Australia is a place of extremes, with searing heat in the summer and snow in some parts in the winter. Chances are that overseas visitors are almost stunned when they get off the plane in the middle of summer, greeted by a dry heat that feels even more oppressive after just leaving a northern winter. And then there are places that seem to have idyllic weather year-round, such as the Gold Coast. Holiday apartments, hotels and all other forms of accommodation have appropriate heating and cooling to deal with the climate, but visiting certain parts of the country depending on the time of the year might be a better way to get the most out of your holiday. Of course, it all depends on what you plan to do while you are here.
If You Want to See a Lot of Australia in One Trip…
Autumn is going to be your best bet if you plan to pack lots into one holiday. Autumn (or Fall to North Americans) is from March to May with April generally providing the most favourable weather. This is particularly true if you aren’t fond of the heat and don’t want your sightseeing spoiled by too much rain.
At this time of year the northern parts of the country start to see the searing temperatures fall to more enjoyable levels – particularly in the dry north-west of Western Australia where there are some amazing natural wonders. The summer heat has also probably left the cities by now, with major mainland centres typically averaging around 25°C. It is enough to give you a taste of the wonderful climate without the high heat. Nights can get a little chilly at this time of year, however.
Some Like It Hot
If it is hot weather you enjoy, then scorching summers are a regular part of Australia’s climate. It can be overwhelming, however, so make sure your holiday accommodation has good air-conditioning. In most capital cities you can expect the mercury to top 40°C on some days, while averaging in the mid- to low-30s from December to February. Dry heat is common in western and southern parts of the country, while eastern parts tend to be more humid. It is holiday season during Australia’s summer as well, so that’s when most activities are available.
For the Snow Bunnies
Yes, Australia has snow. Not a lot by northern hemisphere standards, but enough to enjoy a couple of months’ worth of freezing fun. The snow is also limited to a few small areas, in particular around New South Wales and Victoria. Snow is usually on the ground from mid June to late August with the best conditions in late July. Winter in Australia, which is from June to August, differs from state to state. The southern states are wet and windy with temperatures in the low to mid teens (Celcius), while the further north you go the warmer it gets. It can get quite stormy at times too.
Spring has Sprung
After Autumn, Spring is probably the best time to visit if you want to see a lot of Australia. November usually has a little something for everyone with cooler temperatures often giving way to a taste of summer heat. Parts of the country, especially Western Australia, are turned into a carpet of colour at this time of year as the wildflowers spring to life.