The aridity of the Centre results in seasonal extremes of temperature. In the midwinter months of July and August the weather is lovely and the light clear, although freezing nights, especially around Uluru, are not uncommon. In December and January the temperature can reach 40°C by 10am and not drop below 30°C all night. The transitional seasons of autumn (April–June) and spring (Sept & Oct) are the best times to explore the region in comfort, although in spring there’s the chance of rain. Although you may encounter floods and road closures, rain can transform the desert into a green garden with sprouting wildflowers, though generally it’s the midsummer storms that bring the most rain.

Out here a wide-brimmed hat is not so much a fashion accessory as a lifesaver, keeping your head and face in permanent shadow. A head net is also highly advisable – the flies can be maddening during the day, especially at Uluru. All walks require a water bottle and lashings of sun block. Australia’s venomous (but rarely seen) snakes, rocky paths and the prickly spinifex grass that covers a fifth of the continent, make a pair of covered shoes or boots essential too.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Undiscovered Australia: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Undiscovered Australia: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Australia is a vast country, though most visitors stay on the same tried and tested track, ticking off well-touristed pitstops along the way. But, of course, …

07 Aug 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

Sun-soaked and healthy? Perhaps. A decent gateway to Western Australia? Definitely. But a cool place to spend a few days? Until recently Perth just couldn’t …

27 Apr 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
12 tips for backpacking Australia

12 tips for backpacking Australia

Backpacking Australia will almost certainly exceed your expectations. It’s not just that the places you’ll see will be more stunning than you had imagine…

09 Mar 2017 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month