Australia is a big country with various climatic regions, offering travellers a range of experiences year-round.
Read our guide on the best time to visit to help plan your trip.
January – December
The summer months of December and January see long sunny days in the southern half of the country while the northern half heads into wet season. Some northern parts of the country become difficult to access due to the hot tropical weather and rain downpours that occur in the wet season. Tours to Kakadu offer a wet season itinerary, while Cairns tours may be interrupted by tropical storms.
Meanwhile, the southern states take advantage of the hot and dry weather usual for this time of year. It’s a great time to visit coastal areas such as the Gold Coast, Margaret River and Kangaroo Island to enjoy the warm weather on the beach. However, with school holidays kicking off close to Christmas, and much of the country on vacation for the Christmas break, accommodation can be expensive. Book in advance if you plan on travelling over this time to get a good hotel deal and ensure you don’t miss out any activities.
February – May
You can expect February and March to still be hot, but weather becomes milder heading through April and May. The wet season will ease up towards the end of March and April, with northern parts of the country reopening ready for the dry season. Waterfalls will be fully flowing and it’s a great time to visit areas like Litchfield, Kakadu, the Daintree Rainforest and Atherton Tablelands.
Adelaide comes alive with the Fringe Festival for a month at the end of February and many cities celebrate Chinese New Year with colourful decorations and festivities. Chinese New Year and Easter are popular times to travel so expect accommodation prices to rise and places to book up quickly if you travel during this time.
June – August
How cold winter gets in Australia largely depends on where you plan to spend it. While the southern areas including Melbourne and Tasmania get cold and will even experience snow in some parts, winter in much of the country is mild by international standards. For northern areas experiencing the dry season it’s the best time to visit and a perfect opportunity to escape the cold of the south.
Southern areas may see a reduction in the number of travellers but by no means shut up shop over winter. With snow on the mountains close to Melbourne and Sydney, snow bunnies will relish the opportunity to hit the slopes. Australians will mostly head north or overseas for the winter school holidays, so it’s a great time to travel much of the country with smaller crowds and lower prices. The Vivid festival in Sydney from late May to June brings the city alive with art and light installations, while Melbourne is abuzz with the AFL season and it’s your best time for whale watching across the country.
September – November
Springtime in Australia is full of anticipation for the summer as the weather in the south starts improving and dry season up north wraps up. The temperate areas around Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide will start to see longer, warmer days, remaining cool at night. Melbourne celebrates this time of the year with two big sporting events – the Spring Racing Carnival and the AFL Grand Final – which fill the city with excitement. Wildflowers blooming around this time in some parts of the country add colour to bushwalks and hikes.
The end of the dry season means many of the waterfalls and swimming holes up north will start to look empty as they anticipate the rain from the wet. The humidity will start to build around October and November and some parts such as the Kimberley will become unbearably hot waiting for the rain.
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