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The time in Australia: Weather divided by region and months

by Visagov | January 3, 2023
people on top of caravans in Australia

Australia is one of those mythical destinations that fascinates, impresses, and delights travelers from all around the world. The outback, the Sydney Opera House, kangaroos, the Great Barrier Reef, and didgeridoos are all words that evoke the great outdoors, adventure, and a millennia-old culture of Australia.

From the remote beaches of South Australia to the red sand dunes of the Australian outback, the Great Barrier Reef’s crystal clear waters, and the dense rainforest stretching along the east coast, Australia’s landscapes are as diverse as they are mysterious.   

So, to help you plan your trip Down Under, we’ve put this guide together so you can learn all about the Australia weather. Remember to apply for your visa for Australia before traveling!

Weather in Australia 

Australia is a vast territory. In fact, the country is almost as big as the United States. This means that you won’t find a unified weather in Australia: it covers a range of different climates. That’s why it’s important to know each region’s climate when you plan your trip.

The northern parts of Australia experience a tropical climate with hot and humid summers and warm and dry winters. Besides, the northern part of Queensland and the Northern Territory are characterized by a rainy season spanning from November to March. However, showers usually only happen for a couple of hours in the evening, and the days are mostly clear, allowing you to enjoy great outdoor activities. The dry season goes from May to October.

The center of Australia is characterized by an arid or semi-arid climate with hot temperatures during the summer months and colder temperatures in winter. Note that the nights in the desert can be cold in summer and even colder during the winter months.

The southern regions feature mild and dry summers and cool winters.

Temperature in Australia

The time in Australia is not as extreme as some other places in the world, both in winter and during the summer. Autumn and spring are extremely mild. 

For example, the weather in Melbourne Australia, one of the southernmost cities, we can find that during the summer the temperatures go from about 12ºC to 25ºC and it remains in that range during the autumn. Winter gets colder: the temperature goes from about 5ºC or 6ºC and it reaches a maximum of about 14ºC. 

Perth is different than Melbourne: for starters, it's higher in altitude and it sits on the western coast of Australia. The temperature during the summer goes from about 16ºC and it surpasses the 30ºC. The winters are a little less cold than Melbourne's: we can find minimum temps of about 8ºC and maximum of 18ºC.

Sydney, one of Australia's most emblematic cities, has a weather similar to Perth but with cooler summers: the maximum temperature is about 26ºC instead of 30ºC. 

Canberra is the capital of Australia and there we can find lower temperatures than in the rest of the big cities. For example, during the summer we can find temperatures ranging from 11ºC to 29ºC. The winters are cold: the minimum temperatures are 0ºC and 1ºC. The maximum temperatures we will find during those months are approximately 12ºC or 13ºC. 

Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo, weather in australia

What season is it in Australia?

Australia is located in the southern hemisphere. This means that the seasons are opposite to the northern hemisphere (where the US and Europe are located). 

When is winter in Australia?

The Australian winter goes from the end of June to September, when spring starts.

If you enjoy winter sports, this would be the perfect time to visit the Australian Alps. It's also the season for whale watching.

When is summer in Australia?

The season of summer in Australia spans from December to the end of March.

This is also the time in Australia for the wet season in the tropical north and stinger season on the Great Barrier Reef (you need a full-body wetsuit to get in the water, no matter if it's only for snorkeling).

When is autumn in Australia?

We can find autumnal colors if we travel to Australia from March to June

It's the perfect time in Australia to experience turtle hatching in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. 

When is spring in Australia?

Spring starts at the end of September and it lasts until the beginning of summer at the end of December.

Australian flag, weather in australia

Australia weather by month

Weather in Australia in December, January and February

These months comprise the time in Australia for summer, which means that the entire country has warm or hot weather. It’s also the high season for tourism (except in the extremely hot and rainy tropical north). Brisbane can also see some rainfall during the summer, but most other places will be in the dry season.

The Australia weather in December, January and February can have high temperatures of around 30ºC in some of the cities in Australia, like Sydney or Perth. Tasmania has the coolest weather, with highs of about 20ºC. 

Weather in Australia in March, April, May

The weather in Australia in March and the following months, the entire autumn season, is quite mild. The average Australia weather during the fall has highs of 25ºC and lows of 20ºC approximately (remember that Australia is extremely large and the weather varies according to each region). Northern Australia will still be rainy, but not the rest of the country.

Central Australia will retain some of the summer heat during the day, so take that into account if you plan on exploring. However, this also means that you can still enjoy the Australian beaches, especially in Western Australia.

Weather in Australia in July, June and August

The winter time in Australia is cold, especially in the south and at nighttime (even if the days are not as cold). The temperatures can go below 0ºC with ease, especially in places like Melbourne or Canberra. However, places like Sydney or Perth don’t have such extreme weather, and the temperatures can even reach 20ºC during the day.

