When is the best time to visit Australia? Our destinations experts share an overview.
Australia lies in the southern hemisphere, and hence its seasons are inverted. What this means is that if you were to visit Australia in August, expecting the warmth of high summer, you will instead find yourself experiencing the relative coolness of the Australian winter.
December, far from being a cold and wintery month in Australia, is peak summer, during which the temperature can go as high as a balmy 79°F. Being aware of this is important, as this is crucial in deciding when the best time to visit Australia is, for you.
January is the busiest month of the year with locals taking time off to celebrate summer and tourists arriving to escape colder climes. Schools are closed and families head to the beaches. Northern Australia is hot, humid and wet while southern parts of Australia are sunny and warm with short bursts of rain.
- Celebrate Australia Day with fireworks at the Sydney Harbour
- Catch a game of tennis at the Australian Open
- Drive down the Great Ocean Road in Victoria
The crowds leave but it’s still warm and toasty making February a good month to visit Australia. It is one of the best months to visit the West Coast of Australia with thermometer readings in the range of 85°F – 95°F. Temperatures in the southern coastal areas hover between 95°F – 110°F while the Outback gets even hotter.
- Experience beachside bliss at Margaret River
- Enjoy breathtaking views at the Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park, Tasmania
- Sign up for a surfing lesson at Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast
March marks the beginning of the fall season in the country. With temperatures cooling down, it is a wonderful time to visit almost any region in Australia. Adelaide comes alive with a host of festivals and it is a great month to travel to the Outback. The beaches on the east coast are still warm and welcoming with sunny days and clear, blue skies.
- Book tickets to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne
- Join the colorful Adelaide Festival
April is a busy tourist month as the rainy season ends and with Easter celebrations across the country. Temperatures begin to drop a bit but there is still plenty of sun and clear skies to enjoy. The waters are still warm in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast and Adelaide and Perth experience beautiful weather during this time.
- Make a trip to Canberra to enjoy the brilliant fall foliage
- Hike the trails of Kakadu National Park
- Enjoy the sights and sounds of Perth
Temperatures continue to get cooler with highs around 60°F-70°F. It’s time to bring out those sweaters and jackets as nights can get quite cool. Queensland sees temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s while Tasmania is a lot cooler with temperatures in the low 60s.
- Head to Ningaloo Reef to swim with magnificent whale sharks
- Go for unforgettable sunrise and sunset walks at Uluru
It’s the official start of winter in this part of the world. Daytime temperatures in Melbourne and Sydney are in the low 60s while up north in Darwin, the average is around 85°F. The ski resorts in the Southern Alps get ready for the crowds as they anticipate the first snow of the season.
- Watch Sydney light up for the Vivid Sydney Festival
- Explore the museums and galleries of Melbourne
- Marvel at the rich biodiversity of the Daintree National Park
You will need to cover up if you going any place south of Alice Springs. June – October is peak tourist season for Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The ski season is well underway in southern parts of Australia including the mountains of New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania.
- Catch rush hour traffic of a different kind as you watch thousands of whales migrate along the Humpback Highway – off the coast of Sydney
- Discover the attraction of Magnetic Island
- Celebrate Christmas in July at the Blue Mountains’ Yulefest
While temperatures can drop quite low in southern parts of the country like Tasmania and Victoria, the northern parts of the country enjoy pleasant temperatures. It’s the best time to visit Australia’s Red Center as it experiences temperatures in the low 70s. It is also a good time to visit northern and northwestern parts of Australia.
- Ski down the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales
- Head to Queensland for the Cairns Festival
- Witness a one-of-a-kind ‘dry’ boat race at the Todd River in Alice Springs
Wildflowers and spring blossoms herald the arrival of spring. Days start to get warmer and the humidity is low making the month a peak travel period. It’s an excellent moth for water activities such as kayaking, canoeing, surfing and snorkeling.
- Drive past wildflower-covered landscapes in Western Australia
- Watch Canberra spring back with a month-long flower show around Lake Burley Griffin
- It’s worth a hop to Kangaroo Island for some unique wildlife viewing
October is an ideal month to enjoy the outdoor activities of Australia with temperatures in the range of 65°F – 72°F. There are plenty of festivals to attend and water activities to try out.
- Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
- Sunbathe at the iconic Bondi Beach in Sydney
- Sip on some reds at one of the vineyards in Barossa Valle
Temperatures continue to be pleasant though the humidity starts to increase. Still, it is a good time to experience the spectacular sights of Australia without the crowds. Something to keep in mind before making plans is that beaches in Queensland may close due to the presence of jellyfish in shallow waters.
- Dress up for the Melbourne Cup – the race that stops the nation
- Savor delicious flavors at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape on the West Coast
- Get your nature fix at Grampians National Park
It is the start of the tourist season as the country wears a festive look for Christmas and New Year. It’s an ideal time to visit Tasmania with temperatures around the 80s. Up north however, the rainy season is underway with afternoon thunderstorms.
- Join a million fellow revelers in welcoming the New Year with fireworks at the Sydney Harbor
- Pack a picnic and celebrate Christmas on Bondi Beach
- Join the penguin parade on Phillip Island
What to pack
What you will pack for your Australia vacation depends on the time you plan to visit. Nevertheless, some must carry items include: light cotton clothing, beachwear, sunscreen with a high SPF, layers especially if you are traveling in winter.
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