Contrary to what some might think, Australia isn't just a hot, dusty continent all year round.

The first thing to remember is that if you're coming from the Northern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed. This means:

  • If it's summer in the northern hemisphere, it's winter in Australia
  • If it's autumn/fall in the northern hemisphere, it's spring in Australia
  • If it's winter in the northern hemisphere, it's summer in Australia
  • If it's spring in the northern hemisphere, it's autumn in Australia

The hottest months in Australia are therefore December, January and February. In these months, you might like to head south to escape the heat. The coldest months are June, July and August - a perfect time to explore up north. The wet season runs in much of the north of the country from November to April, whereas Townsville's (described as the Dry Tropics) has a wet season that is shorter, usually mid-December to end of March. The southern capitals usually receive their heaviest rainfalls from June to August.

Here are some climate averages for the major destinations (taken from the Bureau of Meterology). To convert celsius temperatures to fahrenheit, use this tool, or if you're mathematically inclined multiply the celsius temperature by 1.8 and then add 32.

Cairns, QLD

Mean daily temperatures:


Jan Feb
Mar Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
 High  31.7 31.3 30.5 29.2 27.4 25.9 25.5 26.3 28.0 29.7 30.7 31.8
 Low  23.5 23.3
22.6
21.1
19.0
17.3
16.2 16.3
17.7
19.7
21.3
22.7

The wet season runs from November to April, but the wettest month is usually March or April. During the wet season, it's possible to receive over 300mm of rain in a single day. The stinger season runs from November to May. In this time, it's advisable to swim in the stinger enclosures on the beaches or wear a stinger suit.

Brisbane, QLD

Mean daily temperatures:

  Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
High
 29.4 29.0
28.0
26.1
23.2
20.9
20.4
21.8
24.0
26.1
27.8
29.1
 Low  20.7 20.6
19.4
16.6
13.3
10.9
9.5
10.3
12.9
15.8
18.1
19.8

Brisbane is a great to visit all year round. December and January can get very hot and January, February and March usually receive the highest rainfall.

Brisbane's Summer storms can be spectacular. They generally roll in late on a hot day and cool things down nicely :)

summer storm 

Summer storm

 

Sydney, NSW

Mean daily temperatures:

  Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
High
 25.8 25.7
24.7
22.4
19.3
16.9
16.2
17.7
19.9
22.0
23.6
25.1
 Low  18.6 18.7
17.5
14.7
11.5
9.2
8.0
8.9
11.0
13.5
15.5
17.5

Sydney is also another city that's great to visit all year round.

Melbourne, VIC

Mean daily temperatures:

  Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
High
 25.8 25.8
23.8
20.2
16.6
14.0
13.4
14.9
17.2
19.6
21.8
24.1
 Low  14.2 14.5
13.1
10.7
8.6
6.9
5.9
6.6
7.9
9.4
11.1
12.8

Melbourne is known for having "four seasons in one day", therefore it's entirely possible to arrive in June and get a lovely 22C day. The wettest months are usually October to December, but the rain is fairly well spread out across all 12 months. Pack for all weather if you're visiting Melbourne.

Uluru (Ayers Rock), NT 

Mean daily temperatures:

  Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
High
 37.5
35.8
33.5
28.8
23.4
20.2
20.3
22.6
26.4
31.5
34.1
36.8
 Low  21.2 20.5
17.4
12.6
7.9
5.1
3.4
5.5
9.1
13.5
17.2
19.8

Due to the extreme heat in summer, it is a good idea to visit Uluru from April to September when the weather is cooler. The desert does get very cold at night though, so don't be fooled into thinking it will be warm all year round. The wettest month is usually March, but the wet season will be in effect from November to April.

Perth, WA

Mean daily temperatures:

  Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
High   30.6 31.2
29.3
25.9
22.3
19.1
18.2
18.5
20.1
22.8
26.2
29.1
 Low  17.8 18.0
16.5
13.9
11.0
8.9
8.1
8.1
9.5
11.2
14.2
16.4

Perth often boasts that is has the best weather of any capital city in Australia. The wettest months are in June, July and August.

Adelaide, SA

Mean daily temperatures:

  Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
High
 27.8 28.1
25.3
22.1
18.5
15.9
14.9
15.8
18.0
20.8
23.6
25.5
 Low  15.7 16.0
14.3
11.6
9.5
7.7
6.9
7.5
8.8
10.6
12.6
14.4

Adelaide doesn't get much rain, but its wettest months are June, July and August.

Hobart, TAS

Mean daily temperatures:

  Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
High
 23.1 22.2
20.7
17.0
13.9
11.4
10.5
12.2
14.9
17.4
19.4
21.9
 Low  11.5 11.7
10.6
8.3
6.3
4.3
3.1
4.5
6.0
7.3
9.1
10.9

Hobart is the southern-most of Australia's capital cities and its coldest.  The best time to visit is November to March. Hobart's rain is fairly consistent throughout the year although it's not usually very heavy.