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.
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.
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.
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
Longitude 131°$$$$$The scale and beauty of the Australian outback is truly awe inspiring. Longitude 131° allows you to really experience the magic of the country’s spiritual heart and discover the rich history and indigenous culture. Always in sight, Uluru dominates the sparse landscape of the Red Centre, and guests are rewarded with ever-changing views as the light dances across the rock face. 15 luxury tents are nestled among the rust-red dunes, their canopied roofs dotted across swathes of sand. Each tent is beautifully furnished and features floor-to-ceiling windows that open out onto a private deck with day bed, armchairs and a fireplace. Here you can gaze out across the ochre landscape, and really appreciate the beauty of this vast undisturbed wilderness. Each tent is named after an explorer or pioneer and framed artifacts are displayed on the walls, complimented by colourful works of indigenous art. Longitude 131° showcases the very best of contemporary Australian cuisine, complimented by an excellent selection of fine wines. Choose to dine in the Dune House or under the stars at Table 131, the ultimate dining experience. Sunset drinks are served each evening and after dinner, the resident astrologer will regale guests with tales of the southern constellations. Acquire some respite from the warm weather at Red Ochre Spa, located at the nearby Ayers Rock Resort. Return transfers to the spa are included and guests can relax with treatments inspired by nature. There is so much to explore in this beautiful and spiritual land, and all your tours and excursions are included. Learn about the history of the sacred Uluru, explore gorges and visit the Field of Light solar installation, an international-acclaimed work of art. Blooming and glowing in the deepening darkness of the evening, small stems sway in the breeze to create a remarkable and enchanting scene.
Lizard Island$$$$$Escape from it all on the largely uninhabited and breathtakingly pristine Lizard Island on the northernmost tip of Great Barrier Reef. The eco-lodge maintains a responsible, sustainable presence within the national park working closely with the traditional owners of the land to preserve it and the reef. The island can only be reached by private charter from Cairns Airport – taking you to 1,013 hectares of Australia National Park with 24 white-powder sand beaches, a picturesque lagoon and native bush. Choose from 40 luxurious suites, villas or the pavilion, each offering complete privacy, spectacular views and some with private plunge pools. Guests bask undisturbed in the tropical sun or take to the water to discover colourful coral reefs right on their doorstep in one of the world’s most spectacular protected reefs. A stay on the island also includes gourmet dining, picnic hampers on the beach, watersports equipment, a welcoming pool surrounded by palms and indulgent treatments at the spa. The island attracts ocean enthusiasts who come for some of the world’s best diving and snorkeling opportunities, including the famous Cod Hole. Ribbon Reefs draw keen fishers as one of the best big game fishing spots in the world and its multitude of undisturbed private beaches also makes it a hotspot for a romantic getaway or a secluded hideaway for the rich and famous.
Sal Salis$$$$$Step out of your luxury tent to discover the untouched outback and the Ningaloo Reef – just a few metres off shore with colourful coral and an abundance of resident marine life. Sal Salis is making it possible to discover one of Australia’s best kept natural secrets in an authentic and distinctive way, with 16 wilderness tents nestled in the dunes of the Cape Ranga National Park. Each of the spacious tents sit on wooden platforms and have en suites with a composting toilet and a private viewing deck. The eco-tents are wild camping and lack all the mod cons, however their minimalist style simply adds to their charm. The star attraction of Sal Salis is undoubtedly its access to the reef. Spend your days in the balmy waters exploring the marine life, including encounters with the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. Sitting right off shore the shallow waters mean even children can easily discover this underwater world. If you’re staying between August to October, you may also have the rare and incredible opportunity to swim with passing Humpback Whales. Sal Salis is an ecotourism development and is dedicated to protecting its unique surroundings. The camp has been constructed to cause minimal impact on the environment, almost 100% of the power is generated through solar panels and guests are designated 20 litres of water per person daily for washing. There’s no internet connection or WiFi at the camp, offering guests a rare respite from their busy everyday lives and a chance to truly connect with their surroundings.
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.