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Best Time To Visit Australia

map of Australia with pin

One of the most interesting things about Australia is it is both a country and a continent. Interesting or not, this leaves a lot of ground to cover Downunder. If you are wondering when is the best time to visit Australia, look no further.

More than kangaroos, koalas, big knives, Vegemite, and Fosters, Australia is an effervescent land brimming with climactic variance, culture, and fun. From flipped seasons to visas, here we present everything you need to know about the best time to visit Australia.

 

Best Time to Visit Australia FAQ

 

Sydney opera house

Image Source: Pixabay

 

Before we present the best time to visit Australia, let’s first discuss facts about this island giant. Many travelers have similar questions about the journey and the best time to visit Australia. Here are the answers to the most popular questions.

 

1. What Can I Visit in Australia?

First things first, sometimes visitors forget how massive Australia is. The landmass of Australia is nearly three million square miles. Although it is the smallest continent on Earth, it is the sixth-largest country by landmass in the world.

To put this into perspective, Australia is roughly the same size as the continental United States. Australia is the biggest island on the planet.

Australia is divided into six states:

  • 1. New South Wales
  • 2.Queensland
  • 3. South Australia
  • 4. Tasmania
  • 5. Victoria
  • 6. Western Australia

 

Besides the states, Australia also has 10 territories located both on the continent and neighboring islands. The 10 Australian territories are:

  • 1. Australian Capital Territory (mainland)
  • 2. Northern Territory (mainland)
  • 3. Ashmore and Cartier Islands
  • 4. Australian Antarctic Territory
  • 5. Christmas Island
  • 6. Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • 7. Coral Sea Islands
  • 8. Jervis Bary Territory
  • 9. The Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands

As you can see, planning a trip is more complex than simply finding the best time to visit Australia. Each of the states and territories has different features to enjoy.

 


2. What Are the Top Australian Destinations?

With sprawling countryside and an intense variety of landscapes, there are many popular destinations in Australia. Deciding where to go will largely depend on the vacation you want to experience.

If you are a city person, Australia has a variety of unique cities to explore. The Australian outback is an expansive stretch of wilderness.  The natural side of Australia holds some of the top bucket-list destinations in the entire world.

The top Australian city and nature destinations to visit are:

  • 1. Sydney, New South Wales
  • 2. Uluru, Northern Territory
  • 3. Melbourne, Victoria
  • 4. Great Ocean Road, Victoria
  • 5. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
  • 6. The Kimberly, Western Australia
  • 7. The Whitsundays, Queensland
  • 8. Adelaide, South Australia
  • 9. Byron Bay, New South Wales
  • 10. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania

This shortlist is a mere fraction of the incredible destinations Australia offers.

 


3. Are the Seasons Different in Australia?

Australia is located in the Earth’s Southern hemisphere where the seasons are flipped from those in the Northern Hemisphere.

The dates for seasons in Australia are:
1. Summer: December 1st to February 28th
2. Fall: March 1st to May 31st
3. Winter: June 1st to August 31st
4. Spring: September 1st to November 30th

 

4. Is Australia Warm Year-Round?

It depends on where you go. Again, Australia is a huge country with a lot of landmasses. Australia has eight different climate zones with climates ranging from tropical to alpine.

The northern portion of the continent is the warmest with high humidity in the summer. The central part of the east coast experiences hot. dry summers and warm winters.

Farther down the east coast and the southwest coast experiences mild and cool temperatures year round. The northern inland portion of Australia experiences higher temperatures year-round, while the southern inland portion has year-round mild temperatures.

 


 

5. Do I Need a Visa to Enter Australia?

You might need a visa depending on which country issued your passport. Citizens of the US and UK need to get an Electronic Travel Authority  (ETA) approval before entering Australia.

