The Australian Climate

Australia is a continent in its own right and as such it has a varied climate, ranging from sub-zero temperatures and snow in the mountainous regions to unbearably dry deserts in the north-west. Australia is officially one of the driest continents on the planet and some desert areas are known to dodge rain for several years at a time.

The south of the country has a temperate climate; cool wet winters and warm dry summers. The north of the country features a tropical climate; one dry season that is fairly warm, and one wet season that is extremely hot.

Due to its geographical position in the Southern Hemisphere as polar opposite to the UK, Australia experiences its seasons at the opposite time of year to Britain. November to February is summertime and June to August is winter.

Here is a list of the average temperatures for the 7 Australian states’ capital cities:

City: Summer Avg. Temp. Winter Avg. Temp.
Adelaide 22-30°C 7-11°C
Brisbane 25-29°C 10-15°C
Darwin 28-32°C 0-5°C
Hobart 16-21°C 8°C
Perth 25-30°C 9-14°C
Sydney 25-30°C 8-12°C
Alice Springs 28-36°C 19-25°C


Occasionally Australia does experience severe natural disasters; hurricanes, geographically termed ‘cyclones,’ occur infrequently in the northern areas of the country; earthquakes, often off-shore, hit Australia every few years and can damage buildings but hardly ever claim human lives; Tsunamis occasionally rush the Australian coastline but the vast majority of these are small; the greatest threat is posed by ‘bushfire’s as a result of the intense heat and extreme dryness.

Climate in each territory

Australia is divided into seven territories or states and each one is home to differing climatic conditions. Before emigrating you should check the climate of each, if you don’t like the heat then one state may be better for you than another.

Capital Territory- Thanks to the regions distance from the sea this territory experiences a continental climate and is notorious for its hot, dry summers and cold foggy winters. The highest temperature was recorded in the area was 42.8 °C (109.0 °F). The lowest temperature was −14.6 °C (5.7 °F).

New South Wales- This territory is home to an arid climate with portions of the East having a subtropical one. Sydney falls under the subtropical climate and experiences cool winters and warm summers. In the west there is desert that sees scorching temperatures.  The highest maximum temperature recorded was 49.7 °C (121.5 °F), The lowest minimum temperature was −23°C (−9.4 °F).

The Northern territory- The Northern Territory has two distinctive climate zones. The northern end, including Darwin, has a tropical savannah climate with high humidity and two seasons, the wet (November to April) and dry season (May to October). During the dry season nearly every day is warm and sunny, whereas the wet season sees the region hit by tropical storms and cyclones on a regular basis. The highest maximum temperature recorded in the territory was 48.3 °C (118.9 °F); the lowest minimum temperature was −7.5 °C (18.5 °F).

Queensland- Because of its size, there is significant variation in climate across the state. Low rainfall and hot summers are typical for the inland west, a monsoonal ‘wet’ season in the far north, and warm temperate conditions along the coastal strip. Inland and in southern ranges low minimum temperatures are experienced. The climate of the coastal strip is influenced by warm ocean waters, keeping the region free from extremes of temperature and providing moisture for rainfall. The highest maximum temperature observed in the state is 49.5 °C (121.1 °F) the lowest minimum temperature is −10.6 °C (12.9 °F).

South Australia- Most of this region is arid or semi-arid. The southern coastal areas are home to a Mediterranean style climate with mild winters and hot dry summers. The highest maximum temperature was recorded as 50.7 °C (123.3 °F), The lowest minimum temperature was −8 °C (17.6 °F).

Tasmania- Tasmania has a cool temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summer lasts from December to February when the average maximum sea temperature is 21 °C, The winter months are between June and July and are generally the wettest and coolest months in the state, with most high lying areas receiving considerable snowfall. The highest recorded maximum temperature in Tasmania was 42.2 °C (108.0 °F), Tasmania’s lowest recorded minimum temperature was −13 °C (8.6 °F).

Victoria- Victoria has a varied climate despite its small size. It ranges from semi-arid and hot in the north-west, to temperate and cool along the coast. Victoria’s main land feature, the Great Dividing Range, produces a cooler, mountain climate in the centre of the state. Victoria’s highest maximum temperature was 48.8 °C (119.8 °F), the state’s lowest minimum temperature was −11.7 °C (10.9 °F)