How to enjoy an endless summer in Australia

Enjoy summer all year long with this handy where-to-go-when travel guide to Australia. How to enjoy an endless summer in Australia
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How to enjoy an endless summer in Australia

Enjoy summer all year long with this handy where-to-go-when travel guide to Australia.


By Lee Atkinson

Love being warm and spending long sunny days at the beach? Tired of waiting for winter to end? As the world’s only island continent, spanning five time zones and stretching from the southern latitudes almost to the equator, there’s always somewhere in Australia where the weather is perfect. When it’s cold down south, it’s warm up north, and vice versa. Plan your adventure and it’s easy to enjoy an endless summer.

January and February

The Australian Open,
Melbourne, Victoria

In Australia summer holidays are beach holidays, and with more than 50,000 kilometres (31,000 miles) of coastline to choose from there’s no shortage of places to go but in January and February, the best beaches for swimming are in the southern half of the country. Take a coastal road trip along the Great Ocean Road orLegendary Pacific Coast but book your accommodation ahead as this (particularly January) is a busy time when locals go for their summer holidays by the sea. There are lots of Australia Day parties and beach barbecues around the country on January 26. Find out what's happening so you can join in the celebrations. Other summer holiday highlights to plan your trip around include the free outdoor events during the Festival of Sydney in early to mid-January and the Australian Open of Surfing in Sydney's Manly Beach in late February. Down south in Victoria there is the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere in Geelong, the Festival of Sails, the Australian Open Grand Slam Tennis tournament in Melbourne during the last two weeks in January and White Night Melbourne in February when the city explodes with light installations and free events. 

March and April

Whale sharks, Ningaloo Reef,
Western Australia

Stretch out the summer fun in southwest Western Australia, where the weather is delightfully balmy and the water warm. If the idea of kicking back on some of the country’s prettiest beaches isn’t enough to tempt you, the 18-day Taste Great Southern food and wine festival surely will with its mix of feasting, wine, and music. Beach hop your way north along the Coral Coast to Exmouth to catch the beginning of whale shark season, which runs from mid-March through to September. Swimming with these gentle giants of the deep is an unforgettable experience.   

May and June

Staircase to the Moon,
Broome, Western Australia

May and June is the perfect time to visit the Kimberley because inaccessible areas open up after the wet season finishes. In the romantic town of Broome at this time of year you can see the spectacular Staircase to the Moon, a natural phenomena in which the rising moon reflects on Broome's tidal flats, resulting in what looks like a set of stairs leading to the moon. This sight is only visible for three nights a month between March and October. Swim beneath waterfalls and cruise through river gorges on a 4WD adventure along the Gibb River Road and join in the fun at the Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster in Kununurra, one of the outback’s biggest events with a stellar line-up of music, arts, food and wine events in mid-May. May and June is also the ideal time to head to the Red Centre, when nights can be cool but days are sunny and warm. There is plenty happening in and around Alice Springs including the famous Finke Desert Race, Australia’s biggest and fastest desert race for motorbikes, cars, buggies and quad bikes and the quirky beanie festival in late June, a fun-filled community festival of wearable art. 

July and August

Garma, Arnhem Land,
Northern Territory

While the southern states enjoy the cooler weather of winter, it’s festival time in the Northern Territory, where it always feels like summer but at this time of year rarely rains. Don’t miss the hilarious Darwin Lions' Beer Can Regatta where locals take to the water in rafts built from beer cans in mid July. By the end of August wildlife is massing at the billabongs and waterholes of Kakadu as the water drys up. It’s also burning off season when the area's traditional Aboriginal owners burn the grasslands to reduce the danger of uncontrolled bushfires, and all that smoke produces some truly awesome sunsets. Another reason to head to the Top End in August is Garma, one of the country’s biggest and best indigenous festivals, held in near Nhulunbuy in northeast Arnhem Land. 

September and October

Daintree Rainforest and
Cape Tribulation, Cairns,
Queensland

The wet season rains aren’t due for another month or two so this is a great time to head to Tropical North Queensland. This is where you'll find gorgeous towns such as Port DouglasCairns and Palm Cove, with luxury accommodation and easy access to both the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest – and it’s one of the best times of the year to catch Australia’s favourite fish, barramundi, before the fishing season closes on 1 November. Think you're a good dancer? Catch the ultimate dance party in the Torres Strait during the biennial Cultural Festival in September on Thursday Island – on alternate years there’s a music festival.  

November and December

Mon Repos, Bundaberg,
Queensland

Australia's east coast is a great place to be during November and December. Turtles are nesting on beaches in places such as Mon Repos in Bundaberg, the water is perfect for swimming and, as most locals don’t take their holidays until late December, you can often get a good deal on beachfront accommodation along the coastlines of New South Wales (in places such as Sydney and Byron Bay) and Queensland (the Gold CoastBrisbane, theSunshine Coast and Whitsunday islands). November is also when Australia's jacaranda trees begin producing their distinctively bright flowers, carpeting entire parks, gardens and streets with purple blossoms. You can experience this photogenic phenomenon at the annual Jacaranda Festival, held in the New South Wales town of Grafton, a regional town of colonial buildings set on a riverfront. 

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