WA weather: Hikers enjoy first 2021 snow fall on Bluff Knoll as cold front hits

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Natalie RichardsThe West Australian
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VideoCREDIT: @PETERPADTHAI A pair of thrill-seekers have braved the cold and captured snow falling on Bluff Knoll.

Get the beanies and gloves on and the thick blankets out of the cupboard, WA has officially marked its “you-know-it’s-winter-when” moment for 2021.

Snow has been recorded on WA’s most famous peak for the first time in eight months as the State shivered through one of its coldest days of the year.

Footage has emerged of snowfall on Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges, which was enjoyed by two lucky WA travellers this morning.

The hikers enjoyed a rare moment of snow on Bluff Knoll.
Camera IconThe hikers enjoyed a rare moment of snow on Bluff Knoll. Credit: Instagram/@peterpadthai

Daniel Cunningham and Peter Tuckey set off from Perth on Sunday for an impulsive trip to chase the snow.

“I saw it was forecast to snow on Bluff Knoll, I called Peter and he was keen,” Daniel told PerthNow.

“The ranger said it probably wasn’t the best idea to camp overnight, but said he couldn’t stop us.”

The pair braved heavy wind and rain on Sunday night while trying to set up their tent in the dark.

“It wasn’t easy... we got lost trying to set up camp in the dark. We were up high in the clouds with rain and wind pelting down… it was pretty gnarly.

“We didn’t get any sleep.”

But Daniel said it was all worth it to wake up to a magical “winter wonderland.”

“We got up in the morning to snow around our tent, and then at 7am it really started coming down.”

“It was all worth it… we were euphoric… and probably delirious too!”

The pair are currently camped at Kalgan River, and are looking forward to a “hot shower and a cold beer” when they get home tomorrow.

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Snowfall happens only a handful of times a year on Bluff Knoll, with huge crowds of hikers resulting in parking spots becoming like gold dust at the Great Southern beauty spot.

The last time WA had snow was on September 21 last year at the peak, while a dusting of snow also happened on April 19, 2019 and there was a heavier fall on August 9, 2018, also at Bluff Knoll.

Typically when snow falls in WA, it is between July and September. But it has fallen as early as April.

The wintry conditions came as nearby Albany Airport recorded just 6.1 degrees Celcius this morning, while parts of regional WA even recorded temperatures as zero degrees.

The Wheatbelt town of Wandering recorded the freezing conditions, while Newdegate notched up just 1.2C and Lake Grace residents shivered through 0.2C this morning.

A strong cold front has swept across the south-west of WA, bringing heavy rain and icy temperatures to the region.

“The cold front will move east across the country bringing rain, strong winds and much cooler temperatures,” according to the Bureau of Meterology.

“In the wake of the front frosts will become more widespread over southern WA from Wednesday, extending east gradually.”

The winter solstice is still a month away, on June 21.

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