Australia is vast, and the best time to travel depends on where you want to go – a tropical north contrasts with a temperate south, and the central desert requires its own consideration. This month-by-month analysis will assist you in determining the best time to visit Australia for your vacation, regardless of where you are going.
- High Season: December, January, and February
- Shoulder Season: March, April, May & September, October, and November
- Low Season: June, July, and August
- Month-by-month Analysis for the Best time to visit Australia
- 1. The Festival Season kicks off in Earnest in January
- 2. February is Typically the hottest Month in Australia
- 3. March is the Harvest Season and there are Festivities Galore
- 4. Australia Preps up for Anzac in April
- 5. The Month of May Heralds the dry Season in Australia
- 6. June is the Best Time to visit Sydney
- 7. July Becomes the Natural venue for the whale- watching Season
- 8. August is When Southerners head to Queensland
- 9. September Marks the Arrival of Spring
- 10. October Boasts the Best weather in Australia for Anything and Everything
- 11. November Marks the Seasons of Surf, the Melbourne Cup, and Food Festivals
- 12. Australia Preps up for Holiday season in December
High Season: December, January, and February
Best season for beachgoers and festival enthusiasts
Summer in Australia may be a time of climatic extremes, with the wet season arriving in the north and bush fires raging in the south. It’s also the perfect time to relax on one of the country’s famous beaches or attend one of the country’s many arts, cuisine, and music festivals.
Visitors might expect higher pricing and possible crowding in key tourist areas and beaches. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen!
Shoulder Season: March, April, May & September, October, and November
Best season for cross-country travel
The greatest time to travel the country is during the transition seasons since they deliver pleasant sun, bright skies, and cold evenings. Australia’s scorching center will see a little respite from summer’s heat, and coastal areas will remain comfortably pleasant.
Around Easter, the coasts might be crowded, and South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania are all beautiful in the autumnal colors.SOUTH AUSTRALIA WEATHER
Low Season: June, July, and August
The best time to go to Australia on a budget
The Australian winter delivers cool days in the south and milder weather with bright skies in the north. This is the best time of year to go to Australia for pleasant desert and tropical vacation, as well as whale watching.
Prices are at their lowest point ever, and so are the quantity of tourists, however certain attractions may not be available this time of the year.
Month-by-month Analysis for the Best time to visit Australia
Because Australia is almost the size of the entire European continent, its climate is extremely diverse. But, whether you’re in the warm Top End or cold Tasmania, sunny Sydney or dreary Melbourne, every month of the year has something unique to offer.
What season is it in Australia right now? When is the best time to go to Australia? To answer all your questions, here is a list of things you may do and see throughout the year in Australia. All events are subject to change.
1. The Festival Season kicks off in Earnest in January
As the country recovers from its collective New Year’s hangover, the festival season begins in earnest.
January is the busiest month of the year for tourism and the best time to travel to Australia since it falls right in the thick of the Australian summer.
The warm weather also makes it an ideal time to visit Australia’s southern coastline, which can be bitterly cold in winter.
What to do in January?
Drive the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, then cross the border into South Australia to see a genuinely stunning stretch of coastline while it’s still warm enough to swim.
Sports fans travel to Melbourne during the last two weeks of the month as the world’s finest tennis players arrive for the Australian Open, while controversial Australia Day celebrations take place around the country on January 26.
Key events & festivals – Australian Open, Midsumma Festival, MOMA FONA, and Tamworth Country Music Festival
2. February is Typically the hottest Month in Australia
February is often Australia’s hottest month, with humid and sticky conditions in the north as the wet season continues. South Australia and Victoria witness scorching temperatures. While the sun shines, the locals return to school and work.
February is a great time of year to visit areas of the country that are crowded during peak season, with the summer weather still in full swing and all the kids back in school after the holidays.
What to do in February?
The West Coast’s pleasures — the bustling West Australian capital Perth, the quokka-covered island paradise of Rottnest, the ancient port city of Fremantle, Margaret River’s world-class wineries, and equally magnificent beaches in the south-west — all shine brightly during this sunny month.
In early March, Sculpture by the Sea takes over the pristine sands of Perth’s Cottesloe Beach.
Key events & festivals – Brisbane Street Art Festival, Perth Festival, Trop Fest, Sydney’s LGBTQ+ Mardi Gras
3. March is the Harvest Season and there are Festivities Galore
March is harvest season in Australia’s vineyards. Despite being in the fall, March has recently been warm.
March is a festival month in Adelaide, as South Australia’s tiny city provides the ideal setting for a jam-packed programme of cultural attractions.
