Best places to visit in Australia in February
Five Australian destinations to end summer on a high.
February is the last month of the Australian summer, so get ready to soak up the sunshine and make the most of the warmer waters. Whether it’s watching tiny turtles hatch on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, exploring the cool-climate wineries and epic beaches of Denmark, spending lazy days on the beaches of Esperance, or island hopping along the Whitsundays, there are so many ways you can enjoy the last days of summer in Australia.
Southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Where: 4.5-hour drive from Brisbane to Mon Repos
Weather in February: 23 - 31°C (73.4 - 87.8°F)
Highlights: One of the most incredible wildlife events in Australia is the turtle hatching season (from January to March) in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region of Queensland. During summer, the female green and loggerhead turtles head to Mon Repos beach in Bundaberg to lay their eggs, and from January onwards you can witness the tiny hatchlings race to the water. If you can’t make it for hatching season, you can also swim with the sea turtles off Lady Elliot Island and Lady Musgrave Island all year round.
Snowy Mountains, New South Wales
Where: 2.5-hour drive from Canberra
Weather in February: 5 - 14°C (41 - 57.2°F)
Highlights: Although well-known for the popular ski slopes in winter, February is actually a great time to visit the Snowy Mountains due to the refreshing cooler climate. It’s the ideal time to pull on your hiking boots and climb Mount Kosciuszko (mainland Australia's highest mountain), enjoy trail riding on horseback through high country, or go mountain biking along stunning alpine forest trails.
Denmark, Western Australia
Where: 4.5-hour drive from Perth
Weather in February: 13 - 25°C (55.4 - 77°F)
Highlights: Spend your mornings enjoying the summer sun at one of the amazing white sandy beaches that surround Denmark, including Elephant Cove, Lights Beach, Greens Pool, and Ocean Beach. In the afternoon, once the sea breeze hits, spend some time meandering the 34-kilometre (21-mile) Scotsdale Scenic Drive, and pop into one of the many wineries along the way. After that, all that’s left is to decide which amazing restaurant you’ll choose for dinner.
Airlie Beach, Queensland
Where: 3-hour drive from Townsville or 1.5-hour flight from Brisbane
Weather in February: 23 - 31 °C (73.4 - 87.8°F)
Highlights: Airlie Beach is a coastal town that acts as the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy summer days exploring the beaches, and dining at the many alfresco restaurants that the town has to offer. While you’re there, spend a couple of days island-hopping around the Whitsundays where you can swim, snorkel, scuba dive, and even learn to sail.
Esperance, Western Australia
Where: 7.5-hour drive or about a 1.5-hour flight from Perth
Weather in February: 16 - 26 °C (60.8 - 78.8°F)
Highlights: Esperance is a remote seaside town with a truly astonishing coastline. The turquoise waters lapping beaches like Blue Haven Beach and Twilight Cove are perfect for swimming and snorkelling, while surfers can ride consistent waves at a variety of beaches along the coast; West Beach and Chapmans Point to name a couple. Esperance is also the closest town to Lucky Bay, where kangaroos can be found lazing on the paper-white sand. What better way to spend the last month of summer than sunbaking with 'roos on the beach?