When is the Best Time to Visit Australia?

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Written by
Jane Dumble & Alesha Walton

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

Explore Northwest Australia

Winter in the northwest regions of Broome and The Kimberley (which is also the dry season) is from June to October, and it’s the best time to go since most things are closed during the rainy season. The massive region is truly spectacular with its remote, stunning scenery, being home to several aboriginal communities as well as mountains, plains and deserts.


Visit Uluru and the Outback

The best time to visit the Outback is between April and October, when the daytime weather is slightly cooler. The area receives very little rainfall year round, but daytime temperatures between November and March can be quite high and unsuitable for hiking. Peak tourist season is usually between June and September, but nighttime temperatures can dip down to (and sometimes below) freezing during these months.


Swim with whale sharks

From April to mid-July, you can swim with the whale sharks in Sal Salis. Ningaloo Reef, which sits just off the coast of Sal Salis, is filled with fascinating wildlife, so it’s certainly worth a visit. The dry season goes from August to December, with May to November being the best months to see manta rays and July to November being the best months to see humpback whales and dolphins.


Go to Darwin

Darwin and Kakadu National Park see their best weather between June and October. Their summertime, December to March, can get quite wet and humid so it’s best to avoid going at that time of year. 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 go diving in the Great Barrier Reef is between April and October. The dry season runs from June to October, but these months are also the busiest for the area. Fewer tourists go during April and May, and there’s not much rainfall, so it’s a great time to plan a quieter trip to the Reef. The rainy season falls between November and March. At this time it can get very hot, and it’s also less safe for diving as there tends to be a greater concentration of box jellyfish inshore. However, the jellyfish can be avoided by going towards the outer reef and when it rains, it often rains over the land, so you can still go at this time if you're not fussed.

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

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.

When is the best time to visit the Australian islands?


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.

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.

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.

Whatever you want from your trip to Australia, our team of expert travel designers are ready to help.