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Australia The best time to travel Australia: An overview per region

The best time to travel Australia: An overview per region

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This post is also available in: Nederlands

Australia is such a big country that it has many different climates in different parts of the country. This blog post will give you an overview of the climates per region and the best time to travel these Australian regions.

Are you planning on going to Australia for a year or longer? Check out the part further down in this blog post on how you can travel around Australia, while only having summertime. 365 days of summer, who doesn’t want that!?

The best time to travel Australia: An overview per region

General information about the Australian seasons

Australia is situated in the Southern part of the hemisphere and that for a lot of things are the other way around compared to the rest of the world. People drive on the left side of the road and the sun travels from the East via the North to the West. Some even claim that the water flows in the opposite direction through the drain!

The seasons are also opposite to most other countries. Australian wintertime is during the European summertime and the other way around.

Weather seasons

Australia knows a lot of different climates. The tropical climates only know two seasons: a wet season and a dry season. Other seasons know them all: winter, summer, autumn, and spring.

In general, we can say the weather seasons are as follows:

  • Winter: From June until August
  • Spring: From September until November
  • Summer: From December until February
  • Autumn: From March until May

Tourist seasons

3 tourist seasons are distinguished:

  • High season: This season runs from December until February, during the Australian summer. Schools are closed and a lot of Australians have holidays. Everywhere around Australia, it is busier and the prices are going up.
  • Low season: This season runs from June until August, during the Australian winter. There is only sunshine in the Northern part of Australia, which is the reason a lot of retired Australians travel to the North. If you like skiing, this is the time of the year it is possible! There are some ski slopes in the Southern part of Australia as well as in Tasmania.
    Generally said this season is the least busy period in Australia and the prices are lowest.
  • Midseason: This season falls between high season and low season and runs from March until May and from September until November. The weather is pleasant in most parts of Australia and the prices are good.
Rodeo Australia

Festival season

Festival season is on during the Australian summer, from December until February. Music festivals on the beach, rodeo’s in the outback and many more festivals take place around Australia.

Public holidays

During public holidays most shops and businesses are closed. You might find a local market or a celebration in town.

Australia celebrates a couple of national holidays (besides Eastern, Christmas and New Years Eve):

  • Australia day: 26th of January
  • ANZAC day: 25th of April
  • Queens Birthday: Most of the states celebrate it on the 2nd Monday in September. In Queensland, it is celebrated on the 1st Monday in October. In Western Australia, there are no fast rules when the celebration takes place. But mostly somewhere between the last Monday in Septembre and the first Monday in October.

Best travel time Northern Australia

The Northern part of Australia runs from Broome (North-West), up to Townsville (North-East). In between, you’ll find places like the Kimberley, Darwin, Arnhemland, Cape York and Cairns.

There is a tropical climate in this area, which only knows two seasons:

  • Wet season: November until April, which is called the tropical summer
  • Dry season: May until October, which is called the tropical winter

Wet season

Like the name indicates, during the wet season there falls a lot of rain. Mainly rain showers that last a couple of hours and bring a lot of water. The day temperature is hot and can raise over 40ºC. The nights are warm as well, but the temperature will drop until a more comfortable 20ºC.

NOTE: During the wet season, it is no exception that roads are closed due to floodings. If you want to explore the Northern part of Australia during this season, make sure you have a 4WD.

Best travel time Australia - wet season

Wet season Australia

Dry season

During the dry season, you are lucky if you’ll have some rain. Normally there isn’t any rain at all, except for a little lost rain shower. The day temperatures are more comfortable and vary between 20ºC to 30ºC. During the night it cools off and you can expect temperatures below 10ºC.

Best travel time

The best travel time for the Northern part of Australia is from April until October. The temperatures are more comfortable and you don’t have to plan your explorations around the rain showers. The beginning of the dry season is the most beautiful time, as nature has had lots of water and everything is in bloom. Later on, in the season nature gets dry and more yellowish.

Average day temperatures and rainfall in the Northern part of Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time
Average day temperatures and rainfall in the Northern part of Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time

Best travel time Northern part of east coast Australia

The Northern part of the East-Coast of Australia runs from Townsville to Hervey Bay. In between, you’ll find the places Airlie Beach, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg.

There is a temperate climate in this part of Australia, which we can distinguish in two seasons:

  • Winter: This season runs from April until September
  • Summer: This season runs from October until March

NOTE: Below descriptions of the winter and summer climates apply in particular for the coastal areas. If you plan on going more inland, expect a bit warmer days and a bit cooler nights. During wintertime, freezing cold nights aren’t an exception for inland destinations.

