Sometimes the key to memorable travel is visiting places at the right time of year. Here we look at the best picks in Australia, season by season, as well as the best times of year to try something like a Phillip Island or Blue Mountains tour .
Summer in Australia is all about sun and surf, so what better place to spend your summertime than on Sydney’s beaches?
Try the Bondi to Bronte walk, which stretches for 2.5km from Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach, past the beautiful Tamarama and finishing in shady Bronte, with spectacular views along the way.
If you’re in Sydney and you’re looking for something different, consider heading up the Blue Mountains to visit the Three Sisters at Katoomba. While the Sisters are amazing all year round, summer is definitely the best time for a Blue Mountains tour as the weather is still warm -- Katoomba can get extremely cold in the winter.
Moving out of Sydney and another great place to visit in summer is Phillip Island. Located a couple of hours drive south of Melbourne, Phillip Island is famous for the Penguin Parade, where a colony of fairy penguins make their way across the beach after dusk every night. It’s great to catch to take a Phillip Island tour in the summer months when it’s still warm, but try going in February to avoid the holiday crowds.
When Autumn hits it’s time to head inland to try some of the more quaint Australian experiences. A trip to the Yarra Valley, less than an hour from Melbourne, is a great place to start. You can taste wine in Yarra Glen, drink Devonshire tea in the Dandenong ranges and even float over the autumn countryside in a hot air balloon.
Or for a true Aussie outback experience, why not head to Kununurra for the Ord Valley Muster? A celebration of life in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia, you can take part in a 4WD adventure, swim in Lake Argyle, cycle along Gibb River Road and enjoy aboriginal movies and dance. The community spirit is second to none and it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Many of our international friends don’t realise it -- in fact, many Australians don’t even realise it -- but we do have snow resorts in Australia, and they’re the place to be in Winter. Head down to Perisher or Thredbo in NSW’s Snowy Mountains, or try Falls Creek, Mount Buller or Mount Hotham across the border in Victoria. If you’re just starting out, each mountain offers plenty of beginner classes and terrain so you can learn to either ski or snowboard.
For something a little different in winter, head up to North Queensland. The weather here is pleasant all year round, so you’ll avoid the chill of an Australian winter, all the while experiencing the best that Australia has to offer, from sunny Cairns down to the Whitsundays and, of course, one of the seven wonders of the world: the Great Barrier Reef.
The Daintree Rainforest is home to the world’s widest variety of flora and fauna, and during spring you can experience it all at its most sensational. It’s the perfect time of year, as temperatures are pleasant but the monsoonal wet season is yet to kick in. There are many hiking trails to choose from, with over 430 species of birds, all of which sing triumphantly throughout the spring.
If you’ve spent enough time getting in touch with nature and want to reconnect with civilisation, Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival is a great way to do it. Highlighted by the “race that stops the nation” -- the Melbourne Cup at the start of November -- the fashion, fun and racing is in full swing throughout the springtime.