When to go to Australia
Peak SeasonPeak season varies throughout the country. If its beaches you’re looking for (especially in Sydney and along the Gold Coast) or vineyards, the best time to go is during the Australian summer (late-December to early-February) when temperatures are at their highest in the 70s. If your main focus is the Great Barrier Reef, the best (and busiest) time to go is between June and October when the underwater visibility is at its clearest. The Aussie winter (May to August) is the best time to see the Outback without the extreme heat.
Off SeasonThe Aussie winter from May to August is the quietest time in Sydney and along the Gold Coast and in the southern vineyards. Still, temperatures are mild in the mid-50s. The Great Barrier Reef is nearly devoid of activity between November and March when the wet season brings poor visibility, humidity, and monsoons (many businesses close during this period). Visiting the Outback during the summer (December to February) is not recommended due to the scorching 100-degree heat.
Sweet SpotYou’ll get the best bang for your buck in Sydney and along the coast and in the vineyards during spring and fall, which see slightly fewer visitors than the summer peak season. Temperatures in the mid-60s are comfortable, even if they don’t exactly provide for beach-going weather. April and May, excepting Easter weekend, are the sweetest times to explore the reef thanks to fewer tourists. The Outback also experiences a pleasant combination of reasonable weather and fewer visitors during spring and fall.
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The lowest rates for Mediterranean cruises can be found in the winter months, when temperatures hover in the 50s and ports are largely crowd-free.
Karen Dion Freelance Editor
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