Palm trees Australia

Best travel time Australia

Winter

Queensland is called the Sunshines state, and that is because the sun shines all year round. Although the sun will be shining, winter can bring some colder days, but the average day temperature will fluctuate between 15ºC to 30ºC. During the night it cools down until about 5ºC to 10ºC.

Clouds will form often during the afternoon and give some showers in the evening. This rain makes waterfalls flow and gives nature some color.

Summer

In summer the average temperature during the day will be between 20ºC and 35ºC. The nights are warmer, but there is still a chance to have some colder nights during this time of the year.

Best travel time

The best travel time for the Northern part of the east coast of Australia is from June until November. Winter is a beautiful time of the year to explore this part of Australia, as the waterfalls will be flowing and nature looks stunning. Just prepare yourself for the colder nights and a couple of cool days you might come across.

Average day temperatures and rainfall in the Northern part of the east coast of Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time
Average day temperatures and rainfall in the Northern part of the east coast of Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time

Best travel time Southern part of east coast Australia

Australia

The Southern part of the east coast of Australia runs from Hervey Bay to Sydney. In between, you pass places like Brisbane, Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour and New Castle.

The climate in this part of Australia is a moderate sea climate. This is probably the best climate you can have, as there is only one season: summer! Because temperatures do change a bit throughout the year, I’ll split it up in two seasons:

  • Winter: May until August
  • Summer: September until April

Winter

Winter temperatures are mild, with an average of 19ºC during the day. But don’t be surprised if you have a cooler day where the mercury barely reaches 10ºC. Rainfall can be expected all year round but during this time of the year a bit less than during summer.

Summer

Summer brings a bit warmer days and the average day temperature rises up to 26ºC to 30ºC. Thunderstorms at night will happen often, which makes it a bit wetter than winter. But still, a perfect time of the year to explore this part of Australia.

Best travel time

It doesn’t really matter when you travel to this part of Australia. If you like warmer days and don’t mind the bit of extra rain you have to face, travel here between September and April. More comfortable when it is a bit cooler throughout the day? Travel here between May and August.

Average day temperatures and rainfall in the Southern part of the east coast of Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time
Average day temperatures and rainfall in the Southern part of the east coast of Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time

road trip east coast


Best travel time southeast Australia

The southeastern part of Australia runs from Sydney to Melbourne. In between, you’ll find Canberra. Canberra is a bit more inland, and extremer temperatures can be expected.

This part of Australia also has a moderate sea climate, but more seasons can be distinguished:

  • Winter: From June until August
  • Spring: From September until November
  • Summer: From December until February
  • Autumn: From March until May

Winter

Winters can be cold and freezing temperatures and snow aren’t exceptions. The average day temperature is below 10ºC. This part of Australia is actually a part where you can go skiing during this time of the year. The biggest ski accommodations have up to 100km skiing slopes!

Summer

Summer is more pleasant with an average day temperature between 20ºC and 25ºC. You can visit the beaches and work on your skin tone.

Best time to travel Australia Melbourne

Spring & Autumn

During spring and autumn, the temperatures fluctuate between summer and winter temperatures. Autumn is a beautiful time of the year if you like the orange and yellow colors in nature. This part together with Tasmania is the only part in Australia where you have a real autumn season.

Best travel time

If you want a beach and sunshine holiday, between September and March is your time to visit this part of Australia. Do you want to go skiing? You better visit this part between June and August.

Average day temperatures and rainfall in southeast Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time
Average day temperatures and rainfall in southeast Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time

Best travel time Tasmania

Tasmania is an island situated 500 kilometers South of Melbourne. In Tasmania, seasons are even more extreme than in Southeast Australia.

  • Winter: From June until August
  • Spring: From September until November
  • Summer: From December until February
  • Autumn: From March until May
Australia Tasmania

Winter

Winter is cold in Tasmania. Temperatures drop to 10ºC and below. In the mountains, it will snow and skiing is possible on some small slopes. Winter is a good time to see the Southern Lights. Although the Southern Lights can be seen all year round, in winter is your best chance, because of the long and dark nights.

Summer

Summer is temperature-wise the best time of the year, but during the day it won’t be much warmer than 20ºC. A perfect temperature for a long hike into the mountains!

Best travel time

Tasmania can best be visited between December and February. The temperatures are best during this time of the year. Nature is stunning and many activities can be done. But always be prepared for a cool day and cold nights.

Average day temperatures and rainfall in Tasmania. Blue indicates the best travel time
Average day temperatures and rainfall in Tasmania. Blue indicates the best travel time

Best travel time Southwest Australia

Southwest Australia runs from Melbourne to Perth. You’ll find Adelaide in between.

