Area: 7,617,930 sq km
Population: 22,379,307 (2010 estimate)
Capital city: Canberra
Currency: Australian dollar
As you can see from the above map, Australia has an extraordinarily diverse climate, which makes sense as it's the only country that is sometimes considered a continent in itself. (It is the sixth largest country in the world.)
In fact, the climate in Australia is so varied that the aboriginals have very different concepts of seasons than the rest of the world. Along the north coast of the country, the year was traditionally divided into six seasons. In the centre, in the outback, there were five seasons. And in the southwest, there were six seasons, distinct from the six seasons along the northern coast.
In the south, where Australia does have four distinct seasons, they are reversed from ours, because Australia is in the southern Hemisphere.
Climate of Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
The smallest "state" of Australia also has the climate most similar to much of southern Canada's. Canberra, the capital of Australia, gets warm, dry summers and cool winters with some frost and snow in the mountains. Here is the weather for Canberra:
|Average precipitation mm||58.5||56.4||50.7||46.0||44.4||40.4||41.4||46.2||52.0||62.4||64.4||53.8||616.4|
Climate of New South Wales (NSW)
NSW is split roughly in two between the dry (and desert) conditions of the western half of the state and temperate (mild) eastern half of the state, where you'll likely be going. The climate varies greatly from Sydney to the west, but most people go to Sydney. So here is Sydney's climate:
|Average Rainfall mm||101.6||117.6||129.2||128.6||119.9||132.0||97.4||79.8||68.3||76.9||83.9||77.6||1,212.5|
Climate of Northern Territory (NT)
Northern Territory has two distinct climates as well. Most of the Territory is desert or dry grassland (i.e. the outback), but the the top portion is tropical with both wet (October to April) and dry (May to October) seasons. The Northern Territory is very hot most of the year, and only in the heart of the desert have below zero temperatures ever been recorded. The below chart compares Darwin, the capital, located along the sea coast, with Alice Springs, the most famous city in the outback. Average daytime highs.
Climate of Queensland
Queensland has the second largest area of any Australian state and so sees some of the greatest climate differences. There are at least five different climates in Queensland. To make it easier for you, here is the climate of the two most popular destinations in Queensland, Brisbane (the capital, whose climate is very similar to the Gold Coast's), and Cairn's, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef:
|Average Rainfall mm||153.9||133.0||105.8||65.8||58.5||57.6||24.7||42.1||28.8||72.5||106.6||138.7||993.0|
|Average precipitation mm||395.3||450.6||424.2||195.1||91.4||45.3||29.4||26.6||33.8||46.5||94.8||177.1||2,010.1|
Cairns is located in the rainiest part of Australia.
Climate of South Australia (SA)
Most of South Australia is dry and hot, like western NSW or the southern portion of Northern Territory. However, the coast is more temperate, like Sydney or Victoria. Just how Sydney's weather is not the same as the western half of NSW, Adelaide's weather is not representative of much of South Australia.
Climate of Tasmania (TAS)
Unlike the rest of the country, Australia's smallest state has the most consistent climate, essentially one – though there is a difference in rainfall depending on which side of the island you are on. Tasmania's climate is also the most similar to Canada's, which is to say, not that similar. Hobart's climate appears below. It is the capital and largest city. It is reasonably representative of the island's climate as a whole, though not of the weather in the mountains.
|Average Precipitation mm||47.1||40.1||45.0||51.2||46.3||54.1||52.2||53.7||53.4||62.8||54.4||56.2||615.4|
Climate of Victoria (VIC)
Most of Victoria is similar to a warmer Tasmania, or a slightly cooler Sydney, with the exception of the northwest portion of the state, which has a similar climate to much of South Australia or western NSW, as is prone to forest fires. (This temperate or Mediterranean climate also excludes the mountains, where people ski in the winter.) The table below compares the temperature of Melbourne – the capital, most populous city and most common tourist destination – with that of Mildura, in the extreme northwest of the state.
Melbourne gets about three times as much rain (and occasionally some snow in the hills) as Mildura.)
Climate of Western Australia (WA)
Western Australia is the second largest region in a country in the entire world. If it were an independent country, it would be the 10th largest in the entire world. (It's bigger than Algeria, the 10th largest country.) So, as you might have guessed, that gives it a few different climates. However, Western Australia is mostly desert and semi-arid grassland, so it actually has a little less variety, climate-wise, than Queensland. Almost everyone who visits WA heads to the southwest corner of the state, which is temperate. That's where Perth is:
|Average Rainfall mm||9.7||12.7||19.2||44.1||116.8||175.4||168.7||133.1||80.9||52.0||22.4||13.3||848.3|
The rest of the southwest corner has similar weather. The rest of the state, however, is way dryer and considerably hotter much of the year.
The culture of Australia is quite similar to Canada's in many ways. Canada and Australia may be more alike than even Canada and the US (open to debate).
If you would like to see more about Australian culture on this page, please let us know in the comment box below.
Currently, Canadian citizens do not require a visa to visit Australia. What you do require is what is known as an "Eletronic Travel Authorization" (similar to the US' "Electronic System for Travel Authorization," which many people need to travel to the US). Canadians can apply online here. The cost is AUD$20.
If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada and would like to see more information about Australia's visa policy, please let us know by completing the form at the bottom of this page.
Embassy of Australia
Single Entry: up to 90 days – $125