Best Time to Visit Australia
When planning a trip anywhere, we always consider what the weather is going to be like because we need to know what to pack beforehand and what to wear when we are at our destination. In the case of Australia, the climate can vary enormously, and therefore there are a few things to consider when deciding when the best time to visit Australia is for you. The first thing to remember is that the seasons are reversed. This is a big plus for those of us who live in a cold winter climate. December to February is summer. March to May is fall. June to August is winter and September to November is spring.
If we travel to the South Pacific, we can escape winter and be assured of warm weather. Did you know that Australia overall has the lowest rainfall of all the populated continents? Even if you travel to Australia in the winter, for the most part, the climate is relatively mild. However, as I say, there is a wide variety of climates Downunder, so let’s look at some of the more popular destinations and determine the general weather patterns.
NOTE – All quoted temperatures are daytime average highs unless otherwise stated and can vary.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Sydney and the coastal areas have a moderate or temperate climate. Summers are subtropical in nature and you can experience a certain amount of humidity. You can expect temperatures to be around 25 or 26 Celsius /77 to 79 Fahrenheit. Winter is mild but it can rain. You will need a light jacket for the evenings. Temperatures can drop to around 8 Celsius/ 45 Fahrenheit at night. According to the Sydney Herald, the last time it snowed in Sydney was in 1836!! The best time to visit Sydney could be the fall as it is the mildest time of the year with very little humidity. Daytime temperatures average 24 Celsius/75 Fahrenheit. Spring is also a good time with warm days and little humidity with similar temperatures to the fall.
Canberra has 4 distinct seasons. Because it is situated 570 meters/1870 feet above sea level, it has a pleasant, mainly dry summer which varies from warm to hot. The days are sunny with little humidity. The evenings are extremely mild. The average daytime temperature is around 27 Celsius/81 Fahrenheit. The winter is cool and the nights and early mornings can be frosty. During the daytime, it is generally sunny. Snow can be found outside of the city sometimes. Temperatures in the daytime are 12 Celsius/54 Fahrenheit. Spring consists of blue skies, sunny days and cool nights with average daytime temperatures of 19 Celsius/66 Fahrenheit. Fall is a delight as the leaves turn colour varying from red to gold. Overall, there are mild days and cool nights. Average daytime temperatures are 20 Celsius/ 68 Fahrenheit.
Melbourne is usually s not unbearably cold or unbearably hot with the odd bout of really hot weather occurring in the summer. However, it has an annual rainfall averaging only 50% of that of Sydney. An anomaly in Melbourne is that the seasons are known to start later than the official first date of the season. Summer is a bit of a mixed bag with warm, sunny days generally but interspersed with a few days that are cool and cloudy. If you have ever watched the Australian Open Tennis Championships, you will have seen how the weather can drastically change every few days. The evenings are pleasant. Average summer temperatures are 26 Celsius/79 Fahrenheit. Winter is definitely on the cool side with cold, sometimes frosty nights. Morning fog is prevalent but clears as the day goes on. It can be drizzly but with no heavy bouts of rain. Average daytime temperatures are 14 Celsius/57 Fahrenheit. Fall weather is pleasant but cool with occasional heavy rainstorms. Average temperatures are 20 Celsius/68 Fahrenheit. Spring is changeably ranging from very cool to moderately warm and can be windy with average temperatures around 19 Celsius/66 Fahrenheit but with fluctuations.
Adelaide has a nice climate with mild winters and warm, dry summers. Although it can rain, Adelaide is the driest and least humid of all of Australia’s major cities. The summer is definitely not humid and rainfall is sparse. Average temperatures are 29 Celsius/84 Fahrenheit. Winter is when, if any, rain can fall. There can be frosts in the outer reaches of the city at night. Snow is rare. Temperatures are around 16 Celsius/61 Fahrenheit. In spring, the weather is both mild and cool depending on the time of day with little rain and temperatures ranging from 19 to 25 Celsius/66 to 77 Fahrenheit depending on the month. Fall is a pleasant time to be in Adelaide with both the city and the surrounding countryside offering fall colours of red, orange and gold. Temperatures are around 22 Celsius/72 Fahrenheit.
Because of its geographical location, Brisbane enjoys weather that ranges from warm to hot all year round. This is for sun seekers – don’t ever expect snow. There can be some humidity. February is the most humid month and September has the least. Summer is when the city has the highest rainfall with temperatures around 30 Celsius/86 Fahrenheit. Winter is generally mild and dry. Early mornings will be cool. Daytime temperatures average 22 Celsius/72 Fahrenheit. Fall and spring are nice times to be in Brisbane – almost no humidity and little rain with temperatures around 26 Celsius/79 Fahrenheit.
