Wildflowers, near Hamelin Pool, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia
When is the best time to visit Australia?
Whether you’re planning your Australian holiday around the weather, or want to travel when things are most affordable, here’s the rundown on the best times to visit Australia.
Australia is home to tropical, subtropical, desert and temperate climates – we’ve got dewy rainforests, sandy plains, snowy alps and sunny beaches. Temperature and climate are important considerations when planning your trip or packing your bags (we’re the land Down Under, so our seasons are the opposite to the Northern Hemisphere). But don’t forget to consider peak seasons, spectacular wildlife events and exciting festivals that could influence your decisions on when to visit Australia.
Get to know Australia’s seasons
Summer - December through February
In summer, the average daily temperatures range from about 20°C to 37°C (68°F to 99°F) in the major capital cities.
Autumn - March through May
Things start to cool down slightly in autumn, with temperature averages slipping to between 17°C and 35°C (63°F and 95°F).
Winter - June through August
The winter months see average temperatures that range from 11°C (52°F) in the south to 30°C (86°F) in the north.
Spring - September through November
Spring boasts average daily temperatures from 17°C and 35°C (63°F and 95°F), from the south to the north, respectively.
Seasons in the tropics
The northern sub-tropical and tropical regions experience two seasons: wet and dry. The wet season, or tropical summer, is between October and April, where you'll experience a mix of sun and rain – making for epic waterfalls – and prices are more affordable. May to September is host to the dry season, with plenty of sunshine and an average maximum temperature around 35°C (95°F).
Australian Travel Seasons
Like every country, Australia is bustling at certain times of the year, quiet at others, and builds momentum in between. The peak times generally revolve around weather, school holidays, public holidays and major events. Rest assured, Australia is an amazing place to visit any time of year – whether you’re after frosty fun and a Tasmanian winter or sunny safaris and a tropical Northern Territory summer.
Low season (June-August)
Winters in Australia are cool and cloudy, but there’s still plenty of sunshine to enjoy as well. The good thing about travelling during this period is that there are fewer tourists, cheaper flights and you can get great deals on accommodation. This period is peak season in Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region, with an abundance of sunshine and moderate temperatures to enjoy.
Must do winter experiences
When the weather turns cold, there’s no better time to enjoy a wine and admire Australia’s beautiful vineyards. With over 60 designated wine regions across the country, there’s no shortage of gorgeous Australian wine to sip on during the winter months.
Shoulder seasons (March-May and September-November)
Spring and autumn are among the best times to travel the entire country. International flights to Australia are more affordable than in summer; the weather is warming up (or cooling down from summer highs); and the north, from Broome to Cairns, experiences the dry season, offering perfect travel conditions.
Must do spring experiences
Spring is wildflower season. Blooms decorate the fields and gardens as flower festivals are held nationwide. It is also a great time to spot wildlife as babies begin to emerge from the pouch and explore the world on their own.
Must do autumn experiences
Visitors between April and May can’t miss the rich red outback of the Red Centre. These months mark the start of the dry season when the days are sunny and the nights are warm.
High season (December-February)
The sun is shining, the temperatures soar and the beaches are dazzling (except in the northern regions, where it's wet season). However, summer is the most expensive time to travel in Australia, with high demand increasing the price of flights and accommodation. The popularity means that it’s important to make bookings well in advance and stay organised, so you won’t miss out. (Hint: Consider February, after kids are back in school.)
Must do summer experiences:
In Australia, you’re never too far away from some of the best beaches in the world. Whether you’re a surfer, snorkeller or a swimmer, you can't miss out on a summer’s day at the beach.