If you’re in eastern Australia, it’s been pretty hard to avoid small talk about the cold this past week.

Large parts of the country faced their coldest morning of the year so far, as the clear skies and icy air caused the mercury to plummet, with several June records being set across Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.

And temperatures on Sunday and Monday morning could be colder still, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

So, in the midst of this bitter cold snap, where have the chilliest places been so far?

And while we’re at it, which town holds claim as Australia’s coldest?

Let’s take a look at the stats.

The week that was

Unsurprisingly, it was the alpine areas that clocked the lowest overall temperatures during this cold-snap, with Thredbo dropping down to -9 degrees Celsius on both Tuesday and Thursday morning, according to BOM data.

This was also Australia’s coldest temperature of the year to date.

The alpine areas were the coldest during the cold snap(Supplied: Cru Scanlan)

But what about places outside of the snowfields, where cold temperatures aren’t the drawcard?

With that lens on, it was Cooma, a little further east, which was the coldest place in Australia, dropping to –8.9C on Thursday at its airport.

As for the coldest day-time temperatures, you can spare a thought for the two people that live in Liawenee — in the centre of Tasmania – where the maximum temperature was no higher than 2.4C last Sunday.

Parts of New South Wales experienced their coldest temperatures in over a decade this week(Supplied: Beata Cz.Young)

It’s worth noting, while Queensland was never going to get a look in when it came to the overall coldest temperatures, it did have the most extreme temperatures compared to what’s normal.

On Tuesday, Williamson Airfield – north of Rockhampton – dipped to a low of 0C, which was 11.7C below its average for June.

Tambo and Biloela were also more than 10C below average that day, with their minium temperatures plunging to well below zero.

Where were records set?

It was also the coldest June morning on record for some places, according to BOM.

Canberra fell to -6C on Wednesday.(Supplied: Calvin Lau)

This includes places in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland.

Several other places have also experienced their coldest temperature in more than 10 years during this event.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Longerenong, Victoria. Maximum of 7.9C on Friday 14th June — coldest day in 27 years
  • Nhill, Victoria. Maximum of 8.3C on Friday 14th June – coldest day in 22 years
  • Keith, South Australia. Maximum of 8.9C on Friday 14th June– coldest day in 18 years
  • Westmere, Victoria. Minimum of -5.7C on Wednesday 19th — coldest temperature on record (data to 2006)
  • Strathbogie, Victoria. Minimum of -6.6C on Wednesday 19th — coldest morning in 18 years
  • Mortlake, Victoria. Minimum -3.5C on Wednesday 19th — coldest morning in 18 years
  • Strahan, Tasmania. Minimum -2.9C on Thursday 20th — coldest morning in 41 years

It was only 5C at midday in Bookham NSW during the cold snap(Supplied: Emma Oakman)

Australia’s coldest town overall

So, that’s where it’s been coldest recently.

But, while we’ve got the history books open, which town lays claim to being Australia’s coldest in general?

It sounds like a simple question to answer in theory, but there are a few different ways you could look at it, and it also depends how you define a ‘town’.

So, for the sake of a well-rounded dinner table discussion, we’ve taken a look at a few different metrics.

  • Minimum temperatures (the coldest morning temperatures)
  • Maximum temperatures (the coldest daytime temperatures)

We asked the BOM to look at these for July, which is the coldest month of the year, and across the year as a whole.

Baring in mind there are a lot of places in Australia which either don’t have observations, or haven’t had weather station data for as long as others.

The coldest morning temperatures

When it comes to the coldest minimum temperature ever recorded in Australia, that title goes to Charlotte Pass.

On June 29, 1994, it dropped down to -23C at the Kosciuszko Chalet.

The view over the main range from Charlotte Pass.(ABC Bega: Vanessa Milton)

Of course, extremes like that only come around once in a blue moon, so if we’re talking about a place that’s consistently the coldest, it’s better to look at the average minimum temperatures.

Again, we’re only going to mention places outside of the alps here.

In the depths of winter, the place that gets the coldest minimum temperatures is Cooma, in New South Wales, followed by Liawenee in Tasmania.

  • Cooma, NSW: -3.9 °C (47 years of data)
  • Liawenee, Tas: -1.6 °C (22 years of data)

When it comes to the coldest mornings averaged across the year as a whole it’s the other way around.

  • Liawenee, Tas: 1.7 °C (21 years of data)
  • Cooma, NSW: 4.1 °C (44 years of data)

The coldest daytime temperatures

Now, let’s take a look at what’s going on during the day.

This is where Liawenee, in Tasmania, steps up to the podium once again.

It has the lowest maximum temperatures in Australia during July, averaging 5.6C.

Liawenee is considered the coldest permanently-inhabited place in Australia.(Supplied: Tasmania Police)

That’s followed by Bombala, in New South Wales’ Snowy Monaro regional council.

  • Liawenee, Tas: 5.6 °C (21 years of data)
  • Bombala, NSW: 6.5 °C (18 years of data)

Liawenee also has the coldest maximum temperatures averaged across the year, with Tunnack, also in Tasmania, coming in second in that category.

  • Liawenee, Tas: 12.1 °C (21 years of data)
  • Tunnack, Tas: 15.4 °C (25 years of data)

BOM senior forecaster Sarah Scully said there was some common characteristics about these locations that made them the coldest.

That was their proximity to the mountains, and their distance from the coast.

Most of Australia’s coldest places, outside of the snowfields, are nearby to a mountain, or far inland.(Supplied: Helena Lessels)

“[Places in the] plateaus or tablelands surrounded by mountain ranges get the cold air drainage from the mountain ranges,” she said. 

“And they’re also away from the coast, of course.

“The earth can lose the infrared radiation much quicker and cool down much quicker [than the ocean], so those coastal locations end up, during the winter months, almost being warmed by the sea surface temperatures.”

If you’re curious about the coldest temperature for each state, look at the list below.

What about the coldest capital city?

The data shows our capital cities have really got nothing on the inland regional areas when it comes to being cold.

But since that’s where the majority of the population is, we’ve also crunched the numbers on Australia’s coldest city.

For most metrics, that title goes to our nation’s capital, Canberra.

During July, it has both the coldest day and night time temperatures.

It’s also got the coldest minimum temperatures when averaged out across the year.

When it comes to the coldest maximum temperature across the year, however, Hobart wins that round.

For the record, the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was set at Vistok Station, in Antarctica, which dropped down to -89.4C on July 21, 1983.