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Weather in Australia: Climate Overview for Expats

What is the climate like in Australia? Getting to know the climate and weather conditions can help ease you into your expat life in Australia. Since it is a large country, Australia is divided into several climate zones. Take time to learn about the climate and weather for the specific regions to help determine the ideal place to live Down Under.

Three Climate Zones of Australia

Social media posts and news reports have painted the picture of Australia as being made up of barren land home to various insects and bugs. While this is partly true, it only applies to some regions of the country. The Australian climate is highly diverse, and the weather and climate differ from one area to another.Specifically, Australia has three climate zones. Learn more about these three climate zones below to help pick where to live in Australia.

Australia has three climate zones.

Tropical North

Australia sits below the equator. Therefore, the northern part of the country experiences a tropical climate. This part of Australia is different since (as you would expect from a tropical region) it does not have the four seasons the rest of the country has. Instead, North Australia has wet and dry seasons.

When you move to or visit Darwin or Cairns, expect to enjoy a tropical climate. It is rarely cold, so you should pack clothing items suited for tropical weather. 

The dry season in northern Australia is from May to October. Expats living in this part of the country can expect warm and sunny days with lower humidity during this time of the year. The nights are cooler, too. Meanwhile, the wet season is from November to April. The nights are warmer, and the humidity level goes up. You can also expect plenty of rainfall, especially monsoon-like rains. 

The temperature in the North Australian region averages 30-34 degrees Celsius.

Subtropical Central Australia

Moving south from Darwin to the Central part of Australia provides a sub-tropical climate. It is drier and hotter, especially in the Outback region.

The majority of Australian landscape (70%) falls into the sub-tropical zone. Within this climate zone there are various climate patterns. Generally, the central portion of Australia experiences semi-arid conditions with minimal rainfall. The average temperature in Australia’s central region is 37-40 degrees Celsius. But there are a few times in the year when the temperature reaches 50 degrees Celsius. 

Those living in the Central region get some reprieve during winter since the nights are chillier than usual. Also, it’s the only time of year when this region experiences rainfall, providing relief from the desert heat.

Temperate South Australia

The third climate zone of Australia is the Southern region. This part of the country experiences mostly temperate climate conditions. It also experiences the typical four seasons.

Melbourne belongs to this climate zone. In the summer, the temperature falls below 30 degrees Celsius, while the winter temperature ranges from 6-20 degrees Celsius. This region experiences evenly spread rainfall throughout the year, especially during spring (September to December). 

Other cities in Australia, such as Perth and Adelaide, are right along the border of the temperate zone. Therefore, these cities experience characteristics of the temperate and subtropical climates. In addition, these cities also experience warmer weather than Melbourne, which can reach the low 30s. 

The Hobart region experiences the maximum impact of the temperate climate zone. The temperature range is in the low 20s, with good yearly rainfall. 

cities or regions in Australia with a four-season climate

Climate Guide by City

Knowing the climate conditions in Australia is essential to help you find the right place to live based on your preferences. Since Australia is a vast territory, choosing where to settle can be overwhelming. Its well-distributed population and diverse climate provide plenty of opportunities. 

Knowing the climate is critical to determining the lifestyle you’ll enjoy while living in a city. It is also vital in planning for weather conditions on a day-to-day basis.

For cities or regions with a four-season climate, here is an overview of the seasons and the climate conditions.

  • Summer – It is from December to March, with an average temperature of 29 degrees Celsius.
  • Autumn – It is from March to May, with an average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius.
  • Winter – It is from June to August, with an average temperature of 13 degrees Celsius.
  • Spring – It is from September to November, with an average temperature of 19 degrees Celsius.

The winters in Australia are mild compared to other nations which experience winter, such as in Europe or North America, since it is located in the Southern Hemisphere. But you can expect it to be wet, windy, and chilly. 

This is an overview of the climate conditions in major cities in Australia, which you can use as a guide to know what to expect with your expat life in Australia.


  • Sydney – Sydney experiences a mild climate with temperatures ranging from a high of 24 degrees Celsius and a low of 13 degrees Celsius. July is the hottest month, while January is the coolest month. Sydney experiences plenty of days of sunshine with a fair amount of rainfall. Even in the winter, some days can still be sunny in Sydney.
  • Melbourne – The city of Melbourne is known for its unpredictable weather. Melbournians say it is possible to experience all four seasons in one day. Summer in Melbourne is dry, and heat waves are expected. The hottest months are January and February, with a high of up to 30 degrees Celsius. Autumn brings cooler weather with light winds. Meanwhile, winter brings some snowfalls in some areas of Melbourne, with some regions experiencing as low as 6.5 degrees Celsius in temperature. 
  • Brisbane – Summers in Brisbane are hot and humid, while winters are cool and short. The city experiences sunshine on most days, with a daily average temperature of 25-30 degrees Celsius. It’s called the Sunshine Coast for a reason. 
  • Perth – Perth is the sun capital of Western Australia. The average temperature in the summer is 29 degrees Celsius while the average winter temperature is 12 degrees Celsius. Therefore, Perth is a suitable place to live for outdoor and nature lovers. 

Understanding the various climate zones and weather conditions can help prepare for your expat life in Australia. Identifying what activities you can pursue to live the lifestyle you want to enjoy is crucial.

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