What to do in March?
The Adelaide Fringe, which is the largest fringe festival in the Southern Hemisphere, is the main attraction. The other highlights include the vibrant Adelaide Festival, the energetic WOMADelaide festival and the Adelaide 500 V8 Supercars race.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – possibly the world’s largest LGBTQI parade — takes place on the first Saturday of the March and is the best month to visit Australia. The Australian Formula One Grand Prix arrives in Melbourne at the end of March.
Key events & festivities – Adelaide Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, 10 Days on the Island, and the Australian F1 Grand Prix.
4. Australia Preps up for Anzac in April
While Australia’s formal national day, January 26, is divisive, Anzac Day, April 25, is significantly more unifying. Australia’s national day of remembering commemorates the deployment of Australian and New Zealand forces on Turkish territory during World War I. It is marked by rousing activities across the country.
What to do in April?
The most important Anzac Day event is held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground where millions of people attend the annual AFL match between Collingwood and Essendon.
This time of the year an autumnal frost settles in southern Australia. Melbourne and the Adelaide Hills are beautiful when European trees turn golden, then maroon. The rain has stopped up north, and the desert temperatures are cooling.
Key events & festivals – Barossa Vintage Festival, Tjungu Festival, and Byron Bay Bluesfest
5. The Month of May Heralds the dry Season in Australia
Ningaloo Reef in North West Australia has a great climate, with 320 days of sunlight and pleasant air and water temperatures all year. But this isn’t why people should flock to this remote part of Western Australia in May.
What to do in May?
The world’s largest species of fish assemble on Ningaloo Reef between March and August, providing a unique opportunity to snorkel among them. Daily cruises leave from the little villages of Exmouth and Coral Bay to swim shoulder-to-shoulder with these gentle giants of the sea, who can grow to be up to 12 meters long.
The start of the dry season significantly reduces the amount of humidity in the Northern Territory, northern Western Australia, and Far North Queensland. Additionally, this is the best time of year to visit Australia’s Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Key events & festivals – Uluru Camel Cup, Ord Valley Muster, and Noosa Eat & Drink
Check out: Best Places to Visit in Australia
6. June is the Best Time to visit Sydney
Winter is here, and the southern Alps ski resorts are covered with snow as the start of the national football season. It’s peak season in the tropical north, which means waterfalls and bush treks are open, and is the best time to visit Australia for outdoor pursuits.
When temperatures drop to a somewhat frigid average daily high of 18°C, an entirely different attraction lights up Sydney.
What to do in June?
Vivid Sydney describes itself as the world’s greatest festival of light, music, and ideas, transforming the city’s most recognisable landmarks into a mesmerizing outdoor gallery of light displays.
During this massive mid-year event, which brings over two million visitors to Australia’s largest city over three weeks in May and June, the world’s top light painters use Sydney’s buildings as their canvas.
Key events & festivals – The top things to do in Sydney include Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival, Barunga Festival, Sea & Vines Festival, Vivid Sydney, and Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival.
7. July Becomes the Natural venue for the whale- watching Season
Residents of southern Australia switch frigid temperatures for some warmth in tropical North Queensland. This is the best time to go to Australia to experience the iconic Great Barrier Reef, picturesque Magnetic Island, and the historic Daintree Rainforest.
Tens of thousands of whales migrate up the ‘Humpback Highway’ each winter to escape icy Antarctica for warmer waters farther north. There are a number of excellent viewing locations along the East Coast where you may spot them.
What to do in July?
Hervey Bay, three hours north of Brisbane, is the best place to go whale watching. The Bay is close to Fraser Island which is a 120 km sandbar where humpback whales may rear their young.
Pubs with open fires, quaint coffee shops, and deserted beaches can be found in the south, while bustling markets, tours, and accommodations can be found in the north. Bring warm clothing if you are going anywhere south of Alice Springs.
Key events & festivals – Splendour in the Grass, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, the Derby Boab Festival, Walking with Spirits, Noosa Alive, the Alice Springs Camel Cup, the Melbourne International Film Festival, and the Mackay Festival of Arts
8. August is When Southerners head to Queensland
Southerners seeking relief from winter’s dreary skies flock to Queensland in August. It’s almost time to visit the tropical Top End and outback before it gets too hot and wet.
The summer heat in Alice Springs is unpleasant — the mercury often reaches the forties in December and January. Exploring Australia’s Red Centre, especially Uluru, is considerably more enjoyable in the middle of the year.
What to do in August?
