When is the Best Time to Visit Australia?

Discover the best time to go to Australia to soak up its culture, pristine nature, first-class vineyards, and laid-back surf spots.

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Best time to visit

People always ask us when is the best time to visit Australia. The truth is, there is no bad time to go, but depending on what you wish to see, certain months are better than others. Typically, Australia’s summer is the most popular time to travel, which peaks over the Christmas period in December and January. This is especially true for Tasmania, Queensland, and New South Wales. However, the Northern Territory is best between May and October when it is notably drier and brighter, while South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia are beautiful in spring (September – November) and autumn (March – May) and less crowded.

Monthly Climate Guide for Australia

, Australia

Average temperatures (Celsius) and rainfall (mm)

Jan
40°C 11mm
Feb
36°C 12mm
Mar
34°C 15mm
Apr
30°C 17mm
May
26°C 6mm
Jun
22°C 15mm
Jul
23°C 8mm
Aug
25°C 8mm
Sep
31°C 9mm
Oct
34°C 8mm
Nov
36°C 9mm
Dec
37°C 8mm
Jan
30°C 21mm
Feb
29°C 29mm
Mar
30°C 17mm
Apr
30°C 11mm
May
30°C 4mm
Jun
30°C 3mm
Jul
29°C 1mm
Aug
29°C 1mm
Sep
29°C 1mm
Oct
30°C 2mm
Nov
31°C 6mm
Dec
30°C 17mm
Jan
35°C 15mm
Feb
35°C 12mm
Mar
33°C 11mm
Apr
32°C 8mm
May
30°C 6mm
Jun
28°C 4mm
Jul
28°C 3mm
Aug
30°C 1mm
Sep
31°C 1mm
Oct
31°C 3mm
Nov
34°C 4mm
Dec
35°C 8mm
Jan
40°C 3mm
Feb
38°C 3mm
Mar
34°C 4mm
Apr
31°C 7mm
May
24°C 10mm
Jun
19°C 9mm
Jul
19°C 13mm
Aug
23°C 9mm
Sep
28°C 11mm
Oct
32°C 5mm
Nov
36°C 4mm
Dec
38°C 3mm
Jan
40°C 7mm
Feb
34°C 4mm
Mar
33°C 5mm
Apr
29°C 7mm
May
23°C 8mm
Jun
18°C 8mm
Jul
18°C 9mm
Aug
20°C 12mm
Sep
25°C 13mm
Oct
30°C 8mm
Nov
34°C 7mm
Dec
38°C 8mm
Jan
40°C 7mm
Feb
34°C 4mm
Mar
33°C 5mm
Apr
29°C 7mm
May
23°C 8mm
Jun
18°C 8mm
Jul
18°C 9mm
Aug
20°C 12mm
Sep
25°C 13mm
Oct
30°C 8mm
Nov
34°C 7mm
Dec
38°C 8mm
Jan
41°C 4mm
Feb
39°C 3mm
Mar
37°C 6mm
Apr
33°C 6mm
May
28°C 9mm
Jun
24°C 13mm
Jul
22°C 21mm
Aug
26°C 18mm
Sep
28°C 11mm
Oct
32°C 6mm
Nov
36°C 4mm
Dec
39°C 3mm

The climate in Australia varies due to its vast size and diverse landscape. In the north, expect a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. During the dry season (May to October), temperatures are high (30°C) and rainfall minimal, while the wet season (November to April) brings heavy rainfall and high humidity.

The south, including states like Victoria and New South Wales, has a milder climate with four distinct seasons, giving you more flexibility when choosing the best time to visit Australia. Summer (December to February) brings hot temperatures, which can reach up to 40°C, while winter (June to August) sees cooler weather and some rainfall. The in-between seasons are warm and generally dry too. As you go further north, on the east and west coast, you’ll find a more tropical climate, while the southern parts have weather like the Mediterranean; hot summers (30°C-40°C) and cooler winters, with some rain.

The hottest months in Australia are usually between December and February when temperatures peak at about 40°C.

Seasonal Guide for Visiting Australia

The summer months of December to February bring hot weather to the southern half of Australia. However, our favourite seasons to visit this part of the country are autumn and spring when it’s typically less busy and offers a more temperate climate. For animal fanatics, we’d recommend travelling Down Under between September and November, as the wildlife is more active; whereas March to May is when wineries are busy grape harvesting.

