Everything you need to know to survive Australia’s weather.

Australia is known to experience scorching hot summers, but have you heard about our winters?  Here’s a survival guide with everything you need to know to cope with extreme weather in Australia.

Our climate varies dramatically from summer to winter and from State to State

When planning your trip Down Under, its important to remember that as Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, our seasons are opposite to those in Europe or North America.

It is generally thought that Australia is always hot and sunny so it often comes as a surprise to learn that our winters can be extremely cold.  In the desert we frequently have below zero temperatures with many areas covered in frost.

When is the Best Time to Visit Australia

Here’s a simple survival guide outlining everything you need to know to cope with the extreme weather in Australia.

Whilst summer might be great for visiting places in the like Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide however, if you’re planning to visit Uluru in the Outback or Kakadu in the Top End you really are best to visit during the winter months.

In the northern parts of Australia there are really only two seasons: a wet season and the dry season and as a heads-up, Melbourne is noted to experience 4 seasons in a day!

What to expect in the Summer Months: October – April

Southbank water fun

The summer temperatures right across Australia are extremely hot.  Summer is spent swimming in the surf, boating and hanging out at the beach.

In the tropical northern regions, monsoon rains fall during summer making this a very humid time of year to visit.  It is also a time when the landscape is at its most beautiful.  Everything is lush and green.  Storms are a highlight of summer in the north, with stunning displays of lightening and thunder storms.  Its also a time when the waterways are full of water and the migratory birds fly in for the nesting season.

Read next: A Birdwatchers Paradise

What to expect in the Winter months: May – September

Surviving winter in Darwin

Winters temperatures can vary dramatically across Australia.  While winter is very mild in the northern parts of Australia, it can be extremely cold in the southern states and also in the Outback – the central desert country.

Visit the northern parts of Australia during winter.  The weather is balmy, there’s almost no humidity and it hardly ever rains.  Winter turns tropical Cairns, Kakadu or the pearling capital of Australia, Broome into perfect destinations.

Our winter days are glorious – the perfect weather to go hiking.

In the Outback, winter temperatures sometimes drop below zero at night.  Rug up and enjoy a camping adventure.  This really is the perfect climate to enjoy a clear night sky with more stars than you can imagine and a few nights spent around the campfire.

Yes!  It really does snow in Australia!  Our snowfields are worth experiencing – find out more about Mt Buller and Mt Kosciuzsko.

Read next:  The 6 Seasons of Kakadu and the Finke Desert Race

Floods Happen

One problem you may encounter if you visit during summer, is rain.  When it rains in Australia, it rains a lot!  Be aware that our creeks and rivers flood very quickly and may lead to road closures.  It also means that some popular destinations may be closed.

Be sure to plan your visit carefully and make sure the forces of the universe is going to co-operate to give you the best Australian weather experience.

My first winter in the Outback

When I first told my friends I was moving to the Outback they were shocked and asked “how are you going to handle the heat”?   At the time I laughed and told them that it’d be easy, having spent most of my childhood in the tropics.

When I arrived in Alice Springs, I was asked “how are you going to handle our winters”?  I was stunned!  Winters?  What do you mean?

My first winter in Alice Springs came as quite a shock.  I had no warm clothes to speak of, no doonas or blankets for our beds and I certainly wasn’t prepared for ‘bone chilling’ cold!

I remember seeing the front page of the local newspaper with a beautiful photo displaying a tree with icicles hanging from it.   Someone had forgotten to turn off their sprinkler overnight!  That week I experienced my first below zero (-7 degrees celcius) temperatures ever!

Have you found the information on this page useful?

Let us know by leaving an honest review in the comments section below.  Share our page on Twitter, Facebook or pin to Pinterest. 

Extreme weather survival guide for Australia