ETAs are subject to approval. Eligibility is based on the following factors:

  • 1. Valid, eligible passport
  • 2. “Genuine” visitor status
  • 3. Meet Australian health requirements
  • 4. Meet Australian character requirements
  • 5. Have zero debt to the Australian government
  • 6. Meets best interests of a child (under 18) requirement

 


 

6. How Long Can I Stay in Australia?

The ETA is valid for 12 months but vacations are limited to three months per visit. This means a visitor must leave Australia after three months but is permitted reentry for a year after ETA issuance.

Different rules apply for those ineligible for an ETA. Check with Australia’s official government website for details. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au

 


 

7. What Currency Do Australians Use?

The currency in Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD). The AUD is the only currency permitted for use throughout the country. Currency exchange rates are ever-fluctuating. On average, the conversion rate is about $0.75 US Dollars to $1.00 AUD or £0.55 Pounds Sterling to $1.00 AUD.

 


 

8. When Is The Best Time to Visit Australia?

Deciding on the best time to visit Australia means deciding where you want to go, what you want to do, and what type of weather you most enjoy.

Remember that seasons in Australia are opposite from those in the Northern Hemisphere.

The climate in Australia varies throughout the states and territories, but the country experiences all four seasons.

 

How We Reviewed

 

Blue sea at Great barrier reef Australia

Image Source: Pixabay

 

To find the best time to visit Australia, we’ve assessed the following criteria: weather, events, pros & cons, and seasonal travel prices. Although the best time to visit Australia is largely based on personal preferences, we believe this review will help clarify any further travel questions you might have about the best time to visit Australia.

 

Overall Price Range for Australian Travel

Airfare

One of the biggest expenses made when traveling to Australia is the airfare. Flights, especially from the Northern Hemisphere, are very long.

You must fly a distance of around ten-thousand miles to Australia whether you depart from Los Angeles, New York City, or London. Because of this, the flights are long and expensive. Booking a flight early and traveling in low seasons can thwart some of those exceptionally high ticket prices.

 

Steep Prices

Don’t let the currency exchange rate fool you; the Australian dollar is strong. Some travelers see the conversion rate for their native currency and mistakenly believe Australia is a cheap place to travel. This is not the case.

Price-tags in Australia are much higher than nearly any other place in the world. The cost of living in Australia is around 4.6% higher than the US and over 11% higher than in the UK.

 

Book Ahead

Keep prices in mind when choosing the best time to visit Australia; booking flights and lodging accommodations in advance can help save money.

 

City Stays

As per standard, staying in any of Australia’s larger cities will cost more than staying outside of a city.

 

What We Reviewed

 

traveler sitting in the bench while looking the map

Image Source: Pexels

Australian Seasonal Travel Times

  • 1. Summer (December 1st to February 28th)
  • 2. Fall (March 1st to May 31st)
  • 3. Winter (June 1st to August 31st)
  • 4. Spring (September 1st to November 30th)
  • 5. Anytime

 

Summer (December 1st to February 28th)

 

For those who want to soak up sunshine, partake in water activities, or have outdoor adventures, the perfect time to travel to Australia is in summer.

Australia’s city life is in full bloom during summer. Both Sydney and Melbourne host a variety of festivals all season long. From the Sydney Festival to Midsumma in Melbourne, there is fun abound.

If you aren’t dreaming of a white Christmas, head to Australia for the holidays when the average temperature hovers around 85 degrees near the beach. Keep in mind many shops and activities close in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, which could put a damper on some vacation activities.

The Great Barrier Reef is in a tropical region that has higher average temperatures and more rain in the summer. Tourist traffic during the summer is lower. Summer is a less busy season to visit the Great Barrier Reef.

 


 

Pros

  • Beach weather
  • Cricket games
  • Festivals
  • Less traffic at the Great Barrier Reef

Cons

  • Expensive travel dates
  • Summer price hikes
  • Tourist congestion
  • Might be too warm for some travelers

 


 

Prices

December through February is peak travel time to Australia. During these months, expect higher prices and higher volumes of tourists. Many companies raise prices for products and services during Australia’s high-season.