A lovely 23°C is to be expected in August. This is the best time to go to Australia to explore this ancient outback region. The month of August also brings unusual events like the Camel Cup. Not to mention the Henley-on-Todd Regatta – maybe the only boat race on the planet staged in a completely waterless river.
The Darwin Festival and the well-known Mindil Beach Sunset Markets make August a great time to visit the capital city of the Northern Territory.
Key events & festivals – Airlie Beach Race Week, Henly-on-Todd Regatta, Melbourne Winter Festival, Cairns Festival, and Garma Festival.
9. September Marks the Arrival of Spring
Weather-wise, Australia’s capital is closed during the winter. The Football season ends and the Spring Racing events begin.
However, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest flower display brings a splash of color to Canberra every September.
What to do in September?
Floriade, a month-long celebration of spring that draws 1 million visitors to Canberra’s Commonwealth Park every September and October. It features over a million blossoms along the banks of Lake Burley Gryphon. During the Australian spring, similar floral displays are held at Toowoomba and Perth’s Kings Park.
Key events & festivals – AFL Grand Final, Brisbane Festival, Pilbara Red Earth Arts Festival, Bigsound Festival, Perth Wildflower Festival, and Shinju Matsuri Festival of the Pearl.
10. October Boasts the Best weather in Australia for Anything and Everything
The weather is mild everywhere, so it’s a nice time to go camping or visit some vineyards. The rainy season begins in the Top End, where it is quite humid.
This is the best time of the year to visit Australia as Sydney warms up enough for you to indulge into the beach activities that flanks the harbour and the coast.
What to do in October?
Walk the picturesque Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk in October to take in Sculpture by the Sea. You will experience thousands of unconventional works of art that enhance the breathtaking seaside scenery.
The NRL grand final is hosted at Sydney’s 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium on the first Sunday of the month. While the renowned Bathurst 1000 V8 motor race zips around Mount Panorama the following weekend. The events make it ideal for sports enthusiasts as there will be much to do in New South Wales in October.
Key events & festivals – Caloundra Music Festival, Melbourne Festival, and Riverland Wine & Food Festival.
11. November Marks the Seasons of Surf, the Melbourne Cup, and Food Festivals
Northern beaches may close owing to “stingers,” which are jellyfish found in shallow seas off the coasts of north Queensland, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia. The season of surf lifesaving stretches its muscles on beaches all over the world as outdoor events pick up speed.
Melbourne awakens from its winter hibernation for the Spring Carnival of horse racing and is the best time to visit Australia for race aficionados.
What to do in November?
The Melbourne Cup is the main highlight of November which is held at Flemington in front of 100,000 spectators. It is watched by more than two million people on television, and continues to be Australia’s most prestigious horse race.
During the month of November, foodies will also enjoy Good Food Month and Taste of Melbourne in Melbourne. Not to mention the sumptuous Margaret River Gourmet Escape on the West Coast.
Key events & festivals – Fremantle Festival, Wangaratta Jazz & Blues, Sculpture by the Sea, Gourmet Escape, and Melbourne Cup.
12. Australia Preps up for Holiday season in December
School is off by now! The holiday season often begins a week or two before Christmas. The weather is pleasantly warm, and cities are bustling with shopping. In the north, the monsoon season is in full swing, and afternoon thunderstorms bring downpours.
The Bass Strait separates Tasmania, Australia’s most southerly state, from the continent, and the state experiences positively glacial winter temperatures.
The Apple Isle comes alive in December, when lavender blooms in the state’s north-east. This is the best time to visit Australia as the capital Hobart transforms into a hub of activities.
What to do in December?
Some of the top things to do in Hobart include the Taste of Tasmania culinary festival which is held during New Year’s and the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
Speaking of the Harbour City, you must visit here this time of the year. More than a million partygoers line the harbour frontage to watch the spectacular fireworks display, and is one of the top things to do in Sydney.
Key events & festivals – Woodford Folk Festival, the Sydney Harbour Fireworks, and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
The best time to visit Australia really just depends on your personal preferences and where in the country you plan to travel. However, if you are visiting for pleasure, we would suggest you to travel somewhere around April or May. Someone who likes to snorkel or scuba dive might want to head down south around November. Or, if you love to hike, we’d probably spend time in the more temperate areas of the country from December through February. Regardless of when you choose to go, remember that Australia is a large place with a variety of climates.
Visiting Australia can be a once in a lifetime trip, and if you’re lucky you will get to visit different areas of the country. Make sure you plan your trip accordingly and choose the right season to experience all that the country has to offer.