Tales from the Trail

When is the Best Time to Visit Australia?

Let’s just start by saying with a country as large and diverse as Australia, there is always somewhere good to go whenever you visit. It’s also fair to say you’re likely to have a wonderful time whatever the weather so don’t be put off travelling anytime.
With that in mind here’s my rundown of what to expect season by season in Australia.

General trends

The first thing you need to remember, of course, is that the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere so when it’s winter here it’s summer in Australia.

However, that spring, summer, autumn, winter distinction only really holds in the southern half of the country. On the coast, spring, summer, and autumn are glorious times to visit. Australia’s interior is largely semi-arid desert so summer days are extremely hot and winter nights can be very chilly. 

In the tropical north of Queensland and the Northern Territory, where the temperature is pretty consistent, the rain and humidity are more important considerations. 

Named in true laconic Aussie style the ‘Dry’ runs from April to November and you can expect clear skies and hot dry days. The ‘Wet’, on the other hand brings high rainfall and humidity for the rest of the year. Remote roads are generally closed and many of the waterfall out of bounds.

 


January to March

A fabulous time to visit the south of the country with warm sunny dry days perfect for touring. Naturally it’s also the most popular time of the year to visit and most Australians take their holidays at this time too so make sure you book well in advance.

The Wet is in full flow in the tropical north bringing high humidity and storms. It’s still possible to visit the Great Barrier Reef at this time but the weather can be unpredictable. Ningaloo Reef on the west coast is dry but hot!

In the interior days are very hot and dry with pleasant balmy evenings.

Events & Festivals

December/January: New Year’s Eve, Sydney. World famous fireworks extravaganza in Sydney Harbour as the whole city parties through the night.  

January: Australian Open, Melbourne. Soak up the buzz in the city as the world’s elite come to do battle at one of the world’s most prestigious tennis tournaments

January: Australia Day, nationwide. Fireworks, street parties and parades abound as Australia celebrates its founding

March, Adelaide Festival. One of the world's major cultural events, celebrating opera, theatre, dance and music. 

 

CITIES

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

°C

R

°C

R

°C

R

ALICE SPRINGS

36

4

35

4

28

2

BRISBANE

29

17

29

18

28

14

CAIRNS

31

42

31

43

30

44

DARWIN

32

42

32

33

32

31

HOBART

20

5

20

6

18

6

MELBOURNE

26

5

26

5

24

4

PERTH

31

1

31

2

29

2

SYDNEY

26

12

26

14

25

15

 °C Average daily maximum temperatures                                                          R Monthly rainfall in cm

 


April - May

This is a great to visit almost anywhere in the country. Temperatures are still pleasantly warm in the south whilst in the north the days are markedly drier and remote outback roads begin to open up. Autumn colours explode across south New South Wales, Victoria and Adelaide and it is arguably the best time to visit the outback in the interior.

Events & Festivals

Mid March - May, Whale Sharks, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. The world’s largest fish visits the northern shores of Western Australia

May/June, Vivid Sydney. The world’s largest festival of light. See many of the city’s iconic sights become the canvas for astounding light shows.

May, Whale Watching. Tasmania (Freycinet & Bruny Island) New South Wales (Sydney & Merimbula) , Western Australia (Albany) Victoria (Warnambool)

CITIES

APRIL

MAY

°C

R

°C

R

ALICE SPRINGS

28

2

23

2

BRISBANE

26

9

24

9

CAIRNS

27

14

25

7

DARWIN

32

2

31

0

HOBART

12

8

10

7

MELBOURNE

16

6

14

4

PERTH

21

11

19

18

SYDNEY

20

11

18

15

°C Average daily maximum temperatures                                                          R Monthly rainfall in cm

 


June - September

Absolutely the prime time to be visiting the tropical north of the country with warm sunny dry days and great conditions on the Great Barrier Reef.  In the south you can expect much cooler temperatures and more rainfall. If you are heading into the desert interior, days are pleasantly warm but nights are decidedly chilly. Pack a warm jumper!

Events & Festivals

June, Whale Sharks, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. The world’s largest fish visits the northern shores of Western Australia

June - September, Whale Watching. Tasmania (June & July-Freycinet & Bruny Island) New South Wales (Sydney, May-Nov, Merimbula & Byron Bay), Western Australia (Albany) Victoria (Warnambool), Queensland (July-Oct Hervey Bay & Aug-Oct Fraser Island )

May/June, Vivid Sydney The world’s largest festival of light. See many of the city’s iconic sights become the canvas for astounding light shows.

CITIES

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

°C

R

°C

R

°C

R

°C

R

ALICE SPRINGS

20

2

19

2

22

1

27

1

BRISBANE

22

7

21

7

22

4

24

3

CAIRNS

25

7

25

4

26

4

27

4

DARWIN

31

0

31

0

31

0

33

2

HOBART

10

7

9

9

11

9

13

8

MELBOURNE

14

4

13

5

14

6

15

5

PERTH

19

18

18

17

18

11

20

7

SYDNEY

18

15

17

8

18

10

20

6

°C Average daily maximum temperatures                                                          R Monthly rainfall in cm

 


October - December

We could almost just say – see Spring. This is equally a great time to visit just about anywhere in the country and is the perfect opportunity to get out and explore the beautiful outdoors. As the weather is just about perfect and the region is much quieter, this is my top pick of when to visit Queensland.

Humidity does start to build in the north at the tail end of November with the odd thunderstorm. The wildflowers are in full bloom in Western Australia, an incredible floral display carpeting the outback with over 12,000 species of flower.

Events & Festivals

November, Melbourne Cup Carnival. The nation stops for one of the world’s most famous horse races. 

October - November,  Whale Watching. New South Wales (Sydney May-Nov, Merimbula & Byron Bay), Western Australia (Albany), Queensland (July-Oct Hervey Bay & Aug-Oct Fraser Island )

 

CITIES

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

°C

R

°C

R

°C

R

ALICE SPRINGS

31

2

34

3

36

4

BRISBANE

26

9

28

10

29

13

CAIRNS

29

4

30

10

31

19

DARWIN

33

7

33

14

33

24

HOBART

15

8

17

8

18

8

MELBOURNE

19

6

22

6

24

6

PERTH

22

5

25

3

28

1

SYDNEY

22

9

24

10

26

9

°C Average daily maximum temperatures                                                          R Monthly rainfall in cm 

 

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