The where, when and how to plan a trip to Australia
Planning a trip to Australia. Here’s the where, when and how to make sure this is your best trip ever. This year is shaping up as a bumper year to visit Australia but before you go, you may need a little Aussie know-how to get the most from your trip.
Australia is vast.
What you want to do during your Australian adventure will impact on when you should travel.
With cities from the northern tropics to the central desert country and taking in the chilly southern shores, your options are varied and the Australian seasons will play a big part in deciding where you’ll go, and when!
Planning a Trip to Australia?
When to Go
We’re Down Under.
Our seasons are opposite to the northern hemisphere.
Most visitors arrive in the midst of our summer – December to February, when the southern cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are sunny and warm. For us, it’s the time of year that beaches are crowded, the café lifestyle is part of our leisurely daily life and our long balmy evenings are a wonderful time to relax and enjoy the Aussie lifestyle.
This is the time when peak-season accommodation prices, crammed public transport and queues at the big-ticket attractions are at their busiest. The shoulder-season months, October – November and March – April are more affordable.
Summer ‘down south’ invariably means it will be hot ‘n’ humid in the north.
The ‘wet season’ of the Top End of Australia is always uncomfortable so take my advice and plan your visit to the Darwin region during the winter months of June to August. That’s when the ‘dry season’ temperatures and humidity are bearable. Winter is also the best time to escape the cold weather in the south and visit the central deserts for crisp clear skies and amazing colours of a desert winter.
Where to Go
Victoria: If you’re an arty city slicker who lives for good coffee, pubs, galleries, live music and bookshops, head straight for Melbourne.
New South Wales: Sydney maintains its reputation with amazing surf beaches, world-class restaurants, hip shops, hot clubs and cool bars – and of course the Sydney Harbour Bridge is on most visitors lists!
Queensland: Drop into Brisbane or Cairns to explore what this state has to offer. Queensland is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, tropical rainforests and beautiful island paradises.
Western Australia: Perth is the world’s most isolated city but is known for more sunny days than in any other Australian capital city. Visit nearby Rottnest Island, walk in leafy Kings Park and tour the Margaret River vineyards.
Northern Territory: Darwin is the gateway to the extraordinary National Parks, like Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta in Central Australia. Jam packed with Indigenous Aboriginal culture, ancient art and amazing birds and wildlife, this part of Australia exudes a pristine sense of timelessness.
South Australia: Adelaide is for you if you love culture, arts, cycling and some the most renowned wine regions in Australia: the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Adelaide Hills.
Tasmania: An island, with dramatic coastlines, rugged mountains, tall forests and sparkling highland lakes. Historical Hobart is one of our first settlement cities, along with pristine National Parks, the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and wine and food trails ensure a steady stream of travelers.
How to Get Around
Due to its vast distances, Australia doesn’t have many large inland towns. A driving holiday can involve huge distances between each stop so it’s often simpler and more time-friendly to fly from city to city.
Australia’s domestic airlines are affordable and reliable but if you have some extra time, do consider a road-trip as part of your travel plans. Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar are just a few of our major airline services.
Mix it up a little. Take a road-trip from Melbourne to Sydney or vice versa. Head towards the southern ocean to take one of Australia’s most picturesque road-trips along the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide.
Consider traveling to the Top End on The Ghan, one of Australia’s most noted rail journeys. See the Australian Outback with all your creature comforts.
Consider the ultimate travel adventure. Do the ‘big lap’. Circumnavigate Australia but be aware, we are a big country and it’s likely to take you as many months as you can spare.
Somewhere in Australia the climate will be ‘just right’. Decide what you want to do. Make sure you book your holiday when the weather is perfect so it fits your travel plans perfectly and book your tickets! That’s all you have to do!
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Do you want to explore the beaches and swim along the east coast, October to March will suit you perfectly. Do you want to take go bushwalking in the outback? Perhaps you should book your trip to arrive in May – June when the heat is not extreme.