Winter in Australia

Australia is a large country, displaying a lot of climate variation. Typical weather during Australia’s winter months June, July and August will vary depending upon which part of the country you are in.

As a general rule of thumb, the north of Australia is warmer than the south. This is especially true in winter, when northern areas are not only warmer, but sunnier and drier as well.

Visit Darwin, capital city of the Northern Territory, in July and you’ll be packing sunscreen and leaving the umbrella behind. Darwin’s average maximum temperature for that month is 30.6 degrees Celsius (87.1 degrees Fahrenheit). July is also the driest month of the year in Darwin, with an average monthly rainfall of only 1.3 millimeters (0.05 inches).

The further south you go, the cooler the winter gets.

Alice Springs, also in the Northern Territory, is within the central region of Australia. This city’s average maximum temperature for July is a much cooler 19.7 degrees Celsius (67.5 degrees Fahrenheit), and average rainfall is 14 millimeters (0.6 inches). However, sunshine is still abundant and there are far more clear days than cloudy ones.

Let’s turn our attention further south – to Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney (capital cities of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, respectively). All are coastal cities, in the southern half of mainland Australia, and all are said to have the same type of climate, with winter days being cool and often cloudy. There is some variation, though.

Visit Perth in July and you can expect an average maximum temperature of around 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit). The average rainfall for the month is 172.9 millimeters (6.8 inches).

Travel east to Melbourne, and you’ll be colder, but you’ll also be drier. Melbourne’s average maximum temperature in July is around 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) while its average rainfall for the month is 47.7 millimeters (1.9 inches), with cloudy skies prevailing.

The Australian winter is coldest in a couple of areas: most of Tasmania (including that state’s capital, Hobart); and mountain ranges/highlands in Victoria, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory (home of the nation’s capital, Canberra).

Hobart and Canberra are similar in terms of climate. Visit either in July and you can expect an average maximum temperature of around 11 degrees Celsius (52 degrees Fahrenheit). For both cities, rainfall levels in July are similar to those of Melbourne.

What about snow? Snowfall is uncommon in most Australian cities. According to the Bureau of Statistics, the only major Australian cities to have received a significant snow cover in the last century are Canberra and Hobart. Australia’s ski resorts can be found in Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania. (Australia does not have any permanent ski fields.)

Most winters, snow will cover much of the mountain/alpine region above 1,500 meters (approximately 4,900 feet) although snow coverage, depth and duration can vary markedly from year to year. Snowfall at lower elevations is irregular, and snowfall down at sea level is rare.

As you can see, typical winter weather for Australia displays a great deal of variation. A visitor coming to Australia in July (the middle of winter) could enjoy sunshine and warmth in the north, or indulge in snow sports at a south-eastern ski resort.