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When is the best time to visit Australia?

The optimal time to visit Australia varies based on the region you intend to explore. With a dual climate dynamic, Australia’s northern half experiences its driest and most accessible conditions from April to September. During this period, you can revel in warm, sun-soaked days that showcase the national parks and beaches in their finest glory, offering opportunities for swimming and outdoor barbecues. From October to March, the northern region becomes more humid, accompanied by increased rainfall; however, this is counterbalanced by revitalized rainforests and wetlands.

In the southern half of Australia, the summer months (December to February) usher in hot weather, while the fall season (March to May) presents a delightful atmosphere with numerous festivals and a bustling grape harvest. Winter (June to August) tends to be less crowded and generally features a mild climate ideal for hiking, whereas spring (September to November) often witnesses heightened wildlife activity.

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Visiting Australia in January - March

Hot and humid conditions and storms bringing tropical rain bursts typify the start of the year in northern Australia. During these months northern Australia experiences its wet season, and can be difficult to get to.

In the south, the days are warm and sunny, and while there can be heavy rain showers, these pass quickly. This is the most popular period for Australians to take time off work, with Australia Day celebrated in January, frequent sports events and numerous festivals.

It can be busy across the southern part of the country and on its beaches. The Great Barrier Reef can be visited, but its weather is temperamental around this period. Ningaloo Reef can also be visited, but please be aware that it has extremely hot weather around this time.

Events & Festivals

  • In late January take in the firework displays and lively celebrations around Sydney Harbour, which mark Australia Day.
  • Take your seat at one of the many outdoor cinema screenings held throughout the summer.

Visiting Australia in April - May

In the north, the temperatures are pleasant and the crowds of summer have started to disperse. Roads open up across the region, improving access to more remote locations.

With plenty of sunshine and much less rain than the summer months, April is one of our most recommended times to visit the south. In May, the south is still bright and sunny, but the temperatures begin to drop a little, triggering a notable change in the landscape as autumn hues appear.

Events & Festivals

  • Between April and June take a boat trip out to see or even swim with the whale sharks near the Ningaloo Reef.

Visiting Australia in June - September

Northern Australia’s ‘dry season’ (during the Australian winter) is a time of lovely sunny days and warm temperatures, well suited for exploring on land or underwater. The tidal currents around the Great Barrier Reef are gentler, creating good snorkeling conditions.

In the country’s southern regions the weather is more temperate, making for good hiking conditions, although it can be rainy in certain parts. This period is a quieter season in the south, and the comfortable temperatures make it an excellent time to explore some of the rural inland regions, such as the Flinders Ranges, that are best avoided during the very hot summer.

Events & Festivals

Northern Australia’s ‘dry season’ (during the Australian winter) is a time of lovely sunny days and warm temperatures, well suited for exploring on land or underwater. The tidal currents around the Great Barrier Reef are gentler, creating good snorkeling conditions.

In the country’s southern regions the weather is more temperate, making for good hiking conditions, although it can be rainy in certain parts. This period is a quieter season in the south, and the comfortable temperatures make it an excellent time to explore some of the rural inland regions, such as the Flinders Ranges, that are best avoided during the very hot summer.

  • Take in the unusual Henley-on-Todd Regatta, held on the dry riverbed in August in Alice Springs.
  • Between April and June take a boat trip out to see or even swim with the whale sharks near the Ningaloo Reef.
  •  The Brisbane Festival takes place for three weeks in September with a line-up of music, comedy and theatrical events. Combine this with a wider exploration of Brisbane.
  • A vibrant mix of wildflowers dot the landscape in Western Australia in September.

Visiting Australia in October - December

In the north, the temperature and humidity starts to build, causing the odd thunderstorm. This can bring welcome rain, transforming Outback landscapes with wildflowers. Along the coast, high winds can affect access to the reef islands.

In the south, this is the start of spring. Terrific walking and wildlife-spotting opportunities open up in the national parks and coastal regions. As Christmas approaches, Christmas lights and trees appear in towns and cities under blue skies. The year culminates in New Year’s Eve celebrations with dazzling firework displays.

Visiting Australia in June - September

  • Hike along one of the well-marked trails in October before the summer crowds arrive in the Blue Mountains.
  • Explore in November and take in the food and wine festivals in and around the region of the Margaret River.
  • Dress up for the ‘race that stops the nation’ as Australians tune in for the Melbourne Cup horse race in early November.
  • Take your seat at one of the many outdoor cinema screenings held throughout the summer.
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