When is the Best Time to Visit Australia?

To drift away to the Whitsundays, visit the Outback and more
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Written by
Rachel O'Leary

Published on: July 25th, 2017

Last modified: May 30th, 2024

Due to Australia's vast size, different regions have different weather throughout the year. The best time to visit Australia depends on which regions you're interested in visiting.

The best time for the Great Barrier Reef is from April to October, with April and May being slightly quieter shoulder months.

Peak season for the southern islands runs from December to March and New South Wales is temperate year-round. The best time to visit the Outback is between April and October, when the daytime weather is slightly cooler.

January is Australia's main summer holiday, so it tends to be extremely busy all around the country.

Great Barrier Reef
April - May
The Outback
April - October
Southern Islands
December - March

The Top Things to Do in Australia


Australia has a lot to offer to visitors. You can go from the untamed wilderness of Tasmania to the rich culture of Uluru in the blink of an eye. Explore the remote corners of the Outback, swim in the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef, hop from one island to the next, from North to South, or go wine tasting in a vineyard. Here’s when to visit Australia to enjoy your favourite activities.


Explore Northwest Australia

The best time to visit Northwest Australia is between the winter months of June and October. During the dry season, day temperatures range from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F). This is the ideal time to enjoy the great outdoors.

The area is also home to several aboriginal communities as well as mountains, plains and deserts. During the rainy season, most attractions in the region of Broome and The Kimberley are closed.

Ayers Rock, Uluru Australia, at sunset

Visit Uluru and the Outback

The best time to visit the Australian Outback is during the dry season, between April and October when the daytime temperatures are pleasant. This period makes hiking and other outdoor activities comfortable as compared to the peak tourist season between June to September.

The area receives very little rainfall year round, but daytime temperatures between November and March can be quite high and unsuitable for hikes and trails. During the peak tourist season between June and September nighttime temperatures can dip down to (and sometimes below) freezing.


Swim with Whale Sharks

April to mid-July is the best time to swim with the whale sharks in Australia. During these months, whale sharks congregate at Ningaloo Reef in Ningaloo Marine Park. In April, you can also see baby turtles hatching.

The dry season goes from August to December, with May to November are the best months to see manta rays and July to November being the best months to see humpback whales and dolphins.


Go to Darwin

Stable weather makes June to October the best time to visit Darwin and Kakadu National Park. During the summer months between December and March, humidity levels rise, making it quite uncomfortable to explore the outdoors.

For a touch of luxury check out Bamurru Plains, which sits just west of Kakadu National Park. The bush camp is home to several species of birds and wildlife, including wallaby and buffalo.


Go Diving in the Great Barrier Reef

The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is between April and October. The dry season runs from June to October. This is the peak season in the region. April and May are the best months to visit to avoid the crowd. During these drier months, fewer rain showers make conditions perfect for underwater clarity.

If you’re headed to the Whitsundays, you should aim to go between April and October.

Hunter valley kangaroos in the vineyard
All Year

Visit New South Wales

Because New South Wales lies in the temperate zone, the climate is generally free from extreme temperatures. It tends to be pleasant year round with warm summer months between December and February and winter from June to August. New Years is an extremely popular time to go to Sydney, and you usually need to book several months in advance if you want to be among the first in the world to ring it in.

Where to Stay in Australia

Some of Jacada's Recommended Hotels

When is the Best Time to Visit the Australian Islands?

The Best Time to Visit Tasmania

December through March is peak season for the island, with warm summer temperatures and plenty of outdoor activities. From March and April it starts to cool down, but most places are still open for business. Winter (June to August) is much colder and can even see snowfall, but there are lots of festivals on at this time of year, giving you a chance to see the island in a different light.

The Best Time to Visit Kangaroo Island

You can visit Kangaroo Island all year round as it never really gets too hot or too cold. Peak season is usually during summertime (December to February) when it is warmest. Winters (June to September) are also a nice time to visit, with mild temperatures and rainfall reinvigorating the lush green landscape, and great opportunities for whale watching.

The Best Time to Visit Lord Howe Island

The temperate climate and picturesque landscape of Lord Howe Island attract visitors all year round. Peak season is between September and June, with mild summer temperatures ensured by the cool sea breezes, whilst even the winter months (July and August) see easy temperatures and sunny days.


Your Australian Adventure Awaits

Dive above the Great Barrier Reef, wander through the vast Outback and savour the wines of world-class vineyards with an unforgettable journey planned by our team of travel experts.