Warm sunny days and cool nights make spring a fantastic time to visit some of Australia’s favourite destinations.
By Allie Metz
Spring in most parts of Australia is from September to November. For the Northern Territory, September and October fall within the ‘dry season’, while November marks the start of the ‘wet season’, so if you’re heading for Darwin or Kakadu, aim for early spring.
Travelling to Australia during shoulder season (spring and autumn) is generally cheaper and less crowded, making it a great time to explore the country. Watch out for the school break period (late September to mid October for most states) as this is also when local families will head on their vacations. Learn more about where to visit and great things to do across the country in springtime.
Canberra blooms to life in spring
In September and October Australia’s capital city is blanketed in over one million blooms. The largest flower festival in the Southern Hemisphere, Floriade includes an exciting program of horticulture workshops, music and entertainment. Night owls will also love Floriade NightFest, with illuminated flowerbeds and entertainment. Known as one of the best places to go hot air ballooning in the world, soar above the city as the sun rises on a crisp spring morning before spending the afternoon visiting the city’s museums. If the sun is shining, pack a picnic, rent a GoBoat and cruise Lake Burley Griffin. Spring is also the perfect time to head to the countryside to visit the many local wineries and indulge in a long lunch at a scenic vineyard.
Explore a beachside sculpture park in Sydney
Sydney in spring is absolutely spectacular. Not only does the harbour glisten, the sun glint off the Opera House, and the surf roll hypnotically onto the endless string of beaches, but the city is blanketed in vibrant purple jacaranda blossoms. Stroll through suburbs such as Lavender Bay, Mosman, Cremorne, Camperdown or Paddington to spot them. The rural town of Grafton has a festival dedicated to jacarandas. While you’re out, don’t miss a scenic walk from Bondi to Tamarama to see the landscape transformed into a stunning temporary sculpture park for Sculpture by the Sea, starting in October. It’s also Sydney’s spring racing carnival and you can join the fun at Randwick Racecourse.
Discover Western Australia's wildflower trail
Whatever picture of Australia you have in your head – whether it’s red desert or rolling surf – prepare to be surprised. In spring, many parts of the country are transformed by wildflower blooms, and none more spectacularly than Western Australia. Visit Perth’s Kings Park or head out on a road trip up the Coral Coast or down through the south west corner of the state to frolic through carpets of colourful orchids, daisies and desert peas. If you’re after a foodie adventure, escape to Margaret River for the Western Australia Gourmet Escape or head to the Swan Valley for a day of wine tasting.
Sip wine and soak in hot springs near Melbourne
In Melbourne, springtime is when the city comes to life. Sports enthusiasts can get a taste of footy fever at the Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Finals or join the whole city in celebration for the Melbourne Cup - which offers a week-long series of events leading up to the ‘race that stops a nation’. Soak up the springtime sun on one of Melbourne’s rooftop bars. If escaping the city sounds nice, head to the Yarra Valley for wine tasting or spend a few days hiking in the Grampians or exploring the Great Ocean Road, where wildflowers are prevalent. The Mornington Peninsula is the perfect spot to walk along the beach or visit wineries on a sunny spring afternoon before relaxing in heated thermal pools at Peninsula Hot Springs as the temperature cools in the evening.
Hike, raft or cruise through Tasmania
Spring in Tasmania can bring hints of summer just as easily as reminders of winter, so be sure to pack accordingly. It can be a great time to head out on one of the area’s beautiful multi-day hikes - take the Three Capes Track to walk through coastal heath in flower and spot migrating whales out at sea. If you’re here during the spring equinox, be sure to head outside of the city for a chance to see the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) light up the night sky. For a bit of adventure, head to the Franklin River for the start of rafting season or take a boat cruise to Bruny Island for some wildlife spotting.
Island hop around the Great Barrier Reef
Cairns and The Whitsundays are spectacular throughout the year; however, the benefits of visiting in spring include avoiding stinger season (November – May) and enjoying mild temperatures (26 degrees Celsius/79 degrees Fahrenheit) and low rainfall. Unwind and relax in luxury on Hayman Island or head north of Cairns to the Daintree Rainforest for adventure. Explore an ancient landscape through Aboriginal eyes with Walkabout Cultural Adventures, spot crocodiles on a river cruise or zip line through the forest canopy.
See the towering domes of Uluru and Kata Tjuta in the Red Centre
This awe-inspiring desert landscape is best explored in spring when the native flora is at its most impressive. Temperatures hover around 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit), but nights get cool so pack layers. It’s an ideal time to visit Alice Springs and the remarkable Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Stop near Alice Springs at the Kangaroo Sanctuary to meet and cuddle orphan baby kangaroos, take a scenic helicopter flight over the towering domes of Uluru and Kata Tjuta and enjoy dinner under an impressive star-filled sky at Sounds of Silence.
Swim, surf or spot wildlife around Brisbane
Like most of the east coast, Brisbane has mild temperatures and low rainfall in spring, making it a great time to find a rooftop bar and soak it all in. If you’re still craving beach vibes, head north to the Sunshine Coast or south to the Gold Coast for great food, surf and wildlife experiences. Australia has the longest whale watching season in the world, and Hervey Bay (a 3.5-hour drive north of Brisbane) is one of the most well-known spots in the country for spotting migrating humpbacks, blue and southern right whales. Spring is the tail end of the season, so go early if you can.
Discover culinary secrets near Adelaide
Adelaide is known as a festival city, so it's easy to find a party here and in the surrounding wine regions. Just a two-hour drive north of Adelaide, the Clare Valley has endless rolling hills of canola that burst into blooms of gold in spring, making for the perfect Instagram backdrop. While you’re in the area, drop into one of the 30 wineries to taste outstanding riesling. On Kangaroo Island you'll find incredible wildlife encounters as well as fresh, locally grown produce to sample your way through. Taste spring honey produced from the purest strain of Ligurian bees and blend your own gin at Kangaroo Island Spirits.
Go waterhole hopping around Darwin
The spring season in the south of Australia coincides with the end of the north’s dry season. September and October are still good times (if on the hot side) to visit Darwin, Kakadu and Katherine, but towards November you may find more rain. It’s the best time for birdwatching in Kakadu and a great time to visit Ubirr to view ancient Aboriginal rock art galleries. Scare yourself silly at Crocosaurus Cove or head out on an outback road trip to swim in Katherine’s waterholes and thermal springs or cool off under cascading waterfalls.