There are a few very good reasons why the Land Down Under holds such an appeal for travellers from all over the world. Whether you’re a Gap Year backpacker, fresh out of school and ready for adventure or a retiree looking to soak up the sunshine and take advantage of the laidback pace of life, Australia offers spectacular coastline, vibrant cities and a fun-loving culture, all waiting to make your acquaintance.
Of course, for those residing in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s that famously blazing Australian sunshine that can persuade travellers to book a ticket and pack their bags. But the red country is nothing if not vast, and it would be a mistake indeed to assume that the entirety of Australia has a year-round climate conducive to shorts and sunscreen.
Fortunately, there are excellent places to visit in Australia at any time of year – here’s our guide to help you decide when to go.
Australia can be roughly divided into two regions, each with its own climate characteristics. The northern territories tend to be at their driest between April and September – just the right sort of weather for taking a dip in the sea or indulging in that famous Aussie BBQ. From October through to March, rainfall increases and the humidity rises; however, this is the best time to see the rainforests at their best and watch the wildlife at its most active.
The southern regions of the country see their warmest weather during December through to February with winter taking place in June, July and August. Some areas, such as Melbourne, can experience very chilly climes during this time but, with winter averages of around 10C, the season tends to be more temperate than it is here in the UK.
Choosing when to plan your visit to Australia depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. Throughout the calendar, there is plenty to keep a variety of tastes interested. Here are a few of the highlights:
In January and February, the northern territories experience hot and humid conditions with bursts of tropical rain whilst the south is enjoying warm and sunny days – though weather patterns have been unpredictable in recent years. Time your visit to coincide with Australia Day in January and you’ll enjoy parties, fireworks and celebrations a-plenty. This is also the busiest time of year, both in terms of tourists and locals enjoying their holidays – prices reflect this accordingly.
The heavy summer rains in the north ease up during March and it’s one of the best times to experience the lush rainforest of Queensland or the waterfalls of Kakadu in all their glory. The temperatures only become more pleasant as April and May go on, meaning that previously waterlogged regions become more accessible. The south also enjoys sunny weather at this time of year, although here the temperatures are beginning to drop.
June to September is the Australian winter with sunshine and dry weather in the north making it a great time to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. The south, in comparison, experiences a significant dip in temperature. But, this makes it the ideal time to go hiking in rural areas such as Flinders Ranges without baking to a crisp as you might in the heat of the summer months.
September, in particular, is great fun on the Sunshine Coast with the popular Brisbane serving up a mix of music, comedy and theatrical performances whilst Western Australia is covered in a blanket of wildflowers.
Finally, October to December sees the humidity and heat in the north rise, preparing for the rains, whilst in the south, these months signal the spring. As Christmas approaches, expect the usual trees and lights to appear – though bright sunshine and blue skies will take the place of England’s dreams of snow. Why not spend New Year watching the firework extravaganza over Sydney Harbour? It’s sure to be a celebration you won’t soon forget.
Whichever time of year you plan to visit Australia, make sure you don’t leave purchasing your medical travel insurance until the last minute. Medical Travel Compared helps connect travellers with a range of insurers – some of which can provide cover for those with pre-existing medical conditions.