Whether you are travelling to Australia, or there on an Australian working visa, it’s useful to know when the best time to visit is.
As parts of the country are located in the tropics, the weather can be completely different from one part of the year to another.
If you were to visit Darwin, for example, you need to be aware of this. The city has distinct seasons, it’s better to visit at certain times of the year.
There are also numerous festivals and sporting events occurring throughout the year. If there are some that you want to attend, then it is best to plan your trip around that.
Answering this question mainly depends on what you want to get out of your trip, your budget and the weather.
However, there are a few factors that are important in considering when to visit Australia!
What is the best time to visit Australia?
With so many places to visit in Australia, it can be difficult to know where to start. This is especially true if you are only in the country for a short period. The best time to go to Australia varies depending on your circumstance and intentions.
A lot of travellers visit Australia for 3 monthsand primarily stick to the East Coast. A mad dash to try and fit in as much as possible in those three months often results. If you go to Australia on a working holiday, then the effect is negated.
You have a year to see what you want and if you do your regional work, then you can stay for another year. You have more freedom to plan your trip than someone on a 3-month Australian itinerary!
There isn’t a best time of the year to visit Australia on this visa. You are here for the whole year, so when to visit Australia becomes less important.
The cost of travel in Australia can add up and that doesn’t include the flight to get there! It’s best to research the prices of flights to Australia beforehand to try and get the best value for money.
This post on dynamic pricing will allow you to get flights cheaper than you normally would!
Several factors influence the best time to go to Australia. I discuss these factors and their impact on the best months to visit Australia below.
Weather and climate in Australia
Australia is a big country, that straddles the tropics. The climate in the country can vary dramatically from place to place, as a result.
The top-end near Darwin and Cairns has distinct sunny and rainy seasons, whereas the climate further south in Adelaide and Melbourne is more Mediterranean.
It is also important to remember that as Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, its summer is from November to February.
Which is opposite to the summer in the Northern Hemisphere, which is from June to August. The best months to visit Australia are generally the summer months for obvious reasons!
It is worth bearing this in mind if you plan to travel to Australia during the summer months. The heat can be very intense and if you are not comfortable travelling in this weather, then it may be best to visit outside of these months.
You want to ensure you include a variety of items on your Australia packing list to combat the different weather systems across the country.
You’ll need everything from beachwear to jackets while you’re in Australia!
Centre of Australia
The centre of Australia, commonly referred to as the outback, is mostly desert, with a few settlements scattered about.
Thus, it is generally hot all year round, although there is a drop off in temperature during the winter months, even if it is not by much.
It is cooler during the winter months, with temperatures around the 30-degree mark, although this is still hot.
However, it is not as hot as in the summer, when it is regularly around 40 degrees in Alice Springs and Uluru.
It may be worth visiting the centre of Australia in the winter to avoid the hot temperatures and travel during the off-season.
Further North, Broome and Kimberly have climates that are similar to those in Cairns and Darwin.
Again, it is worth factoring this into your trip. Visiting during the ‘green season, as it is known, from October to March, might not be too much fun, with tropical rainstorms a regular occurrence!
There are a few seasonal variations that influence the best time of the year to travel to Australia. The primary one is that prices are cheaper in the winter months than they are during the summer.
This is because most people come to Australia during the summer. Although, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best time to go to Australia. There are a few caveats to consider.
The winter months in places such as Darwin and Cairns are the most popular, as it is the dry season.
So, prices are more expensive than they would be during the dry season. The prices in big cities such as Melbourne and Sydney don’t fluctuate too much during the year. However, somewhere like Adelaide is cheaper during the winter!
November to May is known as the ‘stinger season.’ This is because beaches in Queensland and some in New South Wales are visited by a lot of jellyfish.
Although, not a reason to avoid backpacking in Australia during this period, it’s useful to know. So take extra care when visiting beaches during these months. Jellyfish stings can be very painful!
Festivals and sporting events in Australia
There are many festivals and sporting events held throughout the year in Australia. If there are some that you want to see, then it is worth planning your trip around them so you don’t miss out!
I tried to plan my time in Australia around seeing as many sporting events as I could. Number 1 on my list was watching Formula 1 in Melbourne, which I accomplished!
There are many more events such as the Australian Open, Aussie Rules and Rugby, so be sure to know the dates before you plan your trip!
Below are a few of the biggest events that are held throughout the year in Australia. They are all worth attending if you can fit them into your backpacking itinerary!
The best time to visit Australia for you could be one of these events is on!
Anzac Day – 25 April, similar to Remembrance Day in the UK, ANZAC Day honours the soldiers who fought during the First and Second World War.
Melbourne Cup – held at Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday in November, the race is one of Australia’s most prestigious. It is the equivalent of the Grand National in the UK or the Kentucky Derby in America, to give you an idea of its significance!
Stereosonic – One of the biggest music festivals in Australia, Stereosonic is currently on a hiatus and will return in 2017. It’s normally held in November and early December in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.
The answer to this question is, of course, subjective. What one person wants to see in Australia could be completely different to someone else.
However, there are more things to do in Australia during the summer months than the winter months.
This is when the bulk of the events occur across Australia, and of course, the weather is better.
However, if you have your heart set on visiting the Tropical north in the Northern Territory and Queensland, then the opposite is true. The winter months are much better but are also more expensive as it is high season.
If you are in Australia on a working holiday visa, then the answer to this question does not matter too much.
You will have a full year and potentially another one to explore the country. So, you have a lot of time to see and do what you want!
However, if you are travelling around Australia for a limited time then this does become an issue.
You have to decide whether you want to pay less during the winter months or visit during the summer. The weather is much better in the summer, and more events are going on.
Hopefully, I have given you an insight into the best time to travel to Australia. As well as what you can do throughout the year in this great country.
If you have travelled to Australia and agree or disagree with anything then comment below and let me know! I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Need travel insurance?
You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.