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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 barbecues. 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 of 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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Month-by-month guide to traveling in Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge at night

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.
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Australia Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Adelaide 82°F 1" 84°F 1" 79°F 1" 72°F 2" 66°F 3" 61°F 3" 59°F 3" 61°F 3" 64°F 2" 70°F 2" 75°F 1" 79°F 1"
Alice Springs 99°F 2" 97°F 1" 91°F 1" 82°F 1" 73°F 1" 68°F 1" 68°F 1" 73°F 0" 81°F 0" 88°F 1" 93°F 1" 97°F 1"
Brisbane 86°F 6" 84°F 7" 82°F 5" 81°F 4" 75°F 3" 70°F 3" 70°F 2" 72°F 2" 75°F 1" 79°F 4" 82°F 4" 84°F 5"
Cairns 90°F 19" 88°F 19" 88°F 19" 84°F 10" 82°F 5" 79°F 3" 77°F 2" 79°F 1" 82°F 2" 86°F 2" 88°F 5" 90°F 8"
Coober Pedy 97°F 1" 97°F 1" 91°F 0" 82°F 0" 72°F 1" 66°F 1" 66°F 0" 70°F 0" 77°F 0" 84°F 1" 90°F 1" 95°F 1"
Darwin 90°F 14" 90°F 13" 90°F 12" 91°F 3" 91°F 1" 88°F 0" 88°F 0" 90°F 0" 93°F 1" 95°F 3" 93°F 5" 91°F 10"
Hobart 72°F 2" 72°F 2" 68°F 2" 63°F 2" 59°F 2" 54°F 2" 54°F 2" 55°F 2" 59°F 2" 63°F 2" 66°F 2" 68°F 2"
Kangaroo Island 73°F 1" 73°F 1" 70°F 1" 66°F 2" 63°F 3" 59°F 4" 57°F 4" 57°F 4" 59°F 3" 64°F 2" 68°F 1" 70°F 1"
Melbourne 79°F 2" 79°F 2" 75°F 2" 68°F 2" 63°F 3" 57°F 2" 57°F 2" 59°F 2" 63°F 3" 68°F 3" 72°F 3" 75°F 2"
Perth 88°F 0" 88°F 1" 84°F 1" 77°F 2" 72°F 4" 66°F 7" 64°F 7" 64°F 4" 68°F 3" 72°F 2" 77°F 1" 82°F 0"
Port Douglas 88°F 17" 88°F 17" 88°F 17" 86°F 8" 82°F 3" 81°F 2" 79°F 1" 81°F 1" 84°F 1" 86°F 2" 88°F 4" 90°F 7"
Sydney 79°F 5" 79°F 6" 77°F 6" 73°F 4" 68°F 4" 63°F 6" 63°F 3" 64°F 4" 68°F 2" 73°F 4" 75°F 4" 79°F 3"
The Whitsunday Islands 88°F 13" 88°F 13" 86°F 9" 82°F 6" 79°F 4" 75°F 2" 75°F 1" 77°F 1" 81°F 1" 84°F 1" 86°F 3" 88°F 6"

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Australia

Janin exploring the Blue Mountains National Park

Australia is all about the outdoor lifestyle, and the warm sunny days of spring are perfect for dining outdoors, taking to the water and hiking along scenic coastal trails. If you’re visiting the north of the country, I’d recommend waiting until April or May, when there are far fewer visitors and you’ll have all the benefits of summer with a slightly cooler, drier climate.

Janin, Australia Specialist