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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: Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa

Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa 5 nights from 1,145 per person
Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & SpaEscape to the world famous World Heritage listed Blue Mountains and enjoy luxury resort accommodation at Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa. Just 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney CBD, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spais a renowned haven for relaxation and a delight for gourmets in one of Australia’s most beautiful destinations, picturesque Jamison Valleys and escarpments, abundant wildlife and a scenic attractions right at your doorstep.

Located in the heart of the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains National Park

Whether you are planning a romantic getaway, a weekend with the girls or your mates, or a fun-filled family holiday, our luxury Blue Mountains hotel offers something for everyone. Unwind and be pampered at the onsite Lilianfels Day Spa, burn some energy on the tennis court or one of the two heated pools, and enjoy renowned local wines and produce at our fine dining multi-award winning restaurants and bars.

Explore the Blue Mountains with the whole family and sample the region’s many attractions. With a range of onsite function rooms, a spectacular backdrop and a relaxing atmosphere, our Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spais the ideal venue for weddings, corporate events and celebrations.

Our friendly, knowledgeable concierge team are experts on the region, and strive to ensure each guest has an unforgettable experience in the Blue Mountains region.

Book your stay now or purchase a gift voucher package and treat a loved one to a well-deserved Blue Mountains luxury escape.
Learn more about Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa

Daily housekeeping
Restaurant and bar/lounge
Full-service spa
Indoor pool and outdoor pool
Breakfast available
Health club
Outdoor tennis court
Steam room
Valet parking
Spa tub
24-hour room service

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: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth 5 nights from 895 per person
Sofitel Sydney WentworthHotel Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

French luxury and local cuisine in the worlds most exciting cities
A heritage listed five-star hotel set in the heart of Sydney's shopping and business district, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is a renowned architectural icon. Expect warm personal service, 436 luxurious rooms with most overlooking a central Garden Courtyard, extensive meeting and conference facilities, a health club, stylish French inspired restaurant and a fashionable lounge, perfect for entertaining friends or work colleagues.

Located in the heart of Sydney, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth offers luxury accommodation perfect for both business and leisure travellers. Business travellers have Sydney CBD and a range of conference facilities on the doorstep, while leisure visitors are wit hin easy reach of many of Sydney's best bars, restaurants, shops, attractions and many of its public transport options. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks and Darling Harbour are just a short stroll away.
Learn more about Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Daily housekeeping
Restaurant and bar/lounge
Breakfast available
Fitness center
Valet parking
24-hour room service
Coffee shop/cafe
24-hour business center
Business center
UNESCO Sustainable Property

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: Mercure Adelaide Grosvenor

Mercure Adelaide Grosvenor 5 nights from 430 per person
Mercure Adelaide GrosvenorBuilt in 1918, Mercure Grosvenor Hotel Adelaide is an historic hotel right in the middle of all the action in Adelaide.

This four-star hotel is superbly located opposite the Convention Centre, Casino and Festival Centre in the heart of the cultural boulevard of North Terrace. Just seconds from the shopping precinct of Rundle Mall, visitors to Adelaide can enjoy theatre, festivals, sporting events, Museum, Botanical Gardens and the famous Adelaide Oval all within walking distance from the hotel. Or take the tram outside the hotel to the Central Market, Entertainment Centre and Glenelg Beach.

Ideal for Corporate, Conference and Leisure Guests, the hotel offers a variety of room types to fit the needs and budgets of all travelers.

Hotel facilities also include the Federal Restaurant and Bar, 24-hour reception and room service, parking, internet kiosk, hair & beauty salon and exercise room.
Learn more about Mercure Adelaide Grosvenor

Daily housekeeping
Breakfast available
Self parking
UNESCO Sustainable Property
24-hour front desk
Air conditioning
Front-desk safe
Vending machine
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
Multilingual staff
Concierge services


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: Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort 5 nights from 905 per person
Novotel Cairns Oasis ResortBeautiful tropical surrounds and modern contemporary style is waiting for you at Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort.

Each of the resorts 314 rooms feature a private terrace or balcony facing either the lagoon swimming pool, lush tropical gardens or Cairns city.

The city location is ideal with easy access to the award winning Esplanade and Cairns attractions.

Learn more about Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort

The Novotel Oasis is a 4.5-star resort featuring a gorgeous lagoon pool, complete with a sandy beach, children's pool and a swim-up bar. The hotel is a short walk from the Esplanade, Cairns city center and the Reef Casino.

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