Weather in Australia Pacific

The region of Australasia covers a vast area and includes Australia, New Zealand and hundreds of Pacific islands. The weather in Australia and the Pacific islands varies considerably due to this wide geographic spread and the effect of ocean currents.

Most of Australia consists of desert, although the key tourist cities are along the largely temperate coastline, meaning there is little difference in the seasons. 40% of the continent is covered by sand dunes, so there are extreme differences in temperature between the hot days and near-freezing nights. Northern Australia enjoys a tropical climate, with predictable weather ranging 68-86°F (20-30°C). The best time to visit northern Australia, including Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, is in the spring and autumn (November and March to April), when there is little rain and the waters are warm. The average temperature in southern Australia where the key tourist cities of Sydney and Melbourne are situated, is a bit hotter, ranging 77-91°F (25-33°C) in the summer months (December to February), and occasionally climbing as high as 105°F (41°C). Snow is common in the mountains of the Great Dividing Range. Winter temperatures dip down to 56F (13°C).
New Zealand’s climate ranges from subtropical in the north to more moderate in the south. Summer temperature range 68-86°F (20-30°C), and in winter 50-59°F (10-15°C). Because the islands are small, the temperature and weather in New Zealand can change quickly. Rainfall is high, between 251-590 inches (640-1,500cm) annually, and is heaviest along the west coast. The best time to visit New Zealand is in the summer months (December to February) when days are longest and the water is warm for swimming. Summers in New Zealand have an average temperature of 59-62°F (15-17°C).
The weather in the Pacific islands is fairly constant, but with a rainy season from November to March. Pacific Islands such as Fiji, the Cook Islands, Tahiti and French Polynesia, Samoa and Vanuatu enjoy a tropical climate. Average daytime temperatures in the Pacific islands range 75-89°F (24-31°C), with little variation throughout the year, making them ideal beach holiday destinations during any month. Cyclone season is in the humid summer months (November to April), however few of these make landfall.
For detailed information on weather in Australasia see our comprehensive month-by-month guides below.