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The best time to visit Australia depends on the area you plan to see. A country of two climates, Australia’s northern half is driest and most accessible between April and September. Warm, sunny days show the national parks and beaches at their very best, providing opportunities for swimming and barbeques. The north is humid from October to March, with more rainfall, but this is offset by the active wildlife, and reinvigorated rainforests and wetlands.

In the southern half of Australia, the summer months (December to February) bring hot weather. Autumn (March to May) is also a lovely time, with numerous festivals and the busy grape harvest. Winter (June to August) is less busy and generally attracts a temperate climate that’s ideal for hiking, while spring (September to November) often sees more wildlife activity.

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Australia Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Adelaide 28°C 19mm 29°C 15mm 26°C 25mm 22°C 44mm 19°C 67mm 16°C 70mm 15°C 77mm 16°C 66mm 18°C 56mm 21°C 44mm 24°C 31mm 26°C 27mm
Alice Springs 37°C 39mm 36°C 38mm 33°C 37mm 28°C 17mm 23°C 22mm 20°C 16mm 20°C 17mm 23°C 10mm 27°C 9mm 31°C 22mm 34°C 25mm 36°C 37mm
Brisbane 30°C 160mm 29°C 167mm 28°C 135mm 27°C 91mm 24°C 83mm 21°C 68mm 21°C 63mm 22°C 41mm 24°C 34mm 26°C 89mm 28°C 104mm 29°C 128mm
Cairns 32°C 472mm 31°C 491mm 31°C 484mm 29°C 265mm 28°C 136mm 26°C 69mm 25°C 42mm 26°C 38mm 28°C 46mm 30°C 50mm 31°C 117mm 32°C 211mm
Coober Pedy 36°C 20mm 36°C 21mm 33°C 9mm 28°C 8mm 22°C 19mm 19°C 15mm 19°C 10mm 21°C 9mm 25°C 11mm 29°C 16mm 32°C 13mm 35°C 17mm
Darwin 32°C 365mm 32°C 335mm 32°C 299mm 33°C 76mm 33°C 20mm 31°C 2mm 31°C 1mm 32°C 3mm 34°C 15mm 35°C 65mm 34°C 117mm 33°C 245mm
Hobart 22°C 43mm 22°C 43mm 20°C 45mm 17°C 51mm 15°C 51mm 12°C 46mm 12°C 57mm 13°C 59mm 15°C 51mm 17°C 60mm 19°C 57mm 20°C 59mm
Kangaroo Island 23°C 17mm 23°C 21mm 21°C 28mm 19°C 50mm 17°C 80mm 15°C 94mm 14°C 107mm 14°C 90mm 15°C 65mm 18°C 48mm 20°C 29mm 21°C 24mm
Melbourne 26°C 46mm 26°C 45mm 24°C 45mm 20°C 56mm 17°C 70mm 14°C 48mm 14°C 54mm 15°C 61mm 17°C 64mm 20°C 73mm 22°C 64mm 24°C 61mm
Perth 31°C 8mm 31°C 15mm 29°C 15mm 25°C 44mm 22°C 110mm 19°C 174mm 18°C 169mm 18°C 114mm 20°C 71mm 22°C 50mm 25°C 23mm 28°C 10mm
Port Douglas 31°C 437mm 31°C 427mm 31°C 427mm 30°C 206mm 28°C 79mm 27°C 44mm 26°C 26mm 27°C 26mm 29°C 33mm 30°C 40mm 31°C 113mm 32°C 182mm
Sydney 26°C 127mm 26°C 146mm 25°C 154mm 23°C 113mm 20°C 111mm 17°C 150mm 17°C 75mm 18°C 93mm 20°C 61mm 23°C 92mm 24°C 102mm 26°C 84mm
The Whitsunday Islands 31°C 325mm 31°C 323mm 30°C 232mm 28°C 147mm 26°C 107mm 24°C 47mm 24°C 27mm 25°C 20mm 27°C 19mm 29°C 24mm 30°C 83mm 31°C 146mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in Australia

Green Turtle, Great Barrier Reef

Visiting Australia in January - March

Hot and humid conditions and storms bringing tropical rain bursts typify the start of the year in northern Australia. During these months northern Australia experiences its wet season, and can be difficult to get to.

In the south, the days are warm and sunny, and while there can be heavy rain showers, these pass quickly. This is the most popular period for Australians to take time off work, with Australia Day celebrated in January, frequent sports events and numerous festivals.

It can be busy across the southern part of the country and on its beaches. The Great Barrier Reef can be visited, but its weather is temperamental around this period. Ningaloo Reef can also be visited, but please be aware that it has extremely hot weather around this time.

Events & Festivals

  • In late January take in the firework displays and lively celebrations around Sydney Harbour, which mark Australia Day.
  • Take your seat at one of the many outdoor cinema screenings held throughout the summer.
Cape Tribulation

Visiting Australia in April - May

In the north, the temperatures are pleasant and the crowds of summer have started to disperse. Roads open up across the region, improving access to more remote locations.

With plenty of sunshine and much less rain than the summer months, April is one of our most recommended times to visit the south. In May, the south is still bright and sunny, but the temperatures begin to drop a little, triggering a notable change in the landscape as autumn hues appear.

Events & Festivals

  • Between April and June take a boat trip out to see or even swim with the whale sharks near the Ningaloo Reef. Read more
Wilpena pound, Flinders Ranges

Visiting Australia in June - September

Northern Australia’s 'dry season' (during the Australian winter) is a time of lovely sunny days and warm temperatures, well suited for exploring on land or underwater. The tidal currents around the Great Barrier Reef are gentler, creating good snorkeling conditions.

In the country’s southern regions the weather is more temperate, making for good hiking conditions, although it can be rainy in certain parts. This period is a quieter season in the south, and the comfortable temperatures make it an excellent time to explore some of the rural inland regions, such as the Flinders Ranges, that are best avoided during the very hot summer.

Events & Festivals

  • Take in the unusual Henley-on-Todd Regatta, held on the dry riverbed in Alice Springs in August. Read more
  • Between April and June take a boat trip out to see or even swim with the whale sharks near the Ningaloo Reef. Read more
  • The Brisbane Festival takes place for three weeks in September with a line-up of music, comedy and theatrical events. Read more
  • A vibrant mix of wildflowers dot the landscape in Western Australia in September.
Hanging Rock, Blue Mountains

Visiting Australia in October - December

In the north, the temperature and humidity starts to build, causing the odd thunderstorm. This can bring welcome rain, transforming Outback landscapes with wildflowers. Along the coast, high winds can affect access to the reef islands.

In the south, this is the start of spring. Terrific walking and wildlife-spotting opportunities open up in the national parks and coastal regions. As Christmas approaches, Christmas lights and trees appear in towns and cities under blue skies. The year culminates in New Year's Eve celebrations with dazzling firework displays.

Events & Festivals

  • Hike along one of the well-marked trails in the Blue Mountains in October before the summer crowds arrive. Read more
  • Explore the Margaret River region in November and take in its food and wine festivals. Read more
  • Dress up for the 'race that stops the nation' as Australians tune in for the Melbourne Cup horse race in early November.
  • Take your seat at one of the many outdoor cinema screenings held throughout the summer.

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