 

Fall (March 1st to May 31st)

 

As fall comes through, students return to classes and many tourists leave the area. The weather is generally pleasant in all regions of Australia in fall. Although the temperatures will dip toward highs in the low-70s Fahrenheit by May, the temperatures are usually in the 80s in March and April.

Festivities do not slow in the fall, they only change shape. During the fall harvest season, many regions in Australia hold wine festivals. Some of the most revered wine festivals are the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend in South Australia and New South Wales’ Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival.

Fall might be the best time to visit Australia because almost all regions experience good weather during this time. Family-favorite locations like the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are still warm enough in the fall to enjoy without the summer crowds and pricing. Adelaide, Perth, South Australia, West Australia, and the outback are all comfortable during this time.

 


 

Pros

  • Milder weather
  • Fewer people
  • Cheaper prices
  • Wine festivals

Cons

  • No guarantees for beach activity
  • Not as many activities
  • Cities aren’t as lively

 


 

Prices

Ticket prices to Australia are cheaper when mid-to-late fall hits. Traditionally, prices drop after summer making fall a more cost-effective time to visit Australia.

 

Winter (June 1st to August 31st)

 

Australian winters offer a variety of temperatures for travelers to experience. Near the tropical regions around Cairns and Darwin, guests can enjoy the warm weather without the intense humidity found in the summer and spring.

Alternatively, snowbirds can head to the Snowy Mountains for skiing. Australia isn’t known for its incredible skiing slopes, but this is an option for snow-loving tourists.

The cities of Australia are known for showering the glum days of winter with cheer by amplifying their cultural and artistic events. The city of Sydney presents live music festivals and light installations. Art exhibitions fill Melbourne’s galleries, and Adelaide presents the largest cabaret festival in the world during the winter.

 


 

Pros

  • Fewer tourists
  • Diverse climate options
  • Cultural and artistic events

Cons

  • Colder weather
  • Higher prices near the tropics
  • Ski slopes are subpar

 


 

Prices

The beginning and middle of winter time in Australia offer some cheaper airline ticket prices, but places near the tropics raise prices during the winter.

 

Spring (September 1st to November 30th)

 

Springtime, much like fall, brings milder temperatures that make visiting much of Australia a pleasant experience. Springtime in Australia offers three types of experiences not found in fall: the sports season, wildflowers, and whale watching.

Australia’s springtime sports season brings in tourists across the globe. Visitors can enjoy the AFL Grand Final, NRL Grand Final, the Gold Coast 600, the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, the Spring Carnival, Emirates Australian Open, and the Melbourne Cup.

A sight to behold in Western Australia is the regions’ spring wildflower bloom. Most flowers in Western Australia are unique to this region, making for a remarkable experience.

Whale watching in Australia is best done in spring. A variety of coastal regions offer spectacular sightings during this time. Tasmania, Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, and Victoria all have whale watching opportunities in spring.

Whales to look for are humpback whales, humpback whale flukes, Minke whales, pygmy sperm whales, Bryde’s whale, bottlenose dolphins, and orcas.

 


 

Pros

  • Beautiful weather
  • Whales
  • Sports finales
  • Exotic wildflowers

Cons

  • More tourists
  • Fewer beach days

 


 

Prices

Spring prices in Australia are higher than in the fall and winter, but not as expensive as summer prices.

 

The Verdict

 

 

So when is the best time to visit Australia? Visiting Australia is enjoyable any time of the year. This exuberant country and continent has something extraordinary for travelers year-round.

Beach and festival goers would enjoy Australia most in the summer. Low-key travelers looking to experience many regions of Australia are most suited for fall travel. Artistic snow skiers will love what Australia offers in winter.  Whale waters and sports fans get the most out of stays in spring.

The best time to visit Australia is whenever you want to. The attractive down-season prices found in the fall and winter are selling points, but certain Australian activities come at a higher price. The decision is up to you. With a 12-month ETA, why not visit Australia in every season?

 

Featured Image Source: Pexels