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Best Time of Year to Visit Australia

Explore > Travel Planning Articles > Best Time of Year to Visit Australia

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Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru
Ayers Rock, photo courtesy Pete Edgeler on Flickr.


About the author, Michael Cottam

Founder of Visual Itineraries, Michael lives in Bend, Oregon. He's an avid traveler, scuba diver, photographer, and a private pilot, and also the founder of Bright Yonder. He's been to Fiji, Thailand, Vietnam, Seychelles, Kenya, France, England, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belize, Costa Rica, Turks & Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Mexico, and the major islands in French Polynesia.

He's been a Rotarian for 21 years, currently on the board of the Greater Bend Rotary Club.

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Australia is enormous, with a wide range of climates. The northern states are typically warm year-round, while the southern states have cooler winters. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring.

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Marina Shores Airlie Beach

Marina Shores Airlie Beach 5 nights from 835 per person
Marina Shores Airlie BeachMarina Shores' absolute waterfront living is positioned in the prestigious location of the Coral Sea, offering an array of luxury Airlie Beach accommodation.

Our picturesque Airlie Beach accommodation features five star fully self contained serviced (optional) luxury penthouses and holiday apartments in Airlie Beach. With views overlooking Abel Point Marina and the Whitsunday Islands, this is certainly a new standard of fashionable living in Airlie Beach.

Designed by renowned Ken Down Architects, Marina Shores has been designed to be totally different in space, light and colour with vogue interiors, spacious decks and state of the art themed lighting. So you can relax in sophisticated style as you take in the spectacular views from your Airlie Beach accommodation.
Learn more about Marina Shores Airlie Beach

969 sq ft
Free WiFi
Free self parking
Sleeps 2
1 Queen Bed

Typical airfares from LAX to Sydney, Australia

Airfares vary by season, but also day of week, and are definitely affected by holidays. The chart above shows the typical minimum and maximum fares for a economy class ticket from Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD), by month.

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach

Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach 5 nights from 620 per person
Castaways Resort & Spa Mission BeachNewly refurbished Castaways Resort & Spa is your absolute beachfront escape. Bound by the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics Rainforest, Castaways Resort & Spa is the perfect destination for couples, families with children and groups traveling together. Click on the images in the right hand columns for stunning high definition videos of Castaways Resort & Spa, the beach directly in front of the resort and a secluded rainforest swimming area and walking trails just 6km from the resort.
Learn more about Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach

Daily housekeeping
On the beach
Restaurant and bar/lounge
Full-service spa
2 outdoor pools
Breakfast available
Fitness center
Free beach club on site
Beach umbrellas
Beach sun loungers
Beach towels
Beach bar

Best time of year to go to different parts of Australia

The famous Sydney Opera House
Photo courtesy Jon Haase.

Sydney, in New South Wales, is in Australia's temperate zone. The Great Dividing Range is a major climate factor, as it creates 4 distinct zones: the coastal strip, the highlands, the Western Slopes and the flat countryside to the west.

Sydney typically sees about 340 sunny days a year, with humidity in summer around 65%.

Pictured above is the famous Sydney Opera House.

Cairns, in Queensland, is pretty tropical--summers are hot and humid, and winters are dry and mild.

Along the coast, you can get cyclones from November through May.

Cairns is one of the places from which you can access the Great Barrier Reef, pictured at right.

Ayers Rock, seen at the top of this page, is in the Northern Territory (which isn't actually the northernmost part of Australia--that's referred to as the "Top End"), has a distinctly different climate, with a wet season running from October to April and a dry season May to September. In winter, nighttime temperatures can fall below freezing; in the summer, daytime temperatures can approach 100F, with cool, dry nights.


The Great Barrier Reef

Photo courtesy ynwa2005 on Flickr.

Barossa Valley, wine country northeast of Adelaide
Photo courtesy Amanda Slater on Flickr.

Adelaide, in South Australia, has mild, wet winters (averaging about 60F) and hot, dry summers (averaging 84F).

June is the wettest month, but still averages only a little over 3 inches of rain. In the summer, it's not uncommon to have months with no rain.

At left is Jacob's Creek vineyard in the Barossa Valley, one of the important wine regions of Australia.

Melbourne, in Victoria, has a reputation for changeable weather, but generally the climate is temperate with warm summers (averaging 77F), mild spring and fall seasons, and cool winters (averaging 57F).

Pictured are the limestone formations known as the Twelve Apostles, located on the Great Ocean Road about 100 miles west of Melbourne.

Perth, in Western Australia, the rainfall is greatest from May to September. The hottest month is February, averaging 88F; winter temperatures average about 65F. A cooling breeze known as "The Fremantle Doctor" blows in from the sea to keep the city comfortable.

