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Picture of the Tropic of Capricorn Road Sign on the way into Exmouth

Learn more about the different climates in Australia

Growing up in Ireland, I was under the illusion that Australia was always sunny and had a year long summer with scorching hot days every day. I knew it experienced the 4 seasons just like us, but opposite because it was in the southern Hemisphere.

Summer – December, January, February

Autumn – March, April, May

Winter – June, July, August

Spring – September, October, November

However, since moving to Australia, I have learnt, it also has wet and dry seasons due to its tropical climate when in the Northern part of Australia.

Winters in Australia definitely aren’t as cold as the ones we have in Ireland but they do get cold.

Sydney have average tempatures of 8°-17°, Perth have similar average tempatures of 10°-19°. Melbourne have slightly lower average of between 7° -14°.

This is just a few of the major cities. Parts of Australia get cold enough to ski in, with skiing available in 4 states. New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

Can I avoid the cold winters?

Yes, whether it’s to chase the sun when driving a lap of Australia like we have or to get your regional work done without being in the colder conditions you can in fact avoid the harsh winter conditions by travelling North during the winter above the Tropic of Capricorn.

What is the Tropic of Capricorn?

The Tropic of Capricorn is the line which splits the different climate zones. The Tropic which is north of the line and the temperate climate which lies south of the line.

Once you are North of this line you are now in a different climate and will experience

Dry season – May to October

Wet season – November to April

The dry season is the best time to go North with 30° degree weather daily and no rain. The heat is also ‘dry’ meaning there’s little to no humidity.

The wet season or commonly known as Cyclone season is when they get a lot more rain and there’s a higher possibility of cyclones and thunderstorms.

I spent the dry season of 2023 in Darwin and the weather was stunning every day. I then spent the 2023/2024 wet season on Townsville which is also north of the line but not as high as Darwin.

I expected a lot more rain and more storms than I experienced. There was 1 cyclone while I was here and it rained maybe once a week on average. A lot of the locals have also told me that this is an unusually “wet” wet season and they don’t normally get so much rain.

Let’s break it down

You will hear people say “go north for winter and south for summer”

If you want to avoid cold weather then spend your time in Australia like this:

Go North of the Tropic of Capricorn May to October and go south November to May.

Of course weather can’t be planned too far in advance and with the changing seasons this might change slightly but this will give you a better guide of when to plan your road trip or the best times to plan your regional work.

Whether you want to do farm work and avoid the hottest or coldest months or you want to do hospitality anywhere above the Tropic of Capricorn. You now know if people go “north for winter” then this is your best chance to get a job in hospitality in Northern Australia due to it being tourist season and a lot busier than in the wet season.

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