CLIMATE – THE BEST TIME TO VISIT AUSTRALIA Like all countries in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s seasons follow the sequence: Summer: December to February. Autumn: March to May. Winter: June to August. Spring: September to November Even though the four ‘official’ calendar seasons have the same names as the northern hemisphere seasons, the weather during these seasons is very different to northern hemisphere weather patterns. Australia is generally a very dry place, so summers can get much hotter. The pattern of rainfall is also distinct – some places have abundant rain at one time of the year and almost none at other times.
Because Australia is such a large country, its weather varies significantly in different parts of the continent. The tropical regions of Australia are in the north of the country. They include the central and northern parts of the Northern Territory and Queensland, and the northern parts of Western Australia. The weather in the Australian tropics has two very different seasons: the wet season and the dry season. The wet season lasts about six months in summer and spring, between December and March. It is hotter than the dry season, with temperatures between 30C/86°F and 50°C/122°F. The dry season lasts about six months in autumn and winter, usually between May and October. Temperatures are lower and the skies are generally clearer during the dry. The average temperature is around 20°C /68°F. The driest regions of Australia are found mostly in central Australia, stretching from most of central and southern Western Australia, through the southern parts of the Northern Territory and most of South Australia, to the far west regions of Queensland and New South Wales, and the north-western parts of Victoria.
The dry and desert regions of Australia are characterized by intense heat during the day and intense cold at night. Temperatures range from around 40°C /104°F in the summer to between 16°C /61°F and 24°C /75°F in the winter. At night the temperature can vary from 19°C /66°F to zero degrees. These areas receive little rainfall.
The temperate areas of Australia are found on the south-eastern coast, reaching south from Tasmania through most of Victoria and New South Wales into the southern parts of Queensland. Temperate regions are also found in the southern most parts of South Australia and the south-western tip of Western Australia. The weather in temperate Australia is quite changeable throughout the year, with an average temperature of around 30C/86°F in the summer, and cool to cold winters with an average temperature of around 15°C /59°F.