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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.

Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology

Climate for state and territories
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 state/territory.

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.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) 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 (NSW) New South Wales is considered a temperate zone, although very hot temperatures occur in the northwest and very cold temperatures on the Southern Tablelands.

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.

Northern Territory (NT) 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.

Queensland (QLD) 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 coast.

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 crisp.

South Australia (SA) 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 Nullarbor Desert.

Tasmania (TAS) 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.

Victoria (VIC) Victoria has a range of different climate zones, from the hot, dry Mallee region of the northwest to the alpine snowfields in the northeast of Victoria and the wetter grazing lands of the south.

The coastal strip, south of the ranges, is usually wetter, except in the far east where the Strezlecki Ranges shelter the East Gippsland District from the moisture-laden westerly winds.

Western Australia (WA) You can experience a variety of climatic conditions in Western Australia, from the tropical north, down through to the more temperate areas in its south-west corner.

As you travel inland from the coast, there is less rainfall and temperature variations are more pronounced. It is often said that when it is warm and dry in the north, it is wet and cool in the south.

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