Australian climate is different from the southern one.
As opposed to
the Northern Hemisphere, where the climate is warmer in the south, in
and other countries in the Southern Hemisphere, the further north you go the warmer it gets.
Southern parts of the country have cooler climate, while up here it is hot and humid
enough for tropical rainforests to grow.
While southern parts of the country have four seasons - spring, summer,
autumn and winter - up
here, we only have two - the Wet and the Dry.
Australian climate can be confusing for anyone from the
Hemisphere. Firstly, as you may know, our seasons are the opposite from
the Northern Hemisphere:
While it is winter in the in
the Northern Hemisphere we have summer and so on. But that's in southern
Up here, we have the Wet
Season roughly from December to May, and the Dry Season roughly
from June to November.
rough estimates and as close as you get, because from year to year the beginning
of the Wet and the Dry season may vary.
actually used to start earlier, but lately the Wet has finished as late
as in June, and the beginning of the Wet has
also been pushed from November to December/January. When we had cyclone
in March 2006, a cyclone that late in the season was quite unusual. Now
it wouldn't surprise me at all if we had a big cyclone in April.
Within the Wet and the
Dry, there are distinctive patterns.
is of course gradual
so in the beginning of the Dry season there is still a lot of water
around but the big rains
do finally stop.
The Dry season kicks in
properly, the weather is cool and sunny, and Cape York gets very busy with
visitors. It is the best time of the year to visit
climate-wise, but not if you don't like crowds.
The weather is getting gradually warmer, but is still dry and
the crowds are gradually taking off. This
is a good time to visit if
you want more room for yourself, and can handle higher
The weather is getting
enough that thunderstorms start building in late afternoons
and evenings. You put up with heat and a few showers,
but can have the place for yourself, because by
November almost all travellers have taken off.
This is the time I like to get around, however you have to watch
yourself and get outta here before the real rains come in and you risk
to get stuck up here because creek
and river waters rise quickly with heavy rains.
Some time in January, but this can vary - the thunderstorm weather changes to
The hot build-up is over, the grey cloud cover moves in with
Temperatures cool down, so no thunderstorms build
up anymore. It's just raining, and everything
gets very wet.
This is the time for floods
and by now you should be out of Cape York long
- April The rains continue,
the cyclone-watch wesbites are busy, Cape York travellers are
planning.. The opening
of the roads has in recent years really happened later and
later, and in 2010 and 2011 they opened as late as in June.
of Northern Australian Climate
So you see the patterns - roads really get dry when the Dry has kicked in properly by
so. Then the build-up to the wet season starts gradually
It gets hotter and hotter, until in
November or so is the Troppo season when everyone goes mad
because it's so hot. The heat builds up thunder
storms in the
start building up in Novemeber in Weipa. It's still sunny, still hot,
getting a few
The first parts of the days are crazily
hot, the second part it's thundering
and lightening and
It does cool the temperatures down late in days and evenings, and the
storms sure are spectacular but it can also be dangerous (read more
Then, usually some time
in January, it turns - the Wet kicks in properly. This is
misunderstood season by southern Australians.
They think it is hot
here, but it is not (well for us up here anyway, because we are used to
the tropical temperatures).
is only hot until the buildup lasts, the buildup
that gets so hot in the end that thunderstorms start getting worse and
But once the real monsoonal cloud cover and big rains roll in
some time in January,
the weather actually
cools down a fair bit.
It is not uncommon that I
wear a jumper this time of the year - the weather is cool and the
moisture gets in everywhere - your clothes, computers, and
all the way through our houses. It's not
hot but it sure
Season has kicked in.
sunny, not hot, all it
is it's WET.
and rain for months, Cape York roads
slippery and flooded in places.
can be a boring season (unless you, like me, just sit in front of
the computer and work through it.. ;-) and it lasts for months.
All that goes on until about May (the latest - Cyclone Zane
- is a good reminder that a late cyclone can hit; however - we do not
get flooded in the way south east Queensland does - read more about Cyclone
Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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