The hottest year, the hottest spring and summer, the hottest January and September, the hottest summer day and the warmest winter day: 2013 was a record-setting year in weather.

The Bureau of Meteorology's annual climate statement shows 2013 was Australia's hottest year since records began in 1910.

It says the national mean temperature was 1.20 degrees celsius above the 1961-1990 average.

"Long periods of warmer-than-average days have been common, with a distinct lack of cold weather," the statement says.


The year was also the hottest on record for South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

It was the second-hottest year on record for New South Wales and Queensland, third for Victoria and fourth for Tasmania.

The bureau says Australia has experienced just one cooler-than-average year in the past decade: 2011.

Nationally averaged rainfall was slightly below average for the year, with 428mm.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his cabinet should take a "good strong look" at the report which makes it clear again that climate change is real, acting Opposition Leader Penny Wong says.

"These are facts we have to face up to," Senator Wong told reporters in Adelaide on Friday.

"The only people who don't believe climate change is real are Prime Minister Abbott, his cabinet and some of his advisers."

Senator Wong said Mr Abbott considered climate change "absolute crap" and his direct action policy was a policy of doing nothing.


She says her biggest worry was not how Australia would look to other nations by doing little to combat global warming but how the current generation would look to its children and grandchildren.

"What are we going to say to them in years to come if we go down the path that Tony Abbott wants to go down which is to reject what the Bureau of Meteorology and other Australians scientists are saying," she said.