Best Times to Go to Australia for…

Wildlife Spotting

No matter which season you visit Australia, you’ll always be able to see koalas, kangaroos, and colourful birds. But particular animals are more abundant at certain times of the year. Known as Australia's Galápagos, Kangaroo Island is teeming with diverse wildlife, including kangaroos (surprisingly!) wallabies, koalas, echidnas, seals, and sea lions, which you can see all year round. November to March is the driest weather for viewing the animals, while they are thought to be most playful and active in September and October. In winter, the joeys emerge from their mother's pouches to explore, and Southern Right whales visit the waters around the island.

Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia is home to whale sharks and manta rays between March and August each year. Between March and May is the best time to visit Australia to swim with the incredible animals, when the water is warm and the area hasn’t reached its peak tourist season in July, with the school holidays bringing big crowds. For whale watching on the east coast of Australia, you’re most likely to get land-based sightings in:

  • Sydney, New South Wales: May to November
  • Great Ocean Road, Victoria: May to September
  • Hervey Bay, Queensland: July to November

Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is home to a dazzling array of marine life, offering unparalleled snorkelling and diving experiences. Spot vibrant corals, tropical fish, sea turtles, and reef sharks in this UNESCO World Heritage Site between June and October (the dry season in Australia’s north), when the water is warm and clear. Back on land, this is also the best time of year to visit Daintree Rainforest one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Amongst its lush canopy, you’ll spot cassowaries, tree kangaroos, crocodiles, and a myriad of bird species.

Adventure Activities

Australia is made for outdoor living and has a myriad of adventure activities up its sleeve. Surfing is a number one sport for the locals, and wave hunters will find the weather in Australia between December and February the best for surfing on the east coast, in places such as Byron Bay and the Gold Coast. This is when offshore winds ensure consistent swell. In Western Australia, particularly the southwest region, prime surfing conditions are during the Australian winter months from June to August when powerful waves hit the coast.

On land, Australia boasts lots of stunning locations for hiking and bushwalking. From the rugged terrain of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales to the ancient landscapes of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, there are trails to suit every level. You can make the most of Australia’s photogenic scenery any time of year, but the cooler weather in autumn and spring makes it more comfortable.

Queensland offers up lots of options for thrill-seekers, from crags for rock-climbing around Brisbane, which are best tackled between May and August, when the heat isn’t too intense, to white water rafting, which operates all year round.

Off-Peak Travel

Australia sees its highest influx of travellers between December and February, particularly over the Christmas and New Year period, as well as during Easter (either March or April). As this is considered the best time to travel to Australia by many, it is when flights and accommodation will be at their most expensive and the beaches busiest.

However, travelling during the off-peak season, which includes autumn, March to May (avoiding Easter), and spring, September to November, as well as the winter months, June to August, means tourist attractions are less crowded, accommodation is easier to find, and flights are generally cheaper. Weather in Australia outside of its summer months is also milder, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities and exploration, plus, with fewer crowds there are greater opportunities for discovering hidden gems and deep diving into local culture.

Meet Our Australia Experts

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Best Time to Visit Australia FAQs

  • How many days are enough for Australia?

    Nine nights is the absolute minimum we would suggest travelling to Australia for. With long, in-direct flights, and jet lag to contend with, you need 10-14 days to enjoy a relaxing holiday.

  • When is the best time to visit Australia’s West Coast?

    The best time to visit Australia's west coast, particularly destinations like Perth, Margaret River, and Ningaloo Reef, is during the Australian spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May). During these months, the weather is generally warm and sunny, plus, the landscape is either in full bloom in spring, or a stunning display of autumn colours. Spring is a fantastic time to swim with whale sharks too, while autumn is lovely for wine tasting in Margaret River.

  • When is the best time to visit Australia’s East Coast?

    The best time to visit Australia's east coast, for beach life is from December to February. Hot weather is perfect for swimming, surfing and sunbathing, however, this is also the peak tourist season. To avoid the crowds, the best time to travel to Australia is between March and May or September and November when temperatures are between 20˚ C and 30˚ C. For those interested in whale watching, humpback whales migrate along the east coast from May to November, with peak sightings typically occurring from June to October.

  • What is the best time of year to go to Australia and New Zealand?

    The best time to travel to Australia and New Zealand will depend on what you’d like to do while there. The winter months – June to August – are best for skiing and snowboarding. Autumn and spring are best for hiking, wine tasting and taking in the culture without large crowds. Meanwhile, summer is best for beach life and surfing, as this is the hottest time of year.

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