Australia is such a huge country that has a wide variety of climates. Therefore, depending on the season, you can undertake various types of trips and activities. You just have to know which regions are best at which time of the year! In this article, we provide an overview of the different climate zones and seasons in Australia. With this in mind, you’re going to be in the right place at the right time. And anyone who plans to do fruit picking during their trip will find how important it is to know the seasons in order to find a job.
Australia’s climate and seasons
Australia being in the southern hemisphere it means seasons are reversed compared to the northern hemisphere! Here, Christmas is celebrated in summer at fairly high temperatures!
All of northern Australia (Northern Territory, north of Western Australia & Queensland) has a more tropical influenced climate. This part of the country knows two seasons. The dry season from April to September is characterised by hot temperatures and drought. On the contrary, the rainy season (“wet season”) consists of moist heat and stormy weather, often accompanied by heavy rains. It lasts from October to March.
In the south of the country (Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia), the climate is rather temperate and is called oceanic. Spring lasts from September to November, the hot summer from December to February, autumn from March to May and the mild winter from June to August.
Finally, in the central region of the country, the climate is dry while precipitation is rare. The coolest time is between March and August. The hottest time is between September and February with unbearable temperatures. The nights are always cold.
We now understand why it is important to know about the climate in Australia before going on an adventure. And also to know about the harvest time of different fruits and vegetables.
This map shows the different climate zones of Australia:
Weather of Australia’s major cities
The south of the country has four seasons, while the tropical north knows only two, the rainy and the dry season.
In the tropical region of Australia (in the north of the country), the dry season from May to October is pleasant and warm. During the rainy season from December to March, there are hot days with daily storms.
In the middle of the country and the arid regions of Australia, winter temperatures are cold and hot in summer.
Weather in Sydney – average temperatures
Sydney is located in the southern, and therefore temperate, part of the country. The city experiences hot summers and mild winters. The average annual temperature is around 20°C. The hottest month is January and the coldest is July. The climate in Sydney is therefore nice all year round. The best time to discover this part of the country is still in spring.
Weather in Melbourne
Melbourne is located in Port Phillip Bay. The ocean allows for an oceanic and temperate climate. Weather in Melbourne can be very unpredictable at times. It can be very hot, then a few hours are enough for the temperature to drop by 10°C and for it to rain! It is not uncommon to hear that Melbourne can experience the “four seasons in one day”!
Weather in Perth
Capital of Western Australia, Perth is located in southwestern Australia. With a temperate and dry climate, this city is pleasant to live in all year round. The summer is hot, with sometimes extreme temperature peaks. The winter is cold. Less humid than the east coast at this latitude, Perth is a pleasant city over the long term.
Weather in Adelaide
Located in the southeastern part of the country, Adelaide enjoys a mild climate all year round. Like other cities in South Australia, it experiences four seasons. The best times to visit are the half-seasons (between March and May, or October and November). Midsummer holds strong UV. Mid-winter is cold (it freezes for a few weeks) and rainy. Beware of the southern chill and don’t forget your sunscreen all year round; the ozone layer is non-existent there. The country has the highest skin cancer rate in the world.
Weather in Hobart
The island of Tasmania, south of mainland Australia, is not to be missed. Although its temperatures are cool almost all year round, the city of Hobart is worth a visit. The best time to visit is when temperatures are highest in late January. For lovers of cool temperatures, Hobart’s winter will make you happy with its coldness and snow.
Weather in Darwin
Capital of the Northern Territory, Darwin is “the place to be” during the Australian winter. The north of the country is renowned for its tropical and humid climate. Summer is nevertheless difficult to live without air conditioning. Ten minutes of walking outside in summer in Darwin is enough time to sweat your heart out. If you are not drenched in sweat, the rainy season (November to April) will take care of that for you.
Cairns – average temperatures
Located in the tropical region of Australia, Cairns has only two seasons. The dry season extends from May to October. This period is pleasant and warm. The wet season, from December to March, includes hot days and daily thunderstorms.
Alice Springs – average temperatures
In central Australia and arid parts of Australia, temperatures are cold in winter months and hot in summer. The peculiarity of the climate of the red center is its cold summer nights.
For more information on real-time weather, visit the Australian Government website.
Where to go in Australia according to the seasons?
On your road trips in Australia, follow the sun! Start with the South of the country in spring and summer. Then, the North and the Center are recommended in autumn and winter.
Some periods are absolutely to be avoided; the Red Center summer (November to February), the rainy season in northern Australia (November to April) and winter in southern Australia (June and August). Indeed, the Australian summer can be dangerous. Unless, if your plan is to melt in the sun by heat or humidity, we do not recommend northern and central Australia at this time.
Read also : Road Trip – Itinerary Ideas
Best time to travel
In general, it seems to be best for a spring and summer road trip in the south of the country. The north and the centre are recommended in autumn and winter.
The best seasons for the entire continent seem to be autumn (between March and May) and spring (between September and November).
Certain times are to be avoided: summer especially in the Red Center, the rainy season in the north of Australia (from December to February) and winter in the south (June-August). Watch out for the school holidays as prices rise during this time.
The diverse and extreme climate of Australia sometimes leads to natural hazards and even to catastrophes.
Due to the hot and often dry weather, there are often bush fires, especially in Victoria. Drought periods also occur. These are intensified by global warming (rising temperatures and ozone depletion, a phenomenon that is very prevalent in Australia).
Especially the north is affected by heavy storms and cyclones. Darwin was completely flattened by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas 1974. As was part of the Karratha region of Western Australia in 2021.
And more recently, the east coast of Australia experienced a dark period of torrential rains in February/March 2022 causing significant flooding.
What clothes to pack for Australia?
You will find all the seasons and temperatures in Australia. Be careful, even if your goal is to follow the sun on your journey, it is not impossible that your plans change during your trip.
Also, do not neglect the time to get your farm days to renew your visa, for those in WHV. You will surely have to confine yourself to your farms for a little while. Appropriate clothing, such as a fluorescent t-shirts, protecting you from UV, safety shoes, gloves and other outfits can be found at Kmart or BigW.
And, if you miss the freshness of Europe and want to spend your visa in the south of the country; gloves, hat and umbrella will be your friends in winter.
It would therefore be utopian (but not impossible), to only need a swimsuit. We therefore recommend that you bring a good sweater and a rain jacket, in addition to your gear. Don’t panic if your travel bag is all about shorts and sunglasses. You will of course have the opportunity to buy everything you need on site, at a lower price. Do not clutter up and carry a minimum. Two t-shirts, jeans, two shorts, underwear, bathing suit, flip-flops, closed shoes, towel, hat, sweater and jacket; and voila!
Read also : Pack your bag for Australia
Updated on the 08.09.2022