South Australia climate guide

Below are average maximum temperatures at popular destinations in South Australia for next month - January. Select a destination to see the climate guide for all months of the year.

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The climate guide for South 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.

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Metric (°C / mm)  |  Imperial (°F / inches)

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South Australia climate overview

South Australia is the only state to border every other mainland state in Australia. Famous for its opals and some of the finest wines produced in Australia, South Australia is also home to the driest regions in the whole country.

Most of South Australia is arid semi-desert outback with rocky plains supporting only scrub vegetation. Many sizeable salt-encrusted depressions in the east occasionally fill after freak winter rains to form massive shallow salt-lakes. Summers in the outback are very hot, sunny, and dry. Winters are largely dry with comfortable temperatures, but it can become cold at night.

Two areas of low mountains exist, the Musgrave Ranges, which rise out of the desert in the northwest, and the Flinders Ranges in the southeast, whose ruggedness is beautified by wild flowers in spring.

The southern coast is home to spectacular cliffs and a number of islands, the largest of which is Kangaroo Island. In the west the nearly treeless Nullarbor Plain is a flat limestone plateau that stretches for hundreds of kilometres into Western Australia, forming a desolate landscape.

Most of the population lives in the southeast. State capital Adelaide is an attractive tree-lined coastal city with distant hills providing a scenic backdrop. Much of South Australia's agriculture is also found in the fertile southeast with large areas of wheat and sheep farming.

Over half of Australia's annual wine output is produced in South Australia, most famously in the Southern Vales and Barossa Valley, which to this day retains its distinctive German charm, architecture, and customs.

The southeast has a typical sub-tropical climate with a summer dry season. Damp and cloudy winters, accompanied by cool to comfortable temperatures are followed by summers that are sunny, dry and hot.

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