Motorcycle riding in the Australian
weather and the seasons
Like all countries in the southern hemisphere (south of the Equator), Australia's seasons follow the sequence as listed below.
The weather during these seasons is very different to northern hemisphere weather patterns. Australia is generally a very dry place, so summers can get much hotter.
December, January and February
September, October and November
The pattern of rainfall is also distinct - some places here have abundant rain at one time of the year and almost none at other times.
So picking the right time of the year at the right part of Australia can have a big impact on the enjoyment of your motorcycle trip Down-Under.
Because Australia is a large country, the weather varies greatly in different parts of the continent.
Australia has a wide range of environments and climates.
There are mountains, deserts, rainforests, beaches, lakes and bush land and each of these areas has their own unique climate.
Motorcycle riding in Australia can involve everything from scorching summer heat to bitter cold snow and from sweaty humidity to windy pouring rain.
In the centre of the country are dry, desert regions with high daytime temperatures and low amounts of rain.
In the south are the temperate regions with moderate rainfall and temperatures ranging from hot to cold.
The temperature in Australia generaly ranges between highs of 50 degrees Celsius to lows of sub-zero temperatures, however, are not comparable to the extreme lows experienced in other continents.
New South Wales
New South Wales is relatively free from the extreme weather seen in other parts of Australia.
The coastal area experiences an almost Mediterranean climate: it’s temperate and can be humid, particularly in the summertime. The deserts of New South Wales have hotter days and cooler nights than the rest of the state.
The north-west part of New South Wales experiences the hottest temperatures. In Bourke, a shade temperature of 51°C has been recorded. The Snowy Mountains are the coldest part of New South Wales and usually experience frost and snowfall in the winter.
Northern Territory can be divided into zones. The north is decidedly tropical, while the south part of the state (and the central part of Australia) is desert land.
In the north, where Darwin (the capital of the Northern Territory) is located, there are two seasons: wet (summer to autumn) and dry (winter to spring). This area is generally very humid, and rainfall in the wet season can be torrential.
The southern part of the Northern Territory, however, is basically a desert. Alice Springs, one of the hottest towns in Australia, is located in the Northern Territory.
Queensland’s slogan is ‘beautiful one day, perfect the next’. It’s known in Australia as the Sunshine State and it’s easy to understand why.
Queensland has a beautiful climate, with hot and slightly humid days. The average temperature in summer is 30°C. In winter, most of Queensland stays fairly warm. In Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city, the average temperature in winter is about 15°C.
Further inland, the climate is more varied, with hotter days and cooler nights, but the climate is still very pleasant. Queensland has two main seasons: the winter season, which is mild with minimal rainfall; and the summer season, which is much hotter but also experiences more rain.
Like most of the country, South Australia experiences a lot of variation in climate. For the most part, its interior has a desert-like climate, with mostly hot and dry weather. In the summer, inland temperatures can reach 40°C or over, with little to no rainfall.
Coober Pedy, located in the South Australian Outback, has such high temperatures in the summer months (often over 40°C) that many residents choose to live in caves underground, as they stay much cooler than houses above ground.
The Mount Lofty Ranges in the south are much milder in terms of heat, and experience much more rainfall. The coast of South Australia has a temperate, almost Mediterranean climate, with warm dry days in summer and cool windy days in winter.
Unlike the rest of Australia, Tasmania has little variation in climate, due in part to the fact that it’s much smaller than any other state, and because (as an island) it is surrounded by the sea.
The climate is usually referred to as ‘temperate maritime’. The west coast tends to get slightly more rain than the east coast due to the west-east weather pattern.
It tends to rain throughout the year, although summer is warmer and less rainy than winter, which experiences both storms and snow, particularly on the mountain peaks.
Victoria is the southern most state on Australia’s mainland and so it’s marginally cooler than the rest of Australia. The hottest areas of Victoria are in the northwest, which is semi-arid and warm due to winds that blow in from nearby deserts.
The Great Dividing Range, a mountainous region in the middle of Victoria, has a cooler mountain climate than the rest of the state.
The coastal area of Victoria, in the south, has a mild climate: not too hot in summer and not too cold in winter. After Tasmania, Victoria is the wettest state in Australia.
Western Australia is the biggest state, and as such it experiences a wide range of weather. The north of Western Australia has an almost tropical climate. April to September are sunny and dry with hot days and mild evenings; but October to March is the wet season, characterized by humidity, thunderstorms and very heavy rains.
The central part of Western Australia is mostly desert land, and the weather there is just what you would expect in the desert: hot days, cold nights and almost no rainfall.
Probably the most agreeable weather in Western Australia can be found in the south of the state, which has a pleasantly warm climate. Summer days are usually very hot but with little humidity. Breezes coming in from the sea make the afternoons in the south much cooler. Perth, the capital of Western Australia, lies in the south.
Australia is one of the driest places on earth and only second to Antarctica. The driest place in Australia is Mulka Bore.
Mulka Bore is west of Lake Eyre, in South Australia, and has an average rainfall of just 100 millimetres annually.
The rainiest place in Australia is Tully in North Queensland. The average rainfall in Tully is 4,204 millimetres annually.
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