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Oceania Weather Overview

Lying in the depths of the Pacific and Indian Ocean, Oceania consists of Australia and New Zealand and the regions of Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesia. Conditions are fairly idyllic across much of this area of the world- with beautiful Mediterranean conditions witnessed on the west coast of Australia, tropical conditions through many of the Pacific lying islands and Temperate through much of coastal Australia and New Zealand.

Across Australia the conditions vary dramatically depending on proximity to the coast, altitude, latitude and longitude, however it is undeniable that the large majority of Australia's 7,617,930 square kilometers is dry, harsh desert.. the famous Australian outback!

Inland Australia witnesses arid desert conditions, with the red dirt and dry harsh landscape being the subject of much historical writing. With Ayres Rock (Uluru) lying in the heart of the country, if you can bare the hot summers days and cold nights then it is definitely worth the journey.

Almost 90% of Australia's population lives on the 34,218 kilometers of coastline, and it is not hard to understand why when you set your eyes on the white sands and crystal clear waters. As you move north up the east and west coast lines the conditions become increasingly humid- with Darwin and popular tourist destination of Cairns playing host to semi-tropical climates.

Lying in the north amongst these tropical conditions, home to two season- wet and dry, you can find the Great Barrier Reef, which is the world's largest coral reef. The 2,000 kilometre reef lies a very short distance off the north-east coast and is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

On the lower eastern coast of Australia you will find the popular cities of Sydney and Melbourne. While both Sydney and Melbourne can get considerably warm in the height of summer they don't see the temperature extremes that Perth, on the West Coast, sees in the midst of the long hot summers.

Sydney is home to a temperate climate that sees warm summers and mild winters. Rain falls in the famous city all year round, with about 10 to 12 days of rain recorded on average each month or the entirety of the year. While rainfall is a regular occurrence, the weather isn't as unpredictable and changeable as nearby Melbourne. In Sydney you may have a day of rainfall but can be sure that long uninterrupted periods of sunny clear days is just around the corner.

Like Sydney, the conditions in Melbourne are moderated by the proximity to the ocean. Melbourne's climate is known as a oceanic climate which is typified by changeable unpredictable conditions. Melbournians, like Londoners, are used to seeing 4 seasons in one day with an hour of rain likely to be followed by an hour of sun which could then be followed by an hour of hail before returning to sunny and clear again!

See here for conditions in Adelaide, which lies on the Great Australian Bite on the central southern coast.

Western Australia is the country's largest state occupying a third of the continent. The state plays host to arid conditions in the interior, tropical in the north and Mediterranean in the lower south. Perth, the states capital city, and the surrounding smaller towns of Bunbury and popular surfing town of Margaret River, play host to enviable weather year round. Winters are extremely mild but often quite wet, while summers and long, hold and glorious. The coast is washed with evening sea breezes which is known locally in Perth as the Fremantle Doctor. The winds have a welcome cooling effect from the height of summer and provide for a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere to enjoy a barbeque down at one of the states many picturesque beaches.

See pages NORTHERN TERRITORY and ACT and TASMANIA.

NEW ZEALAND

The climate in New Zealand varies as you head north to south, and coincidentally the island is split into two islands- North and South, and each contingent witnesses differing weather conditions.

New Zealand is long and thin, much like Italy- as it in fact lies a similar distance from the equator as Italy so conditions could be fairly similar. However, due to NZ's location in the way of southerly winds and various currents, the conditions are much cooler and more mild than Italy. Much of New Zealand is coast line, which means that throughout the island rainfall is moderate, sunshine is plentiful and temperatures are kept fairly mild- rarely reaching over 30 degrees or below 0 degrees.

Generally speaking, the north island is categorized by subtropical weather conditions and the south island by temperate oceanic conditions with minimal extremities experienced. The driest city on the island is Christchurch and the wettest is Wellington. As you head south conditions become cooler as you are moving further from the equator.

New Zealand is known for being particularly sunny, particular in the north east of the south island. As you move south west conditions become slightly more cloudy and average daily sunshine decreases.

If traveling to New Zealand keep in mind that the UV rays are considerably higher than in arts of Europe- this is due to the lower air pollution so there is less shelter from the harsh rays. So make sure you come equipped with sunglasses, a hat and plenty of SPF 30+ sunscreen.

See here for average conditions for Christchurch in the South Island and Auckland in the north island.

MICRONESIA

Micronesia is a region within Oceania that is made up of thousands of tiny islands. Lying in the south of the Pacific, Micronesia consists of the nations of Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Northern Mariana Island, Palau and Wake Island.

The weather across the different islands doesn't differ too much, differences a result of varying topography on each of the islands, and temperatures will vary the further north or south you travel.

Most of the islands weather conditions can be best categorized by a tropical marine climate- there is minimal variation across the season and it is generally hot and humid all year round. The average high is about 30 degrees and the average low in the mid 20's.

Like most tropical climates the year is split into two season- dry, running from December until June, and wet- the rest of the tear. Also like most tropical climates, there is a rish of typhoons. While they can occur at any time of the year the 'hurricane season' falls around October to November.

Some islands, such as Guam are more subject to typhoons and they will occur much more regularly than islands which lye outside of the main typhoon area. Guam sees an average of three tropical storms and one typhoon pass nearby the region annually, whereas the nation of Palau lies outside of the main hit area so sees typhoons much less frequently.

Due to its position in the tropics and proximity to a lot of water humidity across each of the Micronesian is high, usually average about 80-82% and rainfall occurs mainly in the months of June, July and October.

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