Australia is a large country made up of everything from dusty deserts to vibrant rainforests. That means there's pretty much a different weather pattern for each area, with even more variety depending on if you're on the coast, at an altitude or in the Outback. Most of the country experiences a traditional four seasons within the year - except in the northern regions (Northern Territory and far north Queensland) that see a predominant wet and dry season instead.

What is the climate of Australia? 

Australia's climate is greatly influenced by the country's size and the air that comes off the subtropical high-pressure belt that moves in a north-westerly direction and then in a north-easterly one with the seasons. Because of the country's large geographical size, it actually experiences a mixture of climates, including a desert or semi-arid climate (central Australia with parts of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory), a temperate climate (Victoria and New South Wales), and a tropical climate (Northern Territory and Queensland) that includes both rainforest and desert areas. 

The likes of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania generally experience cold to freezing winters and warm-to-hot summers, with a few exceptions here and there (Tasmania gets colder than the other states listed due to its proximity to Antarctica). While the rest of the country experiences warm, mild winters and hot, humid, and rainy summers. 

Learn more about the best time to visit Australia

Weather by state

Weather in Victoria

As one of Australia's southernmost states, Victoria can be more seasonal than other regions, with cool-to-cold winters and warm-to-hot summers. So you can enjoy hot and sunny beach weather during summer (December to February) and then enjoy the snow in the alpine regions during winter - the best of both worlds, really.

The state is loosely divided into three regions - coastal, inland and alpine. In the southern coastal areas, such as in its capital Melbourne, winters won't be as cold as the rest of the state.

The natural pinnacles of rock along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria

 

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

21°C/70°F

9°C/48°F

 June to August 

14°C/57°F

5°C/41°F

 September to November 

20°C/68°F

7°C/44°F

 December to February 

27°C/80°F

12°C/53°F

Weather in New South Wales (NSW)

Sitting along a large portion of the East Coast and bordered by the tropics to the north, outback to the west and the Australian Alps to the south - New South Wales pretty well has a climate for any type of adventure.

Sydney and other coastal areas have a perfect summer climate sitting between 20°C and 30°C. Towards the central and western regions, the climate gets a bit hotter and drier as you near the Australian outback, with summers easily getting over 40°C, but winters don't get too cold. The Australian capital city, Canberra, sits within NSW's temperate climate and is known to get cool in winter.

Two travellers standing in the clear, blue waters of Jervis Bay in New South Wales

 

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

24°C/75°F

13°C/55°F

 June to August 

16°C/60°F

6°C/42°F

 September to November 

26°C/78°F

13°C/55°F

 December to February 

33°C/91°F

20°C/68°F

 

Weather in Queensland

Queensland occupies 13,352 km (8,295 miles) of the Australian coast, complete with white sandy beaches and the Great Barrier Reef just offshore. So most of the climate here is warm and sunny, making it pretty perfect for the beach all year round.

But beaches aren't all that make up this state. Queensland also has the largest area of forest in Australia, home to the Daintree, as well as tropical, subtropical, grassland, equatorial and desert climates. In the northern regions, a wet season falls from November to April, affecting areas like Port Douglas.

A row of palm trees swaying in the breeze along the coast of Port Douglas

 

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

30°C/86°F

19°C/66°F

 June to August 

24°C/65°F

12°C/53°F

 September to November 

33°C/91°F

20°C/68°F

 December to February 

36°C/96°F

35°C/77°F

 

Weather in the Northern Territory

We're in the desert now, so pack a hat and bring sunscreen because it'll get hot. Within the outback region of the Northern Territory, daily temperatures sit around 32°C but reduce during winters, even getting to near freezing overnight.

The tropical top end, home to the hotspots of Darwin and Kakadu, is a warm and sunny place for most of the time. However, this area experiences intense wet and dry seasons. Expect heavy rains, high temperatures and thunderstorms during the summer. This area is a great destination to escape the wider country's winter as it'll be in its warm and sunny dry season.

 

A group of people swimming in Litchfield waterfall, Northern Territory

 

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

32°C/89°F

20°C/68°F

 June to August 

26°C/78°F

14°C/57°F

 September to November 

35°C/95°F

22°C/71°F

 December to February 

37°C/98°F

25°C/77°F

 

Weather in Western Australia (WA)

Western Australia takes up the entire western portion of the country, and because it's so large, it's home to almost every type of climate that exists in Australia. The majority of the state is desert, with tropical and temperate areas in the north and south, respectively.

Around Perth, summers do get hot and dry, but winters won't get too cool. In the northern regions, including Broome, the wet and dry seasons exist, bringing very hot and rainy months from November to April.

The colourful coastline of Cape Leveque where the water meets red rock.

 

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

26°C/78°F

13°C/55°F

 June to August 

19°C/66°F

8°C/46°F

 September to November 

23°C/73°F

11°C/51°F

 December to February 

31°C/87°F

17°C/62°F

 

Weather in South Australia (SA)

Most of the interior of South Australia is classified as desert, making up a good portion of the Outback, with the southeast part of the state having a cooler coastal climate. With so much desert, this state can get very hot, especially in summer, with highs even in the southern areas reaching above 35°C.

If you're not a fan of rain, SA could be the place for you, as Adelaide is both the driest and least humid of all the Australian cities. There is rainfall during the winter months, June-August, but temperatures won't drop as low as in other states.

 

A lone windmill standing in front of the Flinders Ranges in the South Australian desert

 

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

23°C/73°F

12°C/53°F

 June to August 

16°C/60°F

7°C/44°F

 September to November 

24°C/75°F

11°C/51°F

 December to February 

30°C/86°F

16°C/60°F

 

Weather in Tasmania

Unlike its northern counterparts, the southernmost state has four distinct seasons that bring heavy rains and cool temperatures in winter with mild days in summer. Because its position is closer than other states to Antarctica, it is the state that gets the coldest, especially when the winds pick up.

Tasmania doesn't get very hot, even in summer, but the Australian sun can still heat you up quickly when outside, ensuring beach days are still on the cards. Warmer temperatures are commonly found in the northern areas, including around Launceston and the Bay of Fires coast.

 

A group of people standing in front of a snowy Cradle Mountain in Tasmania

 

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

11°C/51°F

2°C/35°F

 June to August 

6°C/42°F

-1°C/30°F

 September to November 

9°C/48°F

1°C/33°F

 December to February 

15°C/59°F

5°C/41°F

 

 

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Palm trees and blue skies in Port Douglas

Port Douglas

Clear water framed by trees, Noosa

Noosa

Aerial view of Launceston

Launceston

A wide view of Cape Tribulation, the Daintree

The Daintree

Tasmania's Bay of Fires

Bay of Fires

A sunset over the Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains

Blue waters of Byron Bay

Byron Bay

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