  The Twelve Apostles, about 100 miles west of Melbourne
Photo courtesy Rich Mulvaney on Flickr.

Tasmania, the island southeast of the main continent, the climate is mild and temperate. With no part of the island more than about 75 miles from the water, the ocean has a big effect on the climate. Because it's much farther from the equator than the rest of Australia, the seasons are more distinct. January and February are pretty dry, with temperatures averaging about 70F.

See the Australia tourism website for a detailed description of the seasons in Australia.

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Hotel Ibis World Square

Hotel Ibis World Square 5 nights from 555 per person
Hotel Ibis World SquareHotel Ibis World Square offers Sydney accommodation perfectly located in the heart of CBD.

Located right in the heart of Sydney, next to the World Square Shopping Centre, our Sydney accommodation is within an easy walk to Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and Chinatown. The Hotel Ibis World Square is close to Sydney's shopping precincts, the Entertainment Centre, the Capitol Theatre, George Street cinema complex and many more.

The Hotel Ibis World Square is also located near a variety of trendy restaurants and bars which suit for all tastes and budgets. Most importantly, these unique restaurants and bars are all within short walking distance from our Sydney accommodation offering a wide variety of choices at affordable prices.

The monorail, Sydney Light Rail and Central Railway are all nearby, providing easy access within the city and beyond. The Hotel Ibis World Square is the perfect accommodation from which to explore and enjoy Sydney whether your stay is for business or pleasure.

Learn more about Hotel Ibis World Square

Daily housekeeping
Restaurant and bar/lounge
Fitness center
24-hour room service
Business center
UNESCO Sustainable Property
24-hour front desk
Coffee/tea in a common area
Front-desk safe
Snack bar/deli
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry


Storms in Australia

In Cairns, on the coast of Queensland, tropical cyclones can occur sometimes between November and May. Around Alice Springs and Ayers Rock, you can see thunderstorms, hail and dust storms in the spring months. In Western Australia, tropical cyclones can occur between November and April--most commonly though in January and February.

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Chifley Alice Springs Resort

Chifley Alice Springs Resort 5 nights from 480 per person
Chifley Alice Springs ResortChifley Alice Springs Resort combines efficient and friendly outback service with modern, comfortable facilities. Low rise architecture and lush green lawns contribute to the relaxed atmosphere of this award-winning resort, situated on the banks of the famous Todd River with its magnificent river red gums.

Guests can relax in the stylish surroundings and experience sumptuous full buffet breakfast, a la carte lunches, and contemporary cuisine dinners at the Barra on Todd Restaurant. Located adjacent to the restaurant, the Barra Bar offers guests the opportunity to surf the Internet while enjoying a drink from the fine selection of beers, wines, and cocktails.

The 4.5 Star resort has 139 guest rooms and hotel facilities include 24 hour reception, wireless internet access, (free around pool area, restaurant, bar and reception areas), swimming pool, guest laundry, cardio room, in-house massage rooms, restaurant, bar, and complimentary onsite parking. The hotel is only a five to ten minute walk away from the town's bustling cultural, shopping and business centre. It is a convenient pick up point for the many local sightseeing tours available in and around Alice Springs, making Chifley Alice Springs Resort the perfect base for exploring Outback attractions.

Chifley Alice Springs Resort is the ideal venue, well equipped with modern conference and meeting facilities for business events, functions, launches, weddings and cocktail parties.
Learn more about Chifley Alice Springs Resort

Free WiFi
Free self-parking
Sleeps 2
23 sq m
1 Queen Bed

Airfare and Resort Prices

High season is from about Christmas through the end of January, when children are on their summer holidays, and the popular resorts fill up with the locals. In the north, June through August is peak season as Australians from the southern areas travel north to escape winter. Typically the airlines will discount airfares April through June.

Water temperature, SCUBA diving and surfing in Australia

On the Great Barrier Reef, you can dive year-round, although the best conditions for diving are from late August to early December. For liveaboard diving, the best time to go is July through November. In the Coral Sea, the visibility is best in June and in September. If you want to see the Minke whales, they're seen mostly from June to August. From April through June, the whale sharks can be seen near Ningaloo, in Western Australia. Australia Tourism has an excellent reference on dive locations and regions here.

How we work with you to plan the perfect trip:

  • We'll talk with you to find out what you're looking for, what you like/don't like, etc.
  • We'll use our first-hand knowledge of the destination to pick out a handful of resorts we think you'd like
  • We'll create a custom mini website for you, with photos, videos, maps, etc. of the resorts we are recommending
  • We'll follow up with you to help you make your decision
  • We'll go to work with our suppliers to get you the best deal available on what you've decided on.

Map of all resorts in Australia