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Australian Capital Territory Weather, climate and geography

Weather and climate

Best time to visit

Warm to hot during the summer months with cool, crisp and clear winters. Rainfall occurs throughout the year. Canberra averages more hours of sunshine per year than any other capital city in Australia.

During spring, September-November, temperatures are balmy with cool nights and sunny days. Temperatures often average 6-19° Celsius and are dispersed with periods of rainfall, especially in November. The summer months, December-February, are the hottest with dry days and nights. Temperatures can average 28° Celsius during this time with January being the hottest month. Autumn and winter are suitable alternatives for visitors, with beautiful autumn colour erupting in Canberra’s leafy suburbs and parks. During the winter, June – August, temperatures can plummet to between 1-12° Celsius, and nearby slopes in the Snowy Mountains receive a good amount of snow.

Required clothing

Bring lightweights during summer months, and warmer medium-weight clothes are necessary for winter. Sunscreen is a must during the hottest periods of the year. Waterproofing is advisable throughout the year, especially in winter. A coat is necessary during winter months.


The Australian Capital Territory is found on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, with spectacular green countryside surrounded by mountains.

Canberra is situated in the northeast corner of ACT whilst further south the Namadgi National Park, with its forests, rivers and waterholes, accounts for 46% of the territory. It is not uncommon for snow to make an appearance here across the ranges during the winter months, although summer can see temperatures reach 40ºC (104ºF).

Lake Burley Griffin, a manmade lake, is the centrepiece of this constantly expanding modern capital. Hills, trees and greenery remain prominent among the architecture of a city that is attractive, tidy, spacious and efficient as befits the national capital city.

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