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When’s the best time to visit Australia? Here’s your season-by-season guide

Feb 20, 2024 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

The best time to visit Australia comes down to what type of weather you prefer and what you’d like to do when you get there. From inspiring wildlife and bustling cities to iconic natural attractions, this unique place offers a rich variety of adventures. Plus, given how big it is, you can experience almost any type of weather on one whirlwind tour. This all means that any time is a great time to visit—and we’ve got Australia tours designed to highlight the country’s diverse beauty year-round. Ready to take the trip of a lifetime? Read on for our season-by-season guide to the Land Down Under.

Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the U.S. and Canada

One of the most important things to know before you go to Australia is that it’s located in the Southern Hemisphere, meaning its seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. So, in June, July, and August—when most in the U.S. and Canada are dealing with summer heat—some Australians are celebrating ski season. Of course, the reverse is also true: If you love the idea of going to the beach in January, book one of our Australia tours during the North American winter, when summer is in full swing in the Land Down Under. What could be better than extending the season’s warm embrace with a wanderlust-worthy trip to the Southern Hemisphere?

Weather in Australia by month

When’s the best time to visit Australia? The answer is simple: Whenever you want. Its immense size creates numerous climate zones that interact with the seasons of the year. The weather you get won’t just depend on when you take one of our Australia tours—it’ll also depend on where you go.

  • May–August: The Australian Outback experiences very comfortable weather during its fall and winter, with sunny days and only some rainfall. However, if you go to the country’s alpine regions, you could be in for some world-class skiing. Want to spend July surrounded by snow? This is the best time of year for you to visit Australia.
  • December–February: These months make up the Australian summer, so prepare for some very hot, dry weather. Melbourne, in particular, is famous for its heat waves—which makes this the perfect time to take an Australia tour if you love the water.
  • March–May & September–November: Spring and fall are also enjoyable times to visit Australia. During these shoulder seasons, you can expect some of the mildest (and sunniest) days of the year.
  • Queensland’s seasons: The northern reaches of this Australian state have tropical and subtropical climates. This means that Queensland only has two seasons: a wet season from October to April, and a dry season from May to September.

Summer in Australia

Go for New Year celebrations and hot weather

Months to experience summer in Australia

December, January, and February

If cold weather isn’t for you, then you should escape the Northern Hemisphere’s winter chills on one of our Australia tours during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer. The hot weather from December–February makes it a particularly lively time, with plenty for both locals and visitors to enjoy.

What to do during the summer in Australia

Our Australia tours are built around educational, cultural adventures, but there’s also plenty of free time to pursue your personal interests—that’s why Australia is perfect for solo travelers. You can set off on our brand-new, 15-day Australia for Solo Travelers: Melbourne, Queensland Coast & Sydney tour and use your free time to explore the beaches of Queensland’s Townsville region. Or, try to score tickets to the Australian Open in Melbourne: This massive tennis tournament, the first of the fabled Grand Slam events, is usually held in late January.

Want to add a celebratory layer to your trip to Australia? Book our 22-day New Year’s Eve in Australia & New Zealand tour. This itinerary is jam-packed with inspiring experiences: You’ll tour the UNESCO-listed Sydney Opera House, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, and watch the sunset over Uluru, the breathtaking monolith that’s been worshipped by Aboriginal communities for 22,000 years. Then, revel in the unique perk of this Australia tour: the chance to celebrate the coming year in Sydney with your new travel buddies. There’s something magical about seeing fireworks over the sails of the Opera House; this grand celebration will show you why Australia is one of the best places to visit during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter.

Weather in Australia in December, January, and February

Average temperatures range from 68–99 F.

Soak up an Australian summer

Fall in Australia

Go for warm days in big cities and trips into wine country

Months to experience fall in Australia

March, April, and May

Fall might just be the best time of year to go to Australia: Most of the famous sights are less busy, prices for accommodations are lower, and the weather is still very good. Depending on where you go, taking an Australia tour during the Northern Hemisphere’s spring can also mean hot days and blue skies.