Northern Australia has virtually no rainfall during the winter, but that’s not the case in places such as Perth (Western Australia). However, the country is mostly dry with low humidity during the winter, which makes it a comfortable time in Australia for exploring.

Weather in Australia in September, October and November

The spring time in Australia is warm without being hot all around, with temperatures around 20ºC and lows of approximately 10ºC depending on the region you’re visiting. Spring is a good time in Australia for traveling around because it’s quite dry, even in the tropical North. 

Time in Australia to visit the desert, weather in australia

When is the best time to go to Australia?

Given the size of the country, it’s always sunny somewhere, no matter what time of the year you’re planning to visit Australia. That being said, here’s a rundown of the weather in different regions, so you can pick the best time to visit Australia.

Best time to visit Sydney

Sydney is located in New South Wales, in the southeast of the country. The largest Australian city experiences a humid subtropical climate with warm and humid spring and summer months and a dry season with mild temperatures during fall and winter. This makes it the perfect year-round destination

The city features over 100 pristine beaches, countless bars, restaurants, shops, a world-class zoo, and a rich history that you’ll be able to learn through the many museums and galleries the city has to offer. 

Best time to visit Melbourne

The weather in Melbourne Australia has hotter springs and summers than Sydney and cooler and rainier falls and winters. And while summer is the perfect time to explore stunning national parks in Australia such as the Wilsons Promontory Park, winter activities are as exciting for adventure and nature lovers. 

Melbourne is only 2 hours away from Lake Mountains, a popular ski resort. What’s more, the city is known for its food and art scene, delighting millions of foodies and culture enthusiasts every year.  

Lastly, located one hour south of Melbourne lies the stunning Phillip Island. The island is famous for being the home of hundreds of Little Penguins. Regardless of the time of the year, as the sun sets, you’ll be able to observe these adorable creatures emerging from the waters and going through the beach to their nesting burrows.

Best time to visit Canberra

The spring and summer months are incredible times of the year to visit Canberra. The days are clear, and temperatures are warm during the day and cooler at night. During these seasons, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best Australian wine in the wineries scattered across the Murrumbateman wine region, cool down in some of the city’s beautiful swimming holes, and practice your stand-up paddleboarding skills on Lake Burley Griffin.

But while spring and summer are awesome times to explore Canberra, fall might be even more mesmerizing. Between March and May, the lush parks and gardens of the city take on orange, red, and golden hues turning these green areas into a colorful show.

In winter, you’ll enjoy exploring the city’s numerous galleries and museums to learn more about the country’s history, grill some meat on a bonfire or take a stroll by the lake.

Best time to visit Perth 

Between September and February, Perth is aglow with colors and excitement as the vegetation and long sunny days mark the beginning of the hot season. A trip to the spectacular Rottnest Island and a sunrise dip at Gnarabup Beach are some of the many beach-related activities and adventures you’ll be able to enjoy during these months. 

Between March and May, travellers come from all around the world to spot blue whales through the Perth Canyon.

Last but not least, during winter, tourists and locals flock to Fremantle to enjoy the city’s rich history and delicious beers at Little Creatures, one of the country’s most iconic breweries.

Gold Coast beach in Australia, weather in australia

Best festivals and Events 

Australian Open

Set in Melbourne Park, the Australian Open sees top international Tennis players compete in one of the most important Tennis competitions in the world in January every year. In fact, the Australian Open marks the first tournament of the four Grand Slam tennis competitions held annually

Because Australians are sports enthusiasts and every pub puts the competition on their TV, you’ll be able to enjoy a unique experience as the whole country comes alive in a playful atmosphere!  

Australia Day

January is a busy month when it comes to celebrations in Australia. On the 26th of January, the nation celebrates Australia Day, the country’s official national day. This day marks the 1788 landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove. Yet, these days, it’s also a way for the nation to celebrate its diversity and rich history spanning over 60,000 years. 

During this special day, families and friends around the country typically gather to enjoy delicious BBQs in parks and at the beach while live bands perform in the streets.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Sydney is known for being home to the largest gay and lesbian population in Australia, making it one of the most LGBTQI-friendly cities in the world. Therefore, it’s no surprise that every year, the city throws an epic Mardi Gras Party in February and March. In fact, this is such an important business that the event takes over the city for four weeks with hundreds of incredible performances around the city. 

The event culminates in March in the world-famous Parade: Sydney Mardi Gras. For this specific celebration, tens of thousands of people gather on Oxford Street to enjoy the parade before celebrating in the many bars and venues located in the neighborhood.

What to pack and tips 

  • Australia is exposed to higher UV radiation levels than the rest of the world because of its geographic location. This means that you need to apply SPF50 sunscreen at all times, even in winter and even if the sky is cloudy.
  • If you plan to visit the Great Barrier Reef during the rainy season, make sure to pack a rain jacket and an umbrella. 
  • The train network isn’t well-developed in Australia, mainly due to the size of the country. Therefore, Australians usually fly from one city to another as domestic flights operate regularly and are relatively affordable.