Australia clocks change: What time do clocks go forward? Is it tonight?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is used in some Australian states, while others have opted out. The purpose of DST is to make the most of the summer daylight hours. DST sees clocks go forward before summer, and back before winter.

What time do clocks go forward?

Clocks change in the early hours of the first Sunday of October each year – that’s October 6 this year.

When the clocks hit 1.59am on Sunday morning, they’ll never hit 2am – they’ll jump forward one hour, becoming 3am instead.

Of course, this will vary around the country, as Australia has three different time zones.


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But wherever you live, the clocks will go forward at 2am in your current time zone on Sunday.

Most smartphones and computers automatically update the time for you, but if you use analogue, like a watch, remember to wind the clock forward one hour when you wake up on Sunday.

Depending on how you look at it, you’re either losing an hour of sleep, or gaining an hour of sunlight as summer begins.

Don’t worry, you’ll get the hour back when clocks back before winter next year.

Which states are affected?

Not all Australian states follow DST.

People in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands don’t wind their clocks forward.

DST is used in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria.

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Where did daylight saving come from?

The first mention of clock change around the world came in 1895.

An insect expert, George Vernon Hudson, presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society in New Zealand proposing a two-hour shift back in March.

While his particular idea garnered some interest, it didn’t catch on just yet.

The first use of daylight saving came some years later, in 1908.

The first place to use it was the former Canadian city of Port Arthur, on July 1 in 1908, after a local businessman urged the council to move the clocks forward in summer so children could enjoy an extra hour of sun.

More Canadian towns followed, but the concept really took off when Germany and Austria pushed the clocks forward to reduce the use of artificial lighting to save fuel for the war effort in 1916.

The United Kingdom, France, the United States and Australia quickly followed until the end of the war and introduced it again in World War Two.

In 1967, Tasmania introduced it for Australia, a move prompted by drought.

Most other states took it up in 1971 but Western Australia and the Northern Territory rejected the idea and, after trying it, Queensland abandoned it in 1972.

South-east Queenslanders have mostly been in favour of daylight saving but their northern counterparts say it would mean an extra hour of sun during the scorching summer months.

In 1992, Queenslanders were asked if they favoured DST in a – 45.5 percent said yes while 54.5 percent said no.

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