Located in the southern hemisphere and known as an island continent, Australia
has a diverse range of climatic zones. Climate vary from the tropical regions in
the north, through the arid expanses of the centre of the continent, to the more
temperate regions in the south.
Seasonal fluctuations can be great with
temperatures ranging from above 50°C to below zero. Temperatures are influenced
by the lack of mountains and the surrounding oceans.
Australia is relatively
arid, with 80% of the land having a rainfall less than 600 mm per year, although
50% of the land have even less than 300 mm.
The majority of people in
Australia live near the coast, with the majority living on the wetter more
moderate south eastern coasts.
Whilst the coastal and associated regions attract the most visitors and the
coastline provides the major drawcard for many holiday itineraries, Australia is
also home to a spectacular region known as 'the Outback', that provide
magnificent geological formations, from the many eroded ranges, gorges and
waterholes, meteorite craters, lava tubes, and much more. Indeed this region
offers as many unique attractions as is found on the coast, with many overseas
visitors finding out what many locals already known.
Following are an indicator of the typical climate conditions for state and
territories around Australia. With the size of some state and territories, and the geographic
placement and makeup, there are considerable climatic differences with the
It is accepted that Australia is currently going through an unusually long
drought period in many parts of the continent. Some erratic weather conditions,
such as usually hot spring and summer weather where temperature exceeds 40°C,
are also becoming more frequent.
Canberra enjoys cool to
warm spring, hot to dry summers, cool autumn, with cold and often windy winters,
with occasional snow. Night
temperature during winter are cold, with frost also common during winter.
New South Wales is considered a temperate zone, although very hot
temperatures occur in the northwest and very cold temperatures on the Southern
The Great Dividing Range running roughly north to south along the
east side of New South Wales, has an impact on the climate, creating four
distinct climatic zones: the coastal strip, the highlands, the Western Slopes
and the flatter country to the west.
January to June are the wettest periods, with December to March
being the warmest time of the year, with temperature being a few degrees warmer
the further west you go. Winter is pleasant, often being the driest
time of the year.
The Northern Territory,
has two climates that range from the tropical in the 'Top End', to the hot dry
air of the desert in Central Australia. The Top End has a high rainfall
during 'The Wet' season, and warm winters due to its proximity to the equator.
The Top End also produces some spectacular tropical storms, having more
lightning strikes per year than anywhere else in the world. Night time produces
wonderful light show, with huge thunder clouds being lit by lightning.
Early in the
'The Dry' season is a good time to visit the Kakadu National Park. The
southern part of the territory has hot dry weather, with very cold winter
nights. The Katherine region enjoys a semi-arid tropical climate, with most
rainfall during January and March.
Further south, the Tennant Creek area has
distinct seasons. With warm days and mild nights during the middle of the year,
followed by rain period that give way to hot summer through to early autumn.
Central Australia experiences greater extremes of temperature, with hot days and
cold nights. Humidity is usually low.
The days are usually mild, fine and
sunny, with temperatures rarely uncomfortably high or low. The coastal towns
enjoy cool sea breezes in the summer, whilst the tropical regions are warm and
have a high humidity. The temperature in the outback are of course higher, but
with a lower humidity. The hinterland and mountain regions are cooler than on
The 'Dry Season' is a good time to visit northern Queensland. During November to May
you are more likely to experience tropical cyclones
along the coastal region. November to March is also when the dangerous stinging
box jellyfish are found in the ocean. The rainforest are also good to visit
during the 'Dry Season', when the heat and humidity is lower, although it is
also the time when you can see crocodiles basking along the riverbanks, instead
of being submerge in the colder water. During winter, there are usually sunny
mild to warm days, however nights are cool, with early morning temperature being
Known as the driest state, in the
south and east of South Australia are found some beautiful coastal regions, lakes, such as that
found at Mount Gambier, mountains, forest and the great Murray River winding
it's way through the southern region.
As you head north, the Flinders Ranges,
offer hot summer days and cool nights. Going further north into central
Australia, the region is dominated by giant salt lakes and the Simpson Desert.
The region is usually dry and hot during the summer months. To the west is the
The smallest state of Australia,
located some 200 kms south of the mainland, and measuring about 200 kms across,
it has snow capped mountains throughout much of the year. It sits in the pathway
of the 'Roaring Forties' winds that encircles the planet.
Experiencing warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters, the climate in Tasmania
is more variable and changes at a moments notice. Most of the rainfall is on the
west side of the island and snow is often seen on the mountain tops above 1,000
m during July and August.