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  • Sydney
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Uluru, Red Centre, Northern Territory, Australia

Australia

A land of icons

When to visit Australia

Introduction

Australia's seasons are the opposite of those in the northern hemisphere. December to February is summer for much of the country, and the best time for beach or outdoor activities, but this is the wet season in the tropical north. It's also school holiday season, so expect to be joined by plenty of locals.

Winter – June to August – is mostly mild, but snowy in the southern mountains and dry and sunny in the northern states. As the low season elsewhere, winter is the best time to visit the Northern Territory, Queensland and the northern part of Western Australia. You'll also be happy to miss out on the Outback's soaring temperatures. 

  • At Uluru, don’t just plan around cooler days, as nights on the sand can dive toward frigid. August and September offer the best balance of temperatures for most desert sites
  • Diving enthusiasts will find the best visibility at the Great Barrier Reef during April and May
  • Summer is Tasmania’s unofficial ‘festival season’, with endless celebrations of music, food and even wooden boats

New South Wales: Sydney, the Hunter Valley & Blue Mountains

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Fine weather year-round makes New South Wales an excellent place to visit whatever the season. Autumn, from March to May, is a time of fine days and mild nights. Sydney averages a pleasant 25ºc during summer, from December to February, and though there’s a chance of rain between September and November, it usually clears quickly.

Daily max temp (Sep)
20.4℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
60mm

Queensland: Brisbane, Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

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Northern Queensland

It's wise to plan the time of your trip to Northern Queensland carefully. Between December and March, heavy rains lash the coast and many Outback roads are impassable. Another factor to consider are the marine stingers (box jellyfish), which inhabit the coast. Although they're present throughout the year, they are most prevalent around the islands and beaches between November and May. For the best weather, and to avoid the jellyfish, it's best to visit between June and September.

Southern Queensland

April to November is considered the best time to visit Southern Queensland. In the far south, April and May are particularly appealing, with warm sunny days, minimal rainfall and few crowds, although temperatures are slightly lower than in summer (September to April). The highest rainfall occurs between January and March, when downpours can be heavy and prolonged.

Daily max temp (Sep)
29.8℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
9mm

Northern Territory: The Red Centre & Top End

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Daily max temp (Sep)
27.2℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
9mm

Victoria: Melbourne & The Great Ocean Road

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Victoria is notorious for its ‘four seasons in one day’, when it can go from steaming hot to torrential rain and have you in a jumper before dinner is on the table. Having said that, summers are warm and generally dry, with temperatures in the mid-twenties along the coast between December and March, and sometimes later. Alpine areas are generally cooler, especially in winter, when skiing is possible at the state’s high-altitude winter resorts.

Daily max temp (Sep)
16.8℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
62mm

Western Australia: Perth, Margaret River & the Kimberley

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With two distinct seasons - dry and wet – choosing a time to visit Australia's northwest is relatively straightforward. In the dry season (May to October) the region experiences warm days, clear blue skies, little or no rainfall and temperatures between 20ºC and 30ºC. During the wet season (November – April) high levels of humidity bring short, heavy downpours. January to March is monsoon season, when heavy rain and cyclones can bring flooding to the region.

Daily max temp (Sep)
20℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
71mm

South Australia: Adelaide, Flinders Ranges & Kangaroo Island

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South Australia has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cool winters. It’s Australia’s driest state, a fact that is particularly noticeable as you move inland, where semi-desert extends for miles. Most of what little rain there is falls between March and August, though the cooler air at this time of year makes the desert extremes more manageable.

Daily max temp (Sep)
24.6℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
11mm

Tasmania: Hobart, Launceston & National Parks

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Unlike much of Australia, Tasmania has four distinct seasons.Summer (November to March) is the best time to travel, when pleasant dry days and temperatures in the mid-twenties are normal. Snow can be expected in winter (June to August), especially in the highlands. The north is generally warmer than the south and it gets drier as you move eastwards.

Daily max temp (Sep)
15℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
50mm

Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

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For almost guaranteed sunshine, head to the islands of the Great Barrier Reef between May and September, when the weather is warm, the skies are cloudless and the underwater visibility is at its best. In the north, the wet season runs from October to March, although the temperature throughout Queensland is warm year round.

Daily max temp (Sep)
28.1℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
45mm

Red Centre: Uluru, Kata Tjuta & Alice Springs

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The Red Centre’s semi-arid climate is one of extremes. In summer (December to February), temperatures range between 20ºC and 35ºC and flies are an almost constant nuisance. Spring and autumn are pleasant, while in winter (June to August), night time temperatures can sometimes fall below freezing. Rain, when it comes, arrives in heavy bursts, but you can expect dry conditions throughout most of the year. Wildflower season reaches its peak between September and October.

Daily max temp (Sep)
27℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
17mm

Top End: Darwin, Kakadu & the Kimberley

Average temperature (℃)
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The dry season, which runs from April to September is the most popular time for visiting the Top End, although you should be prepared for high daytime temperatures but far cooler nights. The wet season, which lasts from November to March but reaches its peak in January and February, can make travel tricky, especially on the mainly dirt roads that lead to the more remote regions of Kakadu, Litchfield and Arnhem land. After particularly heavy rains, some roads may be closed altogether.

Daily max temp (Sep)
33.3℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
18mm

Australia's East Coast: Sydney, Brisbane & Cairns

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Daily max temp (Sep)
24℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
34mm

Gold Coast

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Daily max temp (Sep)
13.7℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
94mm

Perth

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Perth experiences 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. What rain there is generally falls between May and September. Summers can be hot, with temperatures averaging 31ºC in February, although the sea breeze helps keep things bearable. Spring is the best time to visit the Southwest, when days are warm and the countryside is awash with wildflowers. To swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo, you’ll need to visit between April and July.

Daily max temp (Sep)
20℃

Monthly rainfall (Sep)
71mm

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