is cold but it's quite still, most unusual for here," he said.

"I've just seen a fishing boat trying to head back to Hobart - there's not a lot of shelter around here."

Senior ranger at Mt Field Greg Peters said that while Hobartians were marvelling at the snowy carpet around the suburbs, it was no real novelty for him.

But that did not stop Greg and Visitor Reception Officer Maureen Lowery using their artistic skills to create a wonderful snowman, complete with Parks hat and jacket.

Greg said Lake Dobson was a picture on Wednesday, reminding him of his ice skating exploits on the frozen lake surface in the 1980s.

"It was like cement back then," he said. "It was a bit rougher than a skating rink but tremendous fun.

"It is certainly not cold enough for a big freeze this time around. In fact there seemed to be more snow at Bushy Park than here.

"We are pretty sheltered at the Visitor Centre but Mt Mawson could be okay for some cross-country skiing this weekend."

At Lake St Clair there was a 25cm coverage with visitors from Singapore revelling in the conditions early this morning.

Visitor Services Ranger Richard Hale said a tractor was needed to clear snow from the car park and the overnight snow and ice had closed the Lyell Highway out of Queenstown.

Richard predicted a few keen cross-country skiers would head to Mt Rufus this weekend and reminded them to bring their cameras.

A few diehards were also expected at Cradle Mountain where there was a 15cm of fine, powdery snow at the Visitor Centre and large drifts around Dove Lake.

A quiet day was expected at Cradle with the Dove Lake road open to 4WDs only.

Intending skiers should check ski.com.au (live cams tas) for an update of snow conditions on Mt Mawson and Ben Lomond for the weekend.

Widespread snow dusts icing over parks

Maureen Lowery with the new Mt Field recruit

Widespread snow dusts icing over parks

Believe it or not, this is the track to the Lake St Clair campground

Widespread snow dusts icing over parks

it's warm inside at the Lake St Clair Visitors' Centre

Widespread snow dusts icing over parks

Richard Hale's beautiful image with Fergys Hill in the background