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Weather in Australia: Make the most of it on your trip

The weather in Australia varies immensely from north to south. Plan your trip around Australia so you can enjoy the best of the weather, all the time. We had long stretches without rain on our trip…for up to six months. We also skipped one winter altogether. I’m not an expert, but if you follow this golden rule you’ll generally be okay:

Travel north in winter, south in summer – and you‘ll get the best weather.

Kakadu sunsetKakadu sunset

The north-south divide

The Tropic of Capricorn is a good invisible boundary line between northern and southern weather in Australia. It passes East-West, from Rockhampton (Qld) to just north of Carnarvon (WA).

In the north

North of the Tropic of Capricorn, you can expect a ‘wet’ season and a ‘dry’ season. The further north you go, the more distinct the seasons get. The ‘wet’ season loosely runs from approximately October – April. This is when the vast majority of rain falls in the north.

It can run early or late, or be particularly ‘big’. The size and duration of the ‘wet’ affects accessibility to some places, even during the dry season. You should always check the road conditions before you travel in the north. The ‘dry’ season runs from around May – September. This is when the sun shines, clouds are rare, and rain is almost non-existent. It is still warm-hot during the day, but the nights can get very cold.

In general, the ‘dry’ season is the best time to travel in the north. The weather is sunny and predictable, roads are open, and the humidity is low.

In the south

The weather in Australia’s south follows the usual ‘four seasons’ pattern. The further south you go, the colder the winter gets. The cold winds coming of the southern ocean can be brutal.

In general, summer is the best time to travel in the southern parts of Australia. Plan to spend spring and autumn close to Tropic of Capricorn, as the cooler weather takes longer to settle in these regions. You can enjoy good weather in places like Shark Bay (WA) and Rainbow Bay (Qld) during these shoulder seasons.

“Always take the weather with you…”

As Crowded House would say, take the weather with you. Make the most of the great weather in Australia and use the seasons to your best advantage. Enjoy the sunshine! For more weather information, check out your state / territory motoring body. They generally have excellent updates on road conditions and closures, in particular Queensland's RACQ provides good advice.

Also, you can always rely on the Australian Bureau of Metrology (BOM) for comprehensive weather updates, warnings and forecasts across the country.

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› Weather in Australia