Weather in Australia/New Zealand

Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Weather in Australia/New Zealand

The only time we can travel to Australia & New Zealand is between the end of May & mid-August. What is the weather like at that time? How much rain is there? thanks
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 11:53 AM
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Responses for both countries depend on exactly where you are going. Also, there can be a substantial difference between the weather in June, versus August.

It will indeed be quite rainy over much of NZ's South Island, particularly the west coast. Also, you should expect snow at higher altitudes. At that time of year, you may want to spend less time in places like Fiordland or the Glaciers, compared to other times of the year. Having said that, when the weather does clear, it can be very beautiful. If you have the time, you may want to consider spending some time on the west coast, but only scheduling a boat trip or glacier trip if and when the weather improves.

Weather on the North Island will be better, but certainly not warm. There will be rainy periods, but not as bad as the South Island. You should be able to range over most of the North Island and see just about everything without too much trouble from the weather. The exception would be high altitudes, like Ruapehu/Tongariro.

Your time period is a good time for visiting tropical Australia - it is the time of least rainfall and it won't be so hot (about 25 deg C). I would definitely plan on spending a goodly amount of time on the east coast, as well at the Top End.

Also a good time to visit the Red Centre - rainfall will be extremely rare, and temps are at their lowest, around 30 deg C.

It will be cool (about 12 deg C) and somewhat rainy along the south coast and Tasmania. Still visitable, but not as ideal as up north.

It won't be as cool in Western OZ (about 18 deg C), but it will certainly be rainy - about the rainiest time of the year.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 12:55 PM
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Alf,
Thanks for the reply on the weather. Is June better than August. We're thinking Sydney, Cairns (Great Barrier Reef) & then Christchurch, Queenstown & Auckland in NZ.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 02:16 PM
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Donnap, how long are you going to have for this trip?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 06:02 PM
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Judy,
We will have 3 1/2 weeks max. The earliest we could leave would be early June & the latest late July. Thanks for any help.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 06:34 PM
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Hello Donnap,

I believe the trip you've outlined is feasible in your time frame. I would suggest 5 days for Cairns, 5 days for Sydney (3 days for Sydney itself and 2 days for the Blue Mountains), and the rest for NZ.

Being feasible is one thing, and being desirable is quite another. I am what my kids call a weather wussy (sp?). I have more than enough cold weather where I live, and I have no desire to go chasing it in another part of the world. Consequently, while the thought of visiting NZ appeals to me a great deal, my hope is to visit it one day in summer.

That said, one of my sons, then a tennager, went to a ski resort near Queenstown for 3 July school holidays in a row, and LOVED it. Different strokes for different folks.

If it was my trip, I would concentrate on the Top End, as ALF suggested. I would think in terms of Cairns, Ayers Rock / Uluru, Darwin and Kakadu National Park, maybe one of Queensland's islands, and maybe places a little inland from the Gold Coast (just south of Brisbane). I would definitely include Sydney in the mix, because it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but I would not go one inch south of Sydney in winter.

But only you and your wife know how much of an issue weather is for you.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 06:48 PM
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Donnap,

sigh....who can predict the weather these days...not even the weather forecasters!

ALF was spot on with his postings, but having just returned from NZ during their "summer" I can tell you that we had quite a bit of bad weather; the entire first week on the North Island and then clearing up as we reached the South....go figure!

For this reason, it's always good to have a "Plan B". It's not always possible, but it's good to have a second option idea in mind; but sometimes you just have to slog through it and make the best of it!

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist
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Old Dec 4th, 2004, 07:02 AM
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I been to the South Island New Zealand on two occassions now, and both times in Aug. Maybe I was just lucky, but both times the weather was gorgeous, albeit cool/cold. My understanding regarding Fiordland/Milford sound is that summer is often very rainy and that winter often gives long stretches of clear/crisp weather as I experienced.

As others have expressed, the "winter" months are definitely a great, if not the best, time to visit the northern half of Australia. Even in Sydney, further south, winters are very mild and many winter days can be beautiful, though not quite shorts and short sleeves.
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Old Dec 4th, 2004, 10:15 AM
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Melodie, Just a quick correction to your posting - NZ summer does not begin until around the middle of December, and is not always settled until late January. Usually lasts through to end-March although I have often been in shorts and T-shirts in mid-April, and that is in Wellington!
donnap, this year it has been an appallingly-cold and wet winter in NZ, hopefully a one-off! The NZ school-holidays are usually at the start of July, so you may need to consider that when booking accommodation. Sorry I don't have the dates at home. Actually, the holidays occur around the same time in Australia, too, which may have an impact on the Cairns stage of your trip.
Dot
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Old Dec 4th, 2004, 12:26 PM
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Hi Dot. Has the weather started to warm up yet? We're arriving next monday (13 dec). Is it shorts/tshirt weather or jeans/sweatshirt? (We'll be north and south.) Also, do you think that we'll need any kind of "dress" clothes anywhere or shoes other than sneakers for my husband and son if we want to go to a club or something? Thanks again.
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Old Dec 4th, 2004, 04:02 PM
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donna - the three most popular destinations in Australia for that time of the year are in north of country, parts of outback and snowfields of southern NSW and Victoria. However that doesn't mean weather will be perfect for GBR in Far North Queensland as the prevailing SE wind at that time of year can make seas rough - particularly in July and August. Ideal weather for land-based activities and very little, if no rain. June would be a better bet for weather, and its just before the main tourist time.

Now, to me at least, today is perfect reef weather and the far north is certainly more beautiful in December than July or August. Tropical trees are in brilliant flower, and beach this morning was glorious. Turquoise clear sea, blue sky, mauve mountains as backdrop and a gentle north easterly breeze coming off the sea. Dolphins leaping out to sea a bit and pelicans cruising on shoreline. By midday, forget it for beach - too hot, but from dawn until then its magnificent.
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Old Dec 4th, 2004, 04:11 PM
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Sorry, meant June would be a better weather bet for GBR, as it isn't as likely to be windy.
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Old Dec 5th, 2004, 05:00 PM
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Hi donnap,

I would certainly agree with Pat that June is just about the best time to visit the far north of Queensland - pleasant temparatures and the country really looks at it's best after the wet season. And not as many visitors as in July and August. (Mind you it's also looking fantastic right now with all the flowering tropical plants and trees, clear blue skies, tropical birds madly nesting - you should hear the dawn chorus!!! - and no crowds!)

Will you be hiring a car when you get to Cairns? If you are you might possibly be interested in spending a little time away from (but still very close to) the "major" destinations of Port Douglas, Palm Cove, Cairns etc.

I'm secretary of the Daintree Village Tourism Association and our region covers the whole beautiful, scenic, quiet and unspoilt area between the Mossman River to the south and the Daintree River to the north and includes all the magnificent beaches of Wonga, Newell and Cooya. We have lovely scenic drives, the quaint little village of Daintree, many wildlife-crocodile-bird-spotting river cruises, wildlife sanctuary, several artists' galleries, in June the sugar-cane harvesting will be in full swing - interesting to watch the harvesters at work and you can visit the sugar mill in Mossman - guided rainforest walks, and it's a birdwatchers' and photographers' paradise. Our website will give you heaps of maps and information - www.daintreevillage.asn.au.

If you only have a little time the region is very central for visiting so many places - Cape Tribulation is under an hour (via ferry) to the north of us, Port Douglas half an hour to the south, it's an hour and a half to Cairns and the same to the Cairns Highlands to the south-west.

Have a wonderful holiday wherever you decide to go!





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