AdventureSmith Explorations knows Australia weather from experience. Let us assist you plan your Australia trip with our knowledge on seasonal variations and climate nuances. Read our weather tips for Australia travel and scroll down to see climate tables with detailed data on temperature, rainfall and water temperature averages by location.

Perfect Weather Year-Round

Australia has a very diverse climate comprised of a mixture of desert, tropical, sub-tropical, grasslands and temperate environments. This variety of climate, weather and ecosystems make Australia the perfect destination for small ship cruises year-round. The seasons in Australia are opposite those in North America and Europe, and vary depending on latitude. Australia has a number of climate zones due to its enormous size. To put it into perspective, Australia is about the same size as continental USA, traveling from Sydney to Perth (East Coast to West Coast) is about the same as traveling from New York to Los Angeles.

Southern Regions

In Australia’s southern regions the warmest and longest days occur during summer (December through February). Spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) are pleasant in the south with moderate temperatures and rainfall. Winters can be cool and wet with snowfall at higher elevations of the southeast.

Target Summers in Tasmania

Off the Southern tip of Australia is the island state of Tasmania. The best time to visit is the summer—from December to February with cruises operating January through end of March. The days are longer, warmer and the rain is less frequent. March marks the beginning of autumn; the weather is changeable but so are the beautifully colored leaves. Most adventure tours finish up for the year around Easter before the cold sets in, so it’s best to visit before then if you are planning a more adventurous (and water-based) trip.

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The North & Great Barrier Reef

As you travel north in Australia, you move into sub-tropical and tropical climates. In the coastal tropics and Great Barrier Reef, weather falls into two seasons. May to November marks the hot and cloudless dry season. This is the most popular time to travel. December to April is the “green season” when humidity and rainfall are highest. Water temperatures at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are always fairly warm. They can vary from 70 degrees F (23C) in the winter  to 85 degrees F (29C) in the summer. Snorkeling and diving opportunities abound year-round.

Jellyfish & Great Barrier Reef

Cairns jellyfish inhabit the area around, and in, the Great Barrier Reef year-round. However, late October to May is considered “stinger season,” when an influx of jellyfish species come seeking warm, tropical waters. Although the number of Cairns jellyfish increase, they are considered coastal dwellers and are therefore more unlikely to be encountered at the reef. Booking with a reputable tour company ensures experienced professionals are trained to exercise best practices for the safety and protection of all passengers. The vessel crew will provide safety discussions ensuring you are well informed before entering the water as well as offering a range of protective Lycra “sting suits” and wet suits that typically cover your hands, neck, and come with a hood.

The Kimberley – Australia’s Northwest

The Kimberley is a tropical monsoon climate defined by a distinct wet season and dry season. March is the last month of the wet season and marks the beginning of the cruising calendar that coincides with the dry season till the end of September. In April the rain begins to diminish resulting in May and June’s gushing waterfalls and lush green land. Most travelers visit the Kimberley in May through August. September ends the dry season and is still a good time for travel if you are prepared for warmer humid weather.

Australia Climate

Averages by Location

Sydney, Australia

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg. High (F)797977736662606468727577
Avg. Low (F)666664595448464852576064
Avg. Water Temp (F)747575726966666565666871
Avg. Rainfall (Inches)4.04.65.25.04.65.23.83.12.73.03.03.0

Cairns, Australia

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg. High (F)909088848279788083858789
Avg. Low (F)757574716864636366697274
Avg. Water Temp (F)858584827876757577798283
Avg. Rainfall (Inches)15.517.516.67.63.61.91.21.01.31.93.76.7

Uluru, Australia

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg. High (F)1019994867669697584909598
Avg. Low (F)737267584942404351596569
Avg. Rainfall (Inches)1.11.51.30.60.50.70.70.20.40.81.31.8

Darwin, Australia

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg. High (F)898989919087878991929291
Avg. Low (F)777776757268676973777878
Avg. Water Temp (F)878686868480787982858788
Avg. Rainfall (Inches)16.914.712.54.00.80.10.10.20.62.85.610.0

Hobart, Tasmania

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg. High (F)737269656055545660636669
Avg. Low (F)545451484440394043464951
Avg. Water Temp (F)606161595856555454555759
Avg. Rainfall (Inches)1.61.41.41.61.41.31.71.81.71.81.82.1