Avoid cyclones, flash floods, crocodiles and deadly jellyfish!
Check the weather. No, Seriously……
Australia is a hot, dry country right? Not always.
The varied climate is what makes this vast country so diverse. However, many backpackers don’t take this into consideration and lose precious travel time being bunkered down in a cyclone, unable to travel due to flooding, or even shivering in shorts caught in the snow; but plan your trip around the seasons and you can see the whole country at its very best.
Northern areas have a wet and dry season.
The wet is filled with flash floods, cyclones, extreme humidity and seasonal jelly fish (the sting of which has been said to leave victims begging for death) which prevent swimming unless you are wearing the delightful ‘stinger suits’. The dry is warm and sunny (and the deadly box jelly fish disappear off on their own holidays).
If you can arrive at the very end of the wet the breath-taking waterfalls will still be running in the national parks, but the humidity and rain will be mostly over.
But don’t forget to check signs for salt water crocodile infested areas. Unless it’s a designated swimming area keep clear of water and river banks. Those teethy beasts will happily drag you in from the shore or even the beach. Most national parks up north have stunning swimming lakes and pools which are continuously checked to ensure they are croc free.
If you do come across heavy rain at anytime of the year, do not drive in flood water, it is not uncommon for cars to be washed away with fatal consequences.
Southern areas have a winter and summer.
These seasons are a little less extreme, but I was surprised to find it gets cold enough to snow in some areas and yes, you can even go skiing. Be careful walking in mountain areas as even on the sunniest days the weather can sweep across and suddenly go from heat to subzero temperatures – carry extra layers at all times.
Summer in the south is the perfect time to enjoy some of Australia’s famous beaches and inhale that gorgeous fresh coastal air. However even in the heat you are not safe, so be sure to check bushfire warnings before entering national parks and slip, slap, slop on that sunscreen and hat.
The center can be very, very hot!
Red Center road trips are amazing. But be prepared for the unexpected and carry extra fuel and water at all times.
So how am I supposed to do this and come out alive????
I’d generally advise summer down south (which is the wet up north) and the dry up north (which is winter down south), but just in case your not confused enough, remember that Australia’s seasons are the reverse of Europe’s.
Most importantly, these amazing seasons lead to some breath taking landscapes, so get out there and enjoy the diversity .