Australia climate is very different
in different parts of the country.
Australia is well known as a country with beautiful weather and
warm climate. And by world's standards this is certainly true. But it
doesn't mean that the sun is always shining in the whole country.
Australia is as big as the whole Europe or the US, and the climate
varies between north and south as much as it varies between Sweden and
Greece or Boston and Florida.
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With one difference - there is no place as cold as Boston or Sweden,
but there are places warmer than Greece and Florida, because Australia
is on much warmer latitudes than Europe and the US.
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Australia Climate is Hot by World's
parts lie at 40° latitudes, where in the Northern Hemisphere we have
Washington D.C. in the US, Beijing in China, and central Spain,
Italy and northern Greece in Europe – places generally considered not
At 40° in Australia we have Bass Strait between Victoria
places "freezing cold" according to Australians who only visit this
country summer time.
At 30° latitudes, where in the Northern Hemisphere are Morocco,
Egypt, Mexico and Florida – places people travel to because they want
to escape the cold - in Australia we have areas not far north from Perth
– places still relatively cool by Australian standards, where during
the winter we wear a jacket.
Northern, warmest parts of Australia lie at 20°
latitudes where in the Northern Hemisphere you’d be in Sahara Desert!
Australia is spoiled with a wonderfully warm climate :-)
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Local Differences and Other Factors than
So, in the big picture, in the opposite way from the Northern
Hemisphere, the further south
you go in Australia the colder it gets.
Australia is a big country and local factors also affect climate.
Altitudes for example mean that Australia's south-east - parts of
South Wales, ACT
and Tasmania - are much colder than the country's south-west where
Perth in fact is known for its excellent climate.
Distance from the ocean also affects local climate.
Because water has a capacity to hold the temperature longer than the
the coastal areas have much milder climate than the inland where
summers/days can be extremely hot and winters/nights can be extremely
cold in what is known as outback
And of course, there is a whole lot of other factors that affect the
local climate and every so often cause floods,
droughts, bushfires and other natural
different parts of Australia.
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The Cool, Temperate Southern
But despite the local differences, there are two distinct climates in
Australia in the big picture.
The climate in the southern parts of the country is cooler than the
climate of the north, and in most parts it is known as temperate climate.
There are many other places with temperate climate in the world, and
some of them (including Australia) support temperate rainforests.
There are also patches of other climates in southern parts of
Australia, such as alpine climate in Victoria's Alps and the so called
Mediterranian climate around Perth in Western Australia.
But common for them all is the fact that they have four distinctive seasons -
spring, summer, autumn and winter. And their timing is the opposite
from the Northern Hemisphere:
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Hot, Tropical Northern Australia Climate
While in the northern Australia we have tropical climate, which has only two seasons - the Wet and the Dry.
Generally speaking, the Dry season is
when the climate up here is the most comfortable - and is the peak
tourist season, while the Wet is to avoid.
At a closer look, there is more to it,
such as the difference between the Early Wet and the Late Wet, as well
as the unpredictability of the time of the start and the end of both
The end of the Wet has over the years come as early as in March or as
late as in June, and everything in between. And of course, the timing
also depends on where in the
northern Australia you are (how far north), so the table above is only
for general guidance.
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The Dry season is most often characterised by sun and blue skies, while
the Wet is not only rainy but is also the season for electrical storms
and tropical cyclones.
But what is most annoying for travellers is that the moonsoonal rains,
and the rains after cyclones, flood the roads and stop you from getting
to the next place.
We who are living here are fine because we don't plan to get around too
much during that time of the year, because road closures are
But if you are a traveller, likely with restricted time for your trip,
and want to get around, even if only along the eastern coast of
Queensland, even the main
highway between Townsville
and Cairns, and
other towns, gets flooded and closed at some stage every Wet Season.
And it is not fun to get stuck and miss out places you had planned to
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What Does Australia Climate Mean for
It means, it is best to plan your northern
Australia trip to the time between June and September (after which it
doesn't quite yet get wet but starts getting uncomfortably hot).
Plan your southern Australia
trips to the time between November
if you like it hot and sunny. During the southern winter, between May
and September, it's the "wet" season down there, so it can rain quite a
bit - and it also gets quite cold - not a nice combination.
And if you plan to do the central
especially if you go inland, to the outback, including the Red Centre
Rock, plan that to either spring or autumn. The inland
climate gets extremely hot in the summer and extremely cold in the
winter, so by doing that you avoid both extremes.
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