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Australia climate guide
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Below are average maximum temperatures at popular destinations in Australia for next month - May. Select a destination to see the climate guide for all months of the year.
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The climate guide for Australia shows long term monthly weather averages processed from data supplied by CRU (University of East Anglia), the Met Office & the Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Find out more about our data sources.
Metric (°C / mm) | Imperial (°F / inches)
Australia climate overview
This vast country which is only slightly smaller than the United States lies between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. Its laid-back and multicultural society lives mainly in cosmopolitan cities; in the north of the country Aboriginal settlements still also exist.
The interior is desert, punctuated with rocky plains. While Uluru (Ayers Rock) is the most famous outcrop, there are many beautiful rocky canyons and gorges. Very hot and dry summers support only scrub vegetation in the 'Outback'.
The far north has a distinct summer rainy season. Heavy thunderstorms fill raging rivers and waterfalls while supporting lush vegetation, including dense tropical rainforest.
The Great Dividing Range is a string of low craggy mountains at the eastern end of the desert that act as a natural barrier to the hot desert air and shield the main population centres in the southeast. The major cities of Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne in the south-eastern corner have rainfall distributed throughout the year, with warm or hot summers and cool or comfortable winter temperatures.
To the west of the desert is another line of low mountains, which run down to the Indian Ocean. This coast experiences dry and hot summers, tempered by cool sea breezes, while winters are cooler and wetter. The northwest coast is particularly prone to tropical cyclones.
Australia's enormous coastline is varied, ranging from spectacular cliffs in the south, to beautiful sandy surf beaches in Queensland; offshore the Great Barrier Reef forms numerous coral islands and tropical lagoons.
Off the southeast coast is the mountainous island of Tasmania, the coolest part of Australia with the highest number of rainy days per year of any part of the country.
Agriculture is restricted to the country's coastal fringes with huge wheat fields and grazing pastures. Sugarcane plantations are prevalent in the north, while extensive vineyards clad the southeast and the green southwestern tip.
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