Striking a balance between the nip of winter and sizzle of summer, spring is a time when the country is blanketed in florals. Spring also is a time for events and the shoulder season generally sees fewer crowds. From Canberra to Melbourne, Uluru and The Whitsundays, these are 12 of the best spring holidays destinations in Australia.
So much more than Australia’s political epicentre, the capital city Canberra features some of the best art galleries and museums in the country as well as suburb dining precincts and stunning natural landscapes. When planning a trip to Canberra consider visiting in September or October to coincide with the annual Floriade festival which is the city’s premier spring event and features more than a million vibrant flowers across 8,000 square metres.
There’s never a bad time to visit the world’s most liveable city, but in spring Melbourne blossoms and the events calendar reaches the pinnacle of prestige with the Spring Racing Carnival, culminating with “the race that stops a nation” – the Melbourne Cup. The day is celebrated as a public holiday in Victoria. Another significant spring sporting event is the AFL Grand Final, held annually at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Whitsundays are spectacular throughout the year; however, the benefits of visiting in September include avoiding stinger season (October – May) and comfortable temperatures. Located in north Queensland, the Whitsunday Islands enjoy a tropical climate which often includes humidity and rainstorms, but in September temperatures sit pleasantly at 26 degrees Celsius and the month receives one of the lowest rainfalls of the year with an average 35 mm recorded compared to 434 mm in February. September is also a great time to see Humpback Whales as they move through the Great Barrier Reef.
One of the benefits of visiting the Hunter Valley in the shoulder season is fewer tourists, although spring in the Hunter Valley is a popular option for honeymooners. Located in New South Wales, two hours north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley boasts over 120 wineries, gourmet restaurants and a range of day spas. In spring the Hunter Valley flourishes with the Spring Festival in September, and for panoramic views of the rolling countryside, visitors should book a hot air balloon flight.
A place for solitude, Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third largest island, is located off the coast of South Australia. A typically pricey place to visit, travelling to Kangaroos Island in a shoulder season helps minimize costs. Once there explore Seal Bay Conservation Park, scramble through the Remarkable Rocks and make sure mingle with the islands local wildlife. Kangaroo Island is also a gourmet haven with fresh seafood, cheese, and wine.
Known as the “opal capital of the world”, Coober Pedy is an outback town located in South Australia. The town is also famous for its underground homes known as dugouts, built to escape the unforgiving desert heat which reaches 36 degrees Celsius during the summer. If you plan to visit do so in winter or spring and be sure to explore The Breakaways, the historic Old Timers Mine, Umoona Opal Mine & Museum and even try your luck fossicking for gems.
From the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo and Bondi Beach there is much to do and see in the cosmopolitan city of Sydney and the best time to travel is during spring. Temperatures reach a comfortable 21 degrees Celsius and September receives the second lowest rainfall in the year. Those looking to avoid crowds should visit early September or late October, while those with kids can visit during the spring school holiday season.
With two UNESCO World Heritage Site listings Uluru is one of the most iconic and spiritually significant natural landmarks in Australia. Estimated to be 1,750 million years old, Uluru or Ayres Rock is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre. This awe-inspiring desert landscape is best explored in spring when temperatures hover around 28 degrees Celsius. Visitors should be wary of travelling in summer as the mercury soars to 38 degrees Celsius. The native flora is also at its most impressive during the season.
A bohemian enclave, Byron Bay is mainland Australia’s easternmost town and one of the most popular destinations on the coast with sublime beaches, new-age retreats and lush wilderness. Located in New South Wales, close to the Queensland border, Byron Bay is blessed with mild temperatures all year round; however, spring has the lowest average rainfall. Spring is also at the tail end of whale watching season and crowds tend to be smaller.
Geographically isolated, Margaret River is tucked away in the south-west corner of Western Australia. The wine region is home to approximately 215 boutique wine producers, accounting for 20 percent of Australia’s premium wine market and is best known for Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. Margret River welcomes 500,000 visitors annually, so to avoid crowds the best time to visit is in spring.
Less than three hours’ drive from Cairns the Daintree Rainforest in far north Queensland is a diverse destination stretching 1,200 square kilometers. Best visited between May and September; the World-Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest offers a range of tours including guided walks, crocodile spotting, Jungle surfing and bird watching. Within the rainforest, you’ll find the breathtaking Cape Tribulation, and nearby the idyllic beachside town Port Douglas.
Often overlooked, Perth won’t disappoint those willing to venture west. Unlike the dry heat of summer, spring maintains a pleasant average of 23 degrees Celsius with little rainfall which makes sightseeing enjoyable. Visit Kings Park, Bell Tower, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Swan River, St Mary’s Cathedral, Scitech Discovery Centre, Perth Zoo and Perth Mint. Also, make sure you take a day trip to the must-see Rottenest Island.