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  1. ITV Report

Snow falls in Australia's sunshine state of Queensland

It is regarded by locals as Australia's ''sunshine state", but locals are now waking up to the sight of snow in Queensland.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said the snowfall was unusual for a state with a sub-tropical to tropical climate, and the last time it experienced such weather was in 2015.

It is believed the wintry weather has been driven by colder air from the south.

The extreme and unexpected conditions have been caused by a cold front that has headed north from Victoria into a deep low pressure system off the coast of NSW and brought gale to storm force southerly winds.

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Icy conditions have also swept across eastern Australia and there has also been heavy snow near the New South Wales border which sits next to Queensland.

Severe weather warnings have also been issued for a 620 miles (1,000km) stretch of coast which includes Sydney.

People have been urged to stay indoors amid heavy rain and gale-force winds.

Icy roads have been shut off to travellers to prevent accidents as icy conditions prevail in eastern Australia. Credit: AP

Winter in Australia usually falls from June to August and is relatively mild.

The extreme weather comes just months after January was declared the hottest month on record in Australia and blistering temperatures brought widespread drought across the country.

The sweltering start to 2019 follows last year being Australia's third hottest on record.

Only 2005 and 2013 were warmer than 2018, which ended with the hottest December on record, with the mean temperature across the nation exceeding 30C for the first time.

A teenage boy makes his way through heavy snow in Eastern Australia. Credit: AP

Travellers in eastern Australia are being warned to expect delays on roads, rail, waterways and in the skies amid the wild weather.

The Bureau of Meteorology has also issued a road warning for drivers in Sydney’s eastern suburbs to exercise extreme care as gusty winds, slippery roads and rain will make driving conditions dangerous.

Livestock in eastern Australia covered in snow. Credit: AP

The conditions have also led to choppy water in Sydney with the cancellation of some ferry services between Manly and Circular Quay.

Some flights travelling from Melbourne to Sydney have also been cancelled because of the weather.

Camels in the snow at the New England Camel Co, NSW, Australia. Credit: New England Camel Co.

However, good news looms on the horizon as experts said the weather is expected to settle down by the weekend.