Essential Australia facts to help with your trip packing list and your travel in Australia. Facts on geography, climate, weather and temperatures.
- Australia is the world’s oldest and smallest continent. It is also the world’s largest island.
- About two thirds of the country north-west of Sydney – most of the interior – is arid or semi-arid desert.
- Most Australians live around its rim: from Tasmania, through Victoria and New South Wales, to southern Queensland. There are also a few significant pockets of settlement in the south and south-west of the country.
- Australia facts: Its bigger cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Canberra – are all in the coastal rim.
- Soils are fragile. Long weathering has eroded mountain tops and washed away much fertile soil.
- The resulting landscape is rather flat. There’s an occasional monolithic rock formation, such as Uluru, which juts out.
- The few remaining mountains are significantly worn. They’re not very high by world standards.
- More Australia facts: the highest point in Australia, some 500 kms (300 miles) south-west of Sydney, is Mount Kosciuszko at 2,229 meters (7,313 feet).
Australia is the 6th largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, China, the USA and Brazil. It covers 7,692,024 square kilometers (2,969,907 square miles) and contains a number of different climates, not all of which have four seasons.
At any given time of the year the reality of Australia facts on climate gives you a choice of things to do and places to visit. You can suit any mood: romantic travel destinations, physically challenging destinations, a place to go with kids. It’s not just a summer place.
Every season brings fun things to do somewhere. Although the distance between two places can be large, fierce airline competition provides cheap flights to Sydney and other destinations in Australia.
The Tropical North
The tropical north has really only two seasons – the Wet and the Dry.
The Wet December – March
The Dry May – October
The Wet starts building up from October, with rising temperatures and ever-increasing humidity, both day and night. The rains finally start around December, bringing much-needed relief and a little coolness.
Central Australia covers almost two thirds of the country. It is desert country with hot days and cold nights.
Summer days are intensely hot, winter nights very cold.
Drought is the normal state of most of central Australia. Facts on dam levels have become part of daily life for many central Australians.
The Temperate Zone
There are four seasons in the temperate zones, where most people live.
|Spring||September, October, November|
|Summer||December, January, February|
|Autumn||March, April, May|
|Winter||June, July, August|
Australia Facts: Drought
Although the long drought of the start of the century has broken, water scarcity still overwhelms Australian facts today.
Whether these long droughts are part of the normal cyclical pattern of Australia’s climate, or whether they’re intensifying due to climate change, is not yet clear.
Still, much of the country, not just the traditionally arid areas, increasingly experiences long periods of drought.
Water is a valued commodity and wasting it has become one of the cardinal sins.
Water restrictions of different sorts are likely to be in force in many places you visit.
Except for the desert extremes and a few high altitude areas, the weather in Australia is relatively mild (although Australians still find the winters cold). In Australia, facts are that you are likely to find the heat and humidity more debilitating than the cold.
The tropical north is sauna-like in the weeks leading up to the summer’s wet season. As you move south, the humidity improves. Still, the heat remains until you get to the lower third of the continent. Winter is therefore the best time to include the north and centre in your Australian itinerary.
Summer is beach time. The best place to be is the coast, anywhere along the bottom half of Australia (Sydney’s pretty good).
Average Temperatures In Australia: facts from the BOM
As you might expect, the best Australian facts on climate and temperature come from the
Bureau of Meteorology. Click on the links (which open in a new page) for