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Seasons Down Under

General Weather Notes
Australian summer is long; winter short and mild. Seasons in NZ about same length as in US, but NZ mountain weather is unpre­dictable. It can snow even in summer. Same is true of high country in Tasmania. Melbourne climate is ridiculed by Australians for having all four seasons in one day. Perth and coastal Western Australia are dominated by a strong afternoon wind called "The Doctor" off the Indian Ocean. The tropics and South Pacific islands have only two seasons -- the Wet and the Dry, which runs from May through mid-November. Showers can occur on the windward (southeast) side of islands anytime.

January

  • Summer
  • Hot throughout Australia; humid in most coastal areas
  • Beat the heat in NZ and Tasmania
  • End of Sydney-Hobart yacht race - festive time to visit Hobart
  • Australian Open grand slam tennis - Melbourne
  • 26th - Australia Day - similar to US 4th of July
  • School holidays end late in month
  • Avoid tropics and Pacific islands - wet, hot, humid, and possible cyclones

February

  • Students back in school
  • Still hot and humid in much of Australia and islands
  • European and American tourists in NZ - busiest month
  • Cyclone season in tropics continues through March

March

  • Pleasant NZ weather; still hot in much of Australia
  • Less crowded in NZ
  • When Easter falls in March, two week school holidays plus Royal Easter Sydney Show - biggest country fair in Australia, and Barossa Valley wine festival (every other year) near Adelaide

April

  • First hints of autumn
  • Trees start changing colors in NZ
  • Easter some years - see March
  • Anzac Day - comparable to US Memorial Day - parades and services

May

  • Autumn weather starts; office workers switch to winter attire
  • Pleasant month in Australia
  • Trees change colors in Canberra and Bright, Victoria
  • Football (rugby) season starts
  • High country snow in NZ
  • Good bushwalking weather in Australia

June

  • Winter officially starts June 1
  • Ideal season to visit Pacific Islands and OZ tropics - Great Barrier Reef, Top End, Kimberleys, Red Center
  • Dry and sunny in northern half of Australia, south half receives most of its rain in winter
  • Snow likely in NZ mountains and Tasmania high country
  • Humpback whales migrating up Australia's east coast

July

  • Still best season in Pacific islands and tropics
  • Queensland and Northern Territory days sunny and warm with cool nights Skiing in NZ
  • Snow in Victorian Alps and Snowy Mountains near Canberra

August

  • Coldest month
  • Skiing in NZ and Australia
  • Still best season in Pacific islands and tropics
  • Whale watching in Hervey Bay, where humpbacks winter

September

  • Spring arrives
  • Spectacular wildflower displays in Western Australia
  • Tulip festivals in Tasmania
  • Australia’s biggest flower festival at Floriade in Canberra
  • Hervey Bay whale watching continues

October

  • Wildflower season continues along Australian coasts and Outback
  • Flower festival continues in Canberra
  • Whales start back to Antarctica along A­ustralia's coasts

November

  • Melbourne Cup - horse race and spring fashions gala - unofficial national holiday
  • Temperatures rise - late spring; month ends much warmer than it started
  • NZ high country opens up
  • Cricket season starts

December

  • Summer returns
  • School holidays start mid-month
  • Christmas - families in Australia and NZ flock to the beach
  • Boxing Day - start of big Sydney-Hobart yacht race. Colorful sendoff in Sydney Harbour
Cook Islands
Easter Island
Fiji
French Polynesia
New Caledonia
Niugini
Norfolk Island
Samoa
Solomon Islands
Tonga
Vanuatu
 
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