This part of Australia has a Mediterranean climate, two main seasons can be experienced:

  • Winter: From April until September
  • Summer: From October until March
Best travel time Australia Perth

Winter

Winters are soft, with an average day temperature between 15ºC and 18ºC. Some days might be a bit cooler. This time of the year is known for the enormous amount of rainfall. The temperature during the night only drops a bit and has an average temperature between 9ºC and 14ºC.

Summer

Summers are much dryer, but a rain shower will fall down every now and then. Day temperatures are warm with an average between 25ºC and 35ºC. Also, expect heatwaves, when day temperatures will rise towards the 40ºC. During the nights it cools off a bit to 16ºC to 20ºC.

Best travel time

The best travel time for Southwest Australia is between September and April. During this time of the year you avoid the heavy rainfall. Just be prepared for some really hot days and make sure you can plan some days at the pool or the beach to cool off.

Average day temperatures and rainfall in southwest Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time
Average day temperatures and rainfall in southwest Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time

Best travel time Northwest Australia

Northwest Australia runs from Perth to Broome. In between, you’ll find places like Halls Creek and Port Hedland.

In this part of Australia is a desert climate, which generally has two seasons:

  • Winter: From April until September
  • Summer: From October until March
Australia in summer

Winter

Winters are characterized by extreme temperature differences between day and night. During the day it won’t be much cooler than 27ºC and during the night the temperature drops to 10ºC, and sometimes far below!

Summer

During summertime, the days are even hotter and temperatures will easily rise above 40ºC. During the night it still cools off a lot, but not as far as during the winter. Average night temperatures vary between 20ºC and 25ºC.

Best travel time

Wintertime is definitely your best option to travel to this part of Australia. Between April and September, the day temperatures can be handled. Just be prepared for some cool nights!

Average day temperatures and rainfall in northwest Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time
Average day temperatures and rainfall in northwest Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time

Best travel time Central Australia

The red center covers Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Uluru and some smaller places like Tennant Creek, Devil’s Marbles and Ghan.

In this part of Australia is a desert climate, just like in the Northwest of Australia. The climate is more extreme in the Red Centre and that for I discuss it separately. There are two seasons:

  • Winter: From April until September
  • Summer: From October until March
Best time to travel Australia

Winter

The temperature during the day in the wintertime will rise up to 25ºC, but 20ºC is more of an average. During the night the temperatures often drop below zero. A cooler day and a more comfortable night can be experienced as well.

Summer

During summertime, the red center is extremely hot. Temperatures can rise far above 40ºC and during the nights the temperature doesn’t drop far below 25ºC.

Best travel time

The best travel time for the red center is between March and May and between September and November. These are the transition periods between winter and summer. Day temperatures will likely be between 20ºC and 30ºC and during the night it cools off a bit, but freezing temperatures are rarely seen.

Average day temperatures and rainfall in central Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time
Average day temperatures and rainfall in central Australia. Blue indicates the best travel time

How to travel around Australia, while only having summer?

Australia is very diverse in all sorts of ways. We just discussed the many different climates in this country, but also landscapes, highlights, animals and vegetation vary a lot when you travel across Australia.

If you have a gap year, or if you are traveling around the world and want to spend some longer time in a country, Australia is the place to be! Buy your own car, and if you make sure you can sleep in it, you can travel around Australia without paying any accommodation if you use the many free camps!

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camping australia


Do you love to feel the sunshine on your skin, a breeze through your hear and the sparkling ocean in your eyes? You can travel all around Australia in 1 year time while only having summer!

  • January: Explore Tasmania
  • February – March: Travel around Melbourne and Adelaide
  • Apri: Go to the Red Centre, or do this in September and travel to Perth
  • May: Explore Perth, you might get some rain, but the temperatures are still very pleasant
  • June: Travel North to Broome
  • July – August: Explore the Kimberly, Arnhemland and Darwin + surroundings.
  • September: Choose to travel via the Red Centre or via the Northern coastline to Cape York
  • October: Cape York and Cairns
  • November – December: Travel along the east coast to Sydney

There you go, 1 year in Australia, while only having summer!

We love to hear from you

Hopefully, this blog post informed you well enough about the different climates in Australia, that you can prepare your trip! Have you traveled around Australia and noticed the many different climates? Or do you have a question regarding this blog post? Leave a comment below.

Nanet Moesman
Nanet is a full time world traveler ever since May 2017. She writes with passion about the destinations where she has been. You'll always find a personal touch in her blog posts when she talks about her own experiences. A pleasure to read!
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