The Gold and Sunshine Coasts
Queensland's Gold Coast has a sub-tropical climate with around 300 days of sunshine per year. The same applies approximately to the Sunshine Coast. Whatever season you choose, you will enjoy the outdoor life in both places. In summer, the weather is fairly wet with high humidity which is offset by cool sea breezes. Temperatures are around 28 Celsius/83 Fahrenheit. Winter is sunny and dry with cool nights and temperatures averaging 21 Celsius/70 Fahrenheit. Fall and spring have sunny days and again cool nights and little rain and temperatures around 25 Celsius/77 Fahrenheit.
Bear in mind Cairns is located in the far north of Queensland and therefore has hot and humid summers and warm dry winters. This may be sufficient to make an informed decision but of course, we can’t all be flexible time-wise. Summer is the wet season and average temperatures reach 31 Celsius/88 Fahrenheit. Because winter has the pleasantest weather, it is the high season in Cairns when there is little rainfall and temperatures are around 26 Celsius/79 Fahrenheit. The fall is warm, day and night, with some wind and temperatures reaching 29 Celsius/85 Fahrenheit. Spring is when the humidity starts to rise with some rain towards the end of the season. Temperatures reach 31 Celsius/88 Fahrenheit
Darwin is situated at the northernmost point of the Northern Territory and has two distinct seasons, the wet and the dry. The wet season lasts from November to April which covers the end of spring, all of summer and the beginning of the fall. You can experience high humidity with monsoon-like rains and storms. However, the afternoon tropical storms make the landscapes and plants flourish and the sun appears afterwards. November and December bring spectacular lightning storms. May to October is considered the dry season with warm, sunny days and cool to crisp nights. There is a little humidity Temperatures, year-round, range from 30 to 33 Celsius/86 to 92 Fahrenheit.
Because Alice Springs is in the heart of the Outback interior, the climate is one of the extremes with hot summers and cold winters. There is little rainfall and most are concentrated in the spring and summer. Starting with summer, the temperatures can rise to as high as 36 Celsius/ 97 Fahrenheit. When the Northern Territory Tourism board promotes Alice Springs as a summer destination, it often uses the tagline, “See Alice While She’s Hot!” Winter is another story when, at night, temperatures can drop to 4 Celsius/ 39 Fahrenheit. However, during the daytime, temperatures are a pleasant 20 Celsius/68 Fahrenheit. The fall is a good time to visit as temperatures are around 26 Celsius/79 Fahrenheit.
First off, Perth has never recorded a snowfall. Overall, the city has hot dry summers and mild winters – a very pleasant all-year-round situation apart from the fact that between June and August, the rain can be quite heavy at times. The summer is, as stated, hot and dry but is tempered with a nice ocean breeze in the afternoon. Temperatures are around 32 Celsius/89 Fahrenheit. Winter has rain and temperatures are around 18 Celsius/65 Fahrenheit. Fall brings sunny days and cooler nights with temperatures that reach 26 Celsius/ 79 Fahrenheit and spring is warm and sunny with almost no rain and temperatures around 23 Celsius/ 73 Fahrenheit.
If the weather is the deciding factor and you are wondering when is the best time to visit Australia, it is possible you may have to work that out from the places you want to visit. There are two key factors. One - there can be humidity, especially in the summer, as Australia is, after all, a subtropical country in many parts. Two - the good news is, compared to many parts of North America, snow is rare.
As Australia’s most southerly state, Tasmania has the coolest climate in Australia. Like the rest of the country, it has four distinct seasons, with summer being the most popular time to visit. Thanks to Tasmania’s remoteness, you never have to contend with crowds, even in the midst of summer. The temperatures average between 17 and 23 Celsius, which is warm, but mild enough to accommodate hiking and outdoor activities. Winter is the coolest part of the year, with temperatures between 3 and 11 Celsius. Autumn is the quietest month and one of the most attractive times to visit. However, no matter when you visit, be forewarned that temperatures and rainfall can vary greatly across the island throughout the entire year. For instance, Hobart is the second-driest capital in Australia, but the West Coast of the island is extremely humid to accommodate its rainforests. Always be prepared for rapid weather changes when travelling through Tasmania.
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