The Housing and Shelter of Aboriginal Australians involved some sort of innovation that provided protection at certain periods of the day. Aboriginal people built a wide variety of shelters that varied with the seasons. In clear weather, Aboriginal shelters were often simple leafy structures to provide protection from the sun during the day and low windbreaks to provide protection from breezes at night. These windbreaks were the main form of shelter across the desert regions, although when the weather turned wet, desert peoples sometimes built temporary domed huts with grass roofs.
During the wet season in Arnhem Land and in some other parts of northern Australia, the principal structure was the roofed platform house. This open-sided shelter consisted of a wooden platform raised 1.2 to 1.8 m (4 to 6 ft) above the ground by sapling poles. The platform was covered by a roof of curved sheets of eucalyptus bark, with enough room for people to sit up without their heads touching the roof. The raised floor, reached by climbing up a sloping pole, was used as a living and sleeping area during the rain and protected those inside from the boggy ground. Sometimes a smoky fire was built underneath the platform to repel mosquitoes.
At times of year when there were large numbers of mosquitoes, some Arnhem Land Aboriginal groups built domed shelters similar in form to igloos. These huts were made of a frame of saplings covered by paper-bark from melaleuca trees. Aboriginal people in southern Australia built much more robust domed houses, made of a sturdier wooden frame with a turf covering, to keep out the wet and the cold. The Housing and Shelter of Aboriginal Australians reflected their skills at the time.