We are two couples in our late fifties who are planning to travel around Australia fro three to four months. We h ave all been to Sydney many times and intend to start there. Either getting a Winnibego or a car and stay in B&B's.
We are discussing which season to travel. One of us is a teacher and would like to start in August or September, hoping that the weather won't be too hot then. Others want to start the travelling after New Year.
Can anybody advice us? Positives and negatives please.
It depends a bit on where you're wanting to go, but generally speaking I'd lean toward the August departure; April through October is the time of the year to be up north (Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin), as the November through March period is the "wet season", where torrential rains are interspersed with horrible humidity.
August is very pleasant up in Cairns and down to Sydney (as well as on the west coast), although it can get a bit chilly in Melbourne and Tasmania (with snow at Cradle Mountain). By October it should be quite pleasant everywhere; and then January/February it'll get unpleasantly hot (for my tastes; others love it) everywhere except for Tasmania.
Car rental and accommodation prices should also be lower for August-October in most places down south, as it's the off season.
January/February is an awesome time to be over in New Zealand though, which is only a relatively short flight away from Australia, and which I can thoroughly recommend as a destination to keep in mind when planning a visit to that part of the world... Just to muddle the waters a bit.
[ Edit: Edited on 29-Jun-2011, at 22:29 by Sander ]
When is winter in the northern hemisphere, Australia is basking in the summer southern hemisphere, and vice versa. Winter in Australia in July and August the hottest months are from November to March. Remember that, unlike in the northern hemisphere, the further south you go in Australia, the coldest.
The travel season
Airline tickets to Australia offered by U.S. airlines are the lowest since mid-April to late August - the best time to visit the Red Centre, the upper end, and the Great Barrier Reef.
High Season - The holiday season in the most popular in Australia is the Australian winter. In much of the country - around Townsville in Queensland and from the north, across the Far North and the Red Centre, and the northern half of Western Australia - the most pleasant time to visit is between April and September, when temperatures day are 66 ° F to 88 ° F (19 ° C-31 ° C) and rarely rains. June, July and August are the busiest months in these parts, you'll need to book travel and accommodation well in advance, and will have to pay higher then, too.
On the other hand, the summer in Australia is a good time to visit the southern states - New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia in Perth, south and Tasmania. Even in winter, temperatures rarely fall below freezing and snow falls only in parts of Tasmania, on the slopes of Victoria, and the snowy mountains of southern New South Wales.
The best months to visit Australia, I think, are September and October, when it is often still warm enough to go to the beach in the southern states, which is cool enough to visit Uluru (Ayers Rock), humidity and the rains have not come to Cairns and the top (although it will be very hot in October), and the wildflowers are in full bloom in Western Australia.
Low season - October to March (summer) is too hot, too wet or too humid - or all three - to explore the Red Centre, the top end, and anywhere in Western Australia except Perth and southwest . The Top End, the Kimberley and northern Queensland, including Cairns, suffer intensely hot, humid wet season from November or December until March or April. At the top, and Kimberley, is preceded by an even stickier "accumulation" in October and November. Some of the tourist attractions and businesses close, others are flooding out of bounds, and falling rates of hotels, often dramatically. So if you decide to travel in these areas at this time - and a lot of people - be prepared to withstand the heat, the discomfort of the floods, and tropical coastal areas, the probability of encountering cyclones.
Stay away from the holiday rush - Try to avoid Australia in the Boxing Day (December 26) in late January, when the Australians take their summer holidays. In popular tourist resorts by the sea, hotel rooms and airline tickets scarce as a green dog, and an airline or hotel rates rarely completely discount or a dollar.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
thank you all, this has helped a lot. Lots of fun planning ahead, And we will probably visit NZ at some time too¬