The seasons are as follows:
Spring: September, October, November
Summer: December, January, February
Autumn (Fall): March, April, May
Winter: June, July, August
- The Australian climate varies hugely, but by far the largest part of the country is desert, or semi-arid – 40% of the landmass is covered by sand dunes!
- Only the south east and south west of the country has a temperate climate and fertile soil.
- The northern part of the country has a tropical climate; part is tropical rainforest, part is grasslands; and part is desert.
- The tropical areas of Australia don’t experience these seasons typically however. There are really only two seasons: wet (October – May) and dry (June – September).
The right weather can make or break your campervanning holiday, whether it your trip is for three weeks, three months or three years! Luckily, Australia’s climate makes it possible to enjoy fantastic weather year round if you go to the right places at the right time – although of course Mother Nature is far from predictable and it’s entirely possible to get a cloudy, rainy week in Port Douglas in August, or a heatwave in Melbourne in October.
Generally speaking, though…
The wet season in the north (above the tropic of Capricorn) is when heavy monsoon rain, cyclones, flash floods and occasionally even hurricanes occur. The high temperatures combined with sometimes 100% humidity (although an average of about 70%) can also make it uncomfortable to be outside (or anywhere inside that doesn’t have air-conditioning!) However, it can be quite the experience to brave the conditions and witness dramatic electrical storms, thundering waterfalls and raging waterways. If you are planning to visit the far north during this time, take local advice about road conditions and weather warnings. There can be road closures in some areas, more frequently the further north you go. The most comfortable time to visit these areas (such as Broome, Alice Springs, Darwin or Cairns) is between May and October – July/August is your best bet.
The dry season in the north is when temperatures sit at around 25-30 degrees Celsius, humidity is low and there’s little chance of rain. Nearly every day is warm and sunny, and afternoon humidity sits around 30%. The lowest temperature you’ll experience will be around 12-14 degrees Celsius at night, but rarely lower, and no frosts have ever been recorded. Waterfalls and rivers drop and the land can dry out significantly. It’s a very pleasant time of year in these parts – “winter” in the north is much like “summer” in the south - but expect many other travellers to have the same idea, particularly during school holidays
The heat in the centre can reach 45 degrees Celsius or even higher in the summer months of November to May and conditions can be hugely uncomfortable. It’s a volatile time and there is also the risk of sudden downpours that turn dried up creeks into raging rivers. It’s always best not to embark on long walks or strenuous activities during the full heat of day and always take a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water with you. Remember the Outback is pretty far from civilisation if anyone needs medical attention.
The cool in the centre happens April to October and during the daytime the temperatures can be very pleasant, although it can get very cool at night, especially in July and August. There’s not much chance of rain but don’t count the occasional downpour out completely.
The summer in the south (south of the Tropic of Capricorn) is a fantastic time of year, although it can get up to around 40 degrees Celsius in some places so be prepared for heat! The lowest rainfall and highest temperatures generally occur between November and March, and the days are longer too.
The winter in the south can get pretty wet and cold, especially in the areas furthest south, such as Tasmania and locations on the south coast. In the subtropical regions, winters are often dry and daytime temperatures mild, if a little crisp.