Getting Acclimatized: Learn the Australian Climate & Seasons

By Josh •  Updated: 03/31/21 •  7 min read

Australia is incredibly diverse and experiences a wide variety of different climatic conditions mainly due to the vast size of the continent. There are six distinct outback climate groups; Equatorial, Tropical, Sub-tropical, Desert, Grassland and Temperate.

The climate in the southern outback is generally dry and sunny year round. Over the summer months from December to February/March it can get very hot during the days and quite warm in the evenings. In winter months from June to August the days are pleasant with nights getting cold, often dropping below 0°C.

As you can see there is some specific times where a visit can be more enjoyable if you are looking for a specific heat, many will want to do the June to August time to have amazing daytime temperatures and be indoors at night safe from the cold.

What Type of Climates Exist in Australia?

The Australian Temperate Zone occupies the coastal regions of New South Wales (Sydney), Victoria (Great Ocean Road, East Gippsland, Phillip Island), Tasmania and most of South Australia (Kangaroo Island, Eyre Peninsula).

Four seasons are much more apparent in this area according to a cycle that is directly opposite times to those in the northern hemisphere:

  • Summer – December to February
    • Average Temperature: Minimum 16°C and Maximum 26°C
  • Autumn – March to May
    • Average Temperature: Minimum 11°C and Maximum 20°C
  • Winter – June to August
    • Average Temperature: Minimum 6°C and Maximum 14°C
  • Spring – September to November
    • Average Temperature: Minimum 10°C and Maximum 20°C

The climate in the southern outback area is generally dry and sunny year round. Over the summer months from December to February/March it can get very hot during the days and stay incredibly warm in the evenings.

In the winter months from June to August the days are very nice and pleasant with nights getting cold, often dropping below 0°C so you need to be prepared to hang at night.

Is the Outback Habitable?

Understanding if the Outback is suitable or good enough to live in is a difficult question to answer. While the Outback is one of Australia’s most iconic landscapes, it can be very challenging for people who are not accustomed or prepared with what they need in order survive this harsh climate and environment.

The Australian National University has studied how humans could live sustainably on Earth if we were able-bodied enough! They found that there was no place where you would want more than two hours’ walk from water sources such as rivers because without them life becomes impossible after about three days.

In addition , while many animals thrive out here like kangaroos which have adapted their bodies over time so these conditions don’t affect much – human beings cannot do likewise without mechanical interventions like bringing in water and food, clothing, and more just to survive.

Can You Live in the Australian Outback?

The Australian Outback is the largest landmass on Earth that has no permanent inhabitants. It’s a harsh, dry climate with temperatures reaching up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and dropping below freezing during winter months without any rain or snowfall for up to six-month periods at time!

Due to issues experienced due to harsh weather within the outback very few humans live there. Due to limited resources and limited interaction outside the area without significant travel it is not viable for many to survive, overall Australia has only about 5% of their population living in the Outback.

The only people who live there are those working as cattle ranchers herding their livestock across these vast areas of desert each year; they find shelter from extreme weather conditions by living near water sources such like rivers when necessary.

The Six Zones Of Australia

The Equatorial Zone

The Equatorial Zone is the region of Earth which has a constant temperature all year round. It’s located between tropic and temperate zones, with an average annual range in temperatures from 20°C to 30 ° C (68-86 F).

The equator itself lies at 0 degrees latitude on either side where it meets both Tropics & Temperate Zones! This zone experiences little seasonal variation due mainly by its proximity being close enough for trade winds that blow over land masses like Asia or North America etc., keeping them warm during winter months while cooling off hot summers days

The Tropical Zone

The Tropical Zone is the region in Australia that experiences the most variation in temperature. This zone is located near Australia’s equator and experiences a wide range of temperatures, from 20°C to 30 ° C (68-86 F).

The average annual rainfall for this region ranges between 50 inches on higher ground up through 100+inches per year at lower elevations found closer to coastal areas .

The Sub-Tropical Zone

The Sub-Tropical Zone within Australia is mostly made up of the Northern Territory and Queensland. This region is characterized by a warm, wet winter with hot summers that are dryer than the other zones in Australia’s climate regions.

The average annual rainfall for this zone ranges from 20 inches to 60+inches per year depending on location; however some areas within these states can see as much rain fall during one day (or even hour) of heavy downpour!

The Sub-Tropical Zone has an increased risk when it comes too flooding because there isn’t any snow or ice at higher elevations like you would find up north near Mount Kosciusko where temperatures stay below freezing all throughout Wintertime (even though they still experience warmer days). In addition if we look back into history records show floods have been recorded in this zone.

The Sub-Tropical Zone is also home to the Great Barrier Reef, which is made up from corals making for some spectacular diving opportunities as well as the perfect place to go snorkeling.

The Desert Zone

The Desert Zone is where the outback is located. It is the driest zone in Australia and there are few trees here due to lack of rain, but it can be a great place for camping if you’re prepared!

The Desert Zone has been called “the most arid area on Earth” by some people because not only does this region experience dry conditions year round (and no rainfall), but also an increased risk or bushfires during Summertime.

This is due to when the temperatures skyrocket into triple digits with high winds that make fires spread quickly across large distances which then leads tp evacuations from towns like Alice Springs.

The Grasslands Zone

The Grasslands Zone in Australia is a region that is located in the southern part of Queensland and New South Wales. It’s a place where you’ll find grasslands, open woodland areas with scattered trees (in some places), as well an increased risk for drought conditions due to low rainfall levels year round- even during Summertime when temperatures are high!

The Temperate Zone

The Australian Temperate Zone is home too many of Australia’s major cities, including Brisbane and Sydney; however this zone also has a high risk for bushfires during Summertime due in part because there are more trees here than you would find up north where it tends be much drier year round!

The Australian Temperate Zone makes up the majority of the civilized area of the country. This region is home to a wide variety or climates and ecosystems, including rainforests in Queensland’s Daintree National Park as well temperate forests found near Melbourne on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.

Image Courtesy of the Bureau of Meteorology

Final Verdict on the Australian Climates

If you are wanting to travel to Australia and possibly the Outback there are many things to understand around the time of year you plan to travel in to make sure you choose the right time for your enjoyment and pleasure.

There are places in the Outback where gas can turn into a vapor before making it into your car, this is incredibly hot and should be kept in the back of your mind before planning to visit.

Otherwise, exploring places in the temperate side are absolutely enjoyable for most of the year and have far less issues with intense heat, just always research and understand that they are in the southern hemisphere so they are seasonally backwards from the United States.


Josh is a loving dad and husband, writer, business owner, and someone who loves to explore the world. He last travelled to Australia to visit Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns and am looking to head back soon to see more! He is a huge fan of hiking, drawing, and so much more!

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