What to do during the fall in Australia

This is the best time to discover the country’s two biggest cities—Sydney and Melbourne—and discover which is better suited to your interests. With fewer visitors, these two metropolises become a lot easier to explore. In fact, if you love walking through big cities during the shoulder season, consider our 15-day Highlights of Australia & New Zealand tour, which will bring you to four different cities in the region. Of course, Sydney and Melbourne are included, but so are New Zealand’s Auckland and Queenstown. Sydney is full of urban delights, from top-rated restaurants and shopping to picture-perfect beaches and architecture. In Melbourne, spring for our excursion to Phillip Island, where you can watch the adorable penguin parade.

If you love wine, March and April are the best times of year to visit Australia because its vineyards are in their harvest season. Our 12-day Highlights of Australia: The Great Barrier Reef to Sydney tour offers multiple opportunities to venture into Australian wine country and experience the harvest yourself. Want to learn more about local winemaking? Do just that on our Yarra Valley Winery & Steamtrain excursion; for an even closer look, book our McLaren Vale Wine Tasting & Lunch excursion during your free day in Adelaide.

Weather in Australia in March, April, and May

Average temperatures range from 63–95 F.

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Winter in Australia

Go for once-in-a-lifetime adventures at the Great Barrier Reef

Months to experience winter in Australia

June, July, and August

When’s the best time to go to the Great Barrier Reef? During the Northern Hemisphere’s summer, or winter Down Under. The iconic reef system is located in the northernmost region of Queensland, which experiences its dry season from June–August. This is a particularly great time to go to the reef because the water will be clear—perfect for snorkeling. The favorable weather this time of year also means your chance of seeing marine life, like whales, during your Australia tour is higher.

What to do during the winter in Australia

If experiencing the Great Barrier Reef is on your bucket list (or, if you’re like us and you wrote snorkeling over the reef into your 2024 travel resolutions), join our 12-day Highlights of Australia: The Great Barrier Reef to Sydney tour, which includes three nights in the region. This gives you plenty of opportunities to learn about this special ecosystem, which encompasses more than just the reef itself. Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef is part of a larger national park? It’s one of the most unforgettable ones in the world; you can stand in awe of towering gorges, spot local wildlife (like wallabies, platypuses, and over 430 species of birds), and soak in the sounds of the rainforest.

An Australia tour just isn’t complete without visiting the Great Barrier Reef. While there are a number of reasons why North America’s summer is the best time to visit Australia, seeing the world’s largest reef system tops that list.

Weather in Australia in June, July, and August

Average temperatures range from 46–86 F.

Enjoy an Australian winter

Spring in Australia

Go for the Outback, wildlife, and festivals

Months to experience spring in Australia

September, October, and November

One highlight of most of our Australia tours is a trip to the Outback. And if visiting Uluru is important to you, then you’ll want to go during the traditional fall months—or spring in Australia. From September–November, the Outback typically enjoys the best weather for exploring. It’ll be warm-to-hot during the day and cool down significantly at night.

What to do during the spring in Australia

On our 22-day Australia & New Zealand tour, your Outback adventure will take you to the massive red rock of Uluru. One of the world’s most iconic natural attractions, it has played an important role in the culture of many Aboriginal communities for thousands of years. Then, see a collection of domed rock formations known as the Kata Tjuta, and prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime memory: watching the sun set behind Uluru.

In other parts of Australia, spring is a great time to see the country’s flora and fauna. This is when baby koalas and kangaroos typically leave their mothers’ pouches, and many cities bloom with flowers like tulips, paper daisies, cherry blossoms, and jacarandas.

If you like festivals, you’ll love springtime. In early November, there’s the weeklong extravaganza that is the Melbourne Cup Carnival, which lights up the city with parties and parades. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the annual Sculpture by the Sea installation in Sydney, which—for a couple of weeks in October and November—transforms the coastal walk between Bondi and Tamarama beaches into a sculpture park. Whether you’re on our 15-day Australia for Solo Travelers: Melbourne, Queensland Coast & Sydney tour or our 22-day Australia & New Zealand tour, there’ll be plenty of free time for you to seek out these exciting events.

Weather in Australia in September, October, and November

Average temperatures range from 63–95 F.

Experience spring in Australia

In short: Any time of year is the best time to visit Australia. Browse our tours of the country and start planning your own adventure Down Under!

About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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