Australia Weather Guide
The equatorial line runs parallel north of Australia so it's generally cooler in the south. Australia has a southern hemisphere climate with the winter season from June through to August and the summer season from December until February. The centre of Australia generally stays hot throughout the year with temperatures climbing to highs of over 37 degrees Celsius in summer. In the outback winter, night-time temperatures will still drop to single figure digits. In the far north of Australia in Darwin and Tropical North Queensland, there are only 2 seasons; the wet and the dry season.
Season and Clothing
Wet Season: December to April
In this season, temperatures can rise up to between 30 and 50 degrees Celsius and hold a steady high level of humidity. Being outside in this season can be a little unpleasant as the air can feel thick and sticky. During the wet season, also known as the monsoon season, rainfall can cause flash floods in low-lying areas, which means it may be difficult to access some sights. There is also increased possibilty of major storms and cyclones during this period. This is a great time to see the wildlife of the Daintree and Kakadu, or head inland to see the waterfalls that only cascade during the wet season.
Dry Season: May to November
Temperatures cool off in the dry season and clear skies reappear. The average temperature during the cooler months is around 20 degrees Celsius. Sunseekers are known to travel north for a holiday during this period as they attempt to escape from the cold temperatures in the southern areas of Australia making this a popular time to visit. Cooler and drier temperatures from May to November make the climate better suited for seeing the sights, the wildlife and diving.
Summer: December to February
During this season, daytime temps on the east coast of Australia can reach over 35 degrees Celsiusand a great way to cool off is to hit the beach and have a splash in the sea. In Brisbane and the Gold Coast, afternoon thunderstorms in summer also help to clear the air and reduce the heat. Temperatures in the shade are not stifling but if you're heading to the beach or theme parks, remember to wear SPF50+ sunscreen between 10am and 3pm to avoid sunburn. Summer is also the time of major music festivals, like Big Day Out, Woodford Folk Festival and The Falls Festival, with heaps of national and international headliners and entertainment. Don't miss the New Year's Eve fireworks in Sydney.
Autumn: March to May
In autumn, the weather cools and days become shorter. Rain briefly comes and goes and winds start to pick up. In the daytime, temperatures are certainly comfortable with higher temperatures to the north making this a good time for a road trip along well-known drives such as the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and from Hobart to the Freycinet Peninsula in Tasmania. For all the colour and spectacle, don't miss the annual Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney, and all the accompanying parties on Oxford Street! The popular Byron Bay Bluesfest also hits around Easter time every year, and is a famously muddy (or dusty) time with heaps of artists from almost all genres of music.
Winter: June to August
Rain and storms affect much of Australia in this season and temperatures continue to decrease. Snow falls in the south, which kicks off the skiing season in Victoria and in the Snowy Mountains. Many head north during this season to find the sun again as the winter coincides with the tropical north’s dry season. If you do stay and play in the cities, you'll be rewarded with artistic festivals, food events and heaps of watering holes to warm up in. Melbourne is a popular shopping destination in winter to stock up on all the essentials and bargains, or you can head to the mountains to spend a night by a crackling fire in the Blue Mountains or the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Spring: September to November
Plants and trees blossom and temperatures climb in preparation for the summer season. Showers sweep through areas and quickly disperse bringing the sun out not long afterwards. Spring is a great time to see the native trees and fauna in bloom, so lace up your hiking boots and head to the many national parks, mountains and bushwalking tracks in all states of Australia. The infamous Splendour in the Grass music festival hits Byron Bay around September, and while you're in the area, why not learn to surf or dive, then take your newfound skills and see the magic of the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland.