When is the Best Time of Year to visit Australia? – There is not a Short Answer.

The sheer size of Australia means there is a wide variation in climate. These range from a ‘wet’ and a ‘dry’ season in the tropical north, an area that is also prone to cyclones to the outback ‘the Red Centre’ that experiences blistering temperatures with severe droughts.  At the same time down south in Tasmania, an icy breeze from the Antarctica can prevail – So planning your holiday is essential.

When the ski season kicks off in the Northern Hemisphere, Australia starts to bask in the Southern Hemisphere's summer. Midwinter in Australia is July and August, and the hottest months by far are November through March. But remember, unlike in the northern hemisphere, the further south you go in Australia, the colder it gets… When is the Best Time of Year to visit Australia?

The best time to visit the great northern states of the country, including nearly all of the outback and the Great Barrier Reef is in winter (June to September). Temperatures range from 70 °F (21°C) and 80 °F (26°C) typically clear and dry. This would include the cities of Alice Springs, Cairns and Darwin.

Summer

Weather wise, the best time to visit Tasmania located in the extreme south is the summer (December to February). During these months most of the rest of the country is hot to very hot. The outback is baking and the North is experiencing tropical rain and is unpleasantly sticky and humid. The southeastern cities of Sydney and Melbourne typically enjoy nice hot summer but be-warned it can get very hot in those places on the odd occasion. Late spring - (November to early December) and early autumn (March to April) are probably the best times to visit Melbourne and Sydney.

Winter

Winters (June to August) are relatively mild in Australia by North American standards. Sydney often sees 70 °F (21°C) weather in July and August, but it does get chilly during the evening. Melbourne is a lot cooler and a bit dreary at that time of year. Snow occurs only in the mountains of the South East and is never seen in the major cities, except for Canberra and very occasionally Hobart.  

Brisbane and the Gold Coast in Queensland enjoy the best year round climate, though summers are hot.

Crowds

As far as large crowds go, try and avoid is the summer/Christmas holidays December through January. There are minor school holidays at other times (mid July), but these are not too much of an issue.

So When is the Best Time of Year to visit Australia? ....

It really depends on where you plan to go. If you stick to the South East (Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide) go in late spring or early autumn. If you want to head north or get into the outback, then it's certainly June to September. For the country as a whole, then you need to compromise - April/May or October/November. 

For a selection of great itineraries or to talk to an Australian Travel Specialist visit First Light Travel Australia.

Tags
Before Leaving Home
Nature
Australia
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey
: 28 Nov 2012 (Last updated: 12 Sep 2019)

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