Best Time to Visit Australia

 

What are the best times of the year to travel to Australia

 

Answering this question is not as simple as it may seem.

It significantly can be influenced by your interests, your budget and your preferences for what you believe is the ideal climate for you to travel to Australia. Being Australia travel agents helping people travel to Australia since 1999, we’ve gathered the most important factors to consider when deciding the best time to travel to Australia for your vacation. And if you need inspiration on what to ‘see and do’ for your trip to Australia, we also invite you to browse our popular Australia Vacation packages or contact us directly, we’d love to help you plan your trip. Here are the factors you should consider when you start planning your trip to Australia…

  1. Australia’s Weather & Climate
  2. Australian School Terms & Public Holidays
  3. Seasons for Flight Prices to Australia (low or high season)
  4. Seasonal Activities
  5. The Best Time to Travel to Australia

1. Australia’s Weather & Climate

When will the Australian climate be most comfortable for you based on your planned vacation activities? Here are some useful facts and resources on Australia’s climate Averages, rainfalls and water temperatures to help you decide.

Australian Seasons

  • Spring: September – November (lovely)
  • Summer: December – February (hot)
  • Autumn: March – May (lovely)
  • Winter: June – August (cool, but not really cold)

Australian Temperatures

As a starting point, its important to know that the size of Australia compared to the USA is only slightly smaller in land mass – so Australia is huge! So there are large differences in temperatures across Australia on any day. The further north you travel (closer to the equator) the hotter it gets, which is the opposite for the USA.

The coldest it gets in Australia’s most visited tourist destinations is around 32F (freezing) in places like Uluru or Canberra during winter nights in July/August. There are not many snowbound cities in Australia, but you might see snow in southern regions of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
 

Weather Averages: Lowest Temperatures (at night) for Popular Australian Tourist Destinations. Measured in Degrees Fahrenheit (F)

The hottest (dry heat) is about 100F at Uluru in the peak of summer in December/January. And with 100% humidity it can reach about 90F in Cairns and Darwin during those same months.
 

Weather Averages: Highest Temperatures for Popular Australian Tourist Destinations. Measured in Degrees Fahrenheit (F)

For more detailed climate averages for each city in Australia see Weather in Australia, or the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology: http://www.bom.gov.au/. Other useful statistical information on Australia can be found at the various Official Country and State Australia Tourism websites.

Rainfall (Tropics)

Wet Season: November – May (Most rainfall occurs in January, February & March.)

Dry Season: June – October

The “Tropics of Australia” is the region north of the “Tropic of Capricorn” (approximately the top third of Australia) and includes cities like Cairns & Darwin. Rainfall is an important consideration if you want to spend some of your vacation exploring the Outback at Kakadu National Park in Australia’s far north – the “wet season” is not the time to do it. However if Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef is more up your alley, then it won’t matter if you travel in the wet season – either way you’re going to get wet and have fun!
 

Rainfall Averages (inches) for popular Australian Tourist Destinations

Stinger Season:

November – May (wet season)

Little marine critters and jellyfish that sting are collectively known “Stingers”. They generally don’t affect the Great Barrier Reef. Stingers aren’t overly energetic animals and have not caused any problems around the reef and islands but occur mainly around the rivers, creeks and beaches north of, and around, Bundaberg. They are easy to avoid, but cause discomfort if you are stung. The more serious ones are ‘Box Jellyfish’ which have been known to be lethal. Stinger season is from typically November through May. If there are stingers present there will most likely be signs posted. At these locations you will need to swim inside the stinger enclosures provided or wear a stinger suit. A stinger suit is like a ‘sun suit’ – a long leg, long sleeve, one piece swimsuit typically made from lycra (or similar).

 

2. Australian School Terms & Public Holidays

During Australian Public & School Holidays seat availability on flights, tours and accommodation may be limited, unavailable or priced very high due to high demand. You may like to consider avoiding travel during Australia’s Public & School Holidays.

Australian School Terms & Holidays: https://www.australia.gov.au/school-term-dates

Australian Public Holidays: https://www.australia.gov.au/public-holidays

 

3. Seasons for Flight prices to Australia (low or high season)

Airfare pricing to Australia is significantly affected by the “Dates” you chose to travel ranging from Basic Season (cheap) to Peak (expensive).

Airline Seasonality:

Basic (Cheap): May – June and July – September

Shoulder: February – April, June – July and September to November

Peak (Expensive): December – January

Read our Airfare Pricing Tips and our Sale Airfares

 

4. Activities that are “seasonal”

Seasonality of activities that are your “passion”, or events that you want to attend, may mean that all the other factors above become irrelevant. For example, if you are a Diver, it may be a highlight of your trip to Dive with the Minke Whales which migrate to the Great Barrier Reef in June. Or maybe you want to attend the Australian Open (Tennis) which then restricts you to dates surrounding that event irrespective of all other factors. Nevertheless, if you are at least aware of all the other factors, it may help you during the planning process to decide whether to spend more time vacationing after the event instead of before.

 

5. The Best Time to Travel to Australia

For me, the best time to go to Australia is either Spring (September – November) or Autumn (March – May), not too hot nor too cold. This avoids the busy Summer Break (School Holidays) and the peak Christmas traffic (most expensive flight prices). If traveling up north to the tropics and with no other influencing factors, I’d choose to vacation in Spring, just before the wet season.

However, given I have family in South Australia, the deciding factor for me is to vacation around family events (birthday celebrations & Mothers Day) which are in Autumn.

We hope you’ve found this information useful. If you have any questions, need help or advice on planning your trip to Australia, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly, toll free on 888-359-2877 (M-F, 8.30am – 5pm CT USA) – we’d love to help you plan your vacation to Australia. Be on the lookout for our special sales on discount trips to Australia!

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