The Rainbow Coast
Western Australia

Climate and Weather of
Western Australia's South Coast,
and the Best Time to Visit

The south coast of Western Australia has moody, changeable weather. You'll hear it referred to as The Rainbow Coast for this reason, as rainbows are often seen when the rain clouds roll past and the sun reappears.

South Coast Western Australia - the Rainbow Coast

A rainbow in the sky over Denmark. Photo by Bert Bolle.

The Rainbow Coast is the coldest and bleakest part of Western Australia during the winter months. The cold fronts and winds come fresh from Antarctica and the rainfall here is higher than elsewhere in the state.

However, almost all summer days are warm and sunny. Clear blue skies and hot bright sunshine bring out the whiteness of the beach sand and the clarity and intense blues and greens of the water, turning the South Coast into a summer paradise.

It rarely gets unbarably hot on summer days, and the nights are cool enough to get a good night's sleep without needing airconditioning.

So when's the best time of year for exploring the South Coast?

The weather on the South Coast has a such profound effect on the mood of the landscape and scenery. There is no such thing as bad weather for exploring the South Coast!

Summer

Waterfall Beach, part of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve on the South Coast of Western Australia

In summer, the beautiful beaches of the South Coast of Western Australia are paradise. It's the time of year for fun, relaxing holidays with plenty of picnics, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing and boating. Many wildflowers are still in bloom through summer. Enjoy the sunshine!

Autumn

Circular Pool near Walpole, Western Australia

Circular Pool near Walpole in early Autumn. At this time of year, the rivers are at their lowest.

In Autumn, there will still be plenty of sunny days but temperatures are cooler than in summer. Wintry cold fronts are also a possibility. It's a time of year when the weather is most changeable.

The whale watching season begins towards the end of Autumn.

The karri trees are especially beautiful in Autumn when they are shedding their bark to reveal salmon pink/orange trunks.

Winter

Winter is a wonderful time of year to visit the South Coast, so long as you have somewhere warm and cosy to stay with a log fireplace. It's not the best time of year for camping!

Cold, bleak and wintry weather heightens the drama of the ocean and the desolate feel of the ancient grey granite that is so prominant in the landscape.

Winter is definitely my favourite time to explore the rocks and cliffs of Torndirrup National Park. At the end of a cold front, after the winds have been blowing from the south for days, the waves are huge and thunderous, which means that the blowholes, the Gap and the surf beaches are at their most wild and dramatic.

Perhaps surprisingly, winter can also be a wonderful time for bush walks and exploring the forests. The thick vegetation and forest canopy provide a good deal of shelter from wind and rain (warm clothes and a waterproof jacket still come in handy, however). Sparkling raindrops glisten on each tiny delicate leaf, and the dampness brings out the fresh, earthy smell of the forest. I find walking in cool, cloudy weather more pleasant and comfortable than under a hot sun.

Watching storm clouds and rain showers roll over the wilderness landscape from high points like Monkey Rock or Mount Frankland is another advantage of bushwalking in winter.

cloudy day on the Walpole-Nornalup Inlet, South Coast Western Australia

Spring

Banksia coccinea, a wild flower of the South Coast of Western Australia

Spring weather is mostly fine and pleasant. Although there are still some rainy days, the weather is generally the perfect temperature for enjoying the outdoors, neither too hot nor too cold. It is the time for birds and wildflowers, and this in combination with the weather, makes spring my favourite season for bushwalks and camping - and in particular long distance hikes where you walk and camp. The main long distance walk in the area is the Bibbulmun Track, but there are a few others.

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