This review article focuses on scholarship that lies at the intersection of histories of climate and British settler colonization in Australia and New Zealand. It first discusses the role of climate in their colonial histories and then developments in the field of climate history, examining similarities and differences within and between Australia and New Zealand. Next, it outlines two significant recent themes in climate history in both places: contested climate debates and perceptions, and social impacts and responses to climate. The article finishes by recommending future areas for research. Throughout, we stress the importance of local-level approaches to climate as a means of understanding past and present, popular and scientific, interpretations of climate. We also emphasize the role that imperatives of colonization have played in shaping particular kinds of climate knowledge, including in overwriting nonelite views of climate. WIREs Clim Change 2016, 7:893–909. doi: 10.1002/wcc.426. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.