February is the last month of the Australian summer, so expect it to be crowded with tourists and locals enjoying the warm temperatures and sandy beaches. The country also hosts plenty of festivals, parties, and other events as part of summer celebrations.
Australia Weather in February
While there is a wide temperature range within the continent of Australia itself, summer is generally how it is perceived to be: warm and sunny.
- Adelaide, South Australia: 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) high/63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius) low
- Melbourne, Victoria: 80 F (27 C)/61 F (16 C)
- Sydney, New South Wales: 80 F (27 C)/67 F (20 C)
- Perth, Western Australia: 90 F (32 C)/64 F (18 C)
- Brisbane, Queensland: 84 F (29 C)/70 F (21 C)
February might be an ideal time to visit Sydney if you like very hot climates, as it is one of the warmest months of the year in the city. There's also plenty of sunshine in Sydney in February, as you can get about eight hours of sun per day on average and have a 19 percent chance of a sunny day, which allows plenty of time for soaking up the rays on the soft golden sand beaches. February is also a great time to go for a swim in the Pacific. The average ocean temperature around the coast of Sydney is a comfortable 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius).
Although it is summer, the chances of rain throughout February are quite high; you can expect to see rain for about 14 days throughout the month.
At the Top End, February is the middle of the wet season, so expect rains and some flooding in the Northern Territory, particularly in parts of Kakadu National Park where some roads become rivers.
Cyclones and brushfires can occur during the summer months and can cause severe destruction, but these events are mostly isolated to rural or lightly-populated areas.
What to Pack
Expect sunny, hot days and nights that are equally warm. The Australian sun is especially harsh, so combined with temperatures sometimes exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it's worth packing accordingly. Australia's style is mostly casual and eclectic. Don't feel like you need to pack five-star duds to fit in here. A good start for your packing list will include:
- T-shirts made from breathable linen or cotton
- Shorts, especially denim cutoffs
- Swimsuit and cover-up
- Maxi-dress or other "dressy" attire
- A wide-brimmed hat for sun protection
- Leather sandals
- Breezy blouses or button-downs
February Events in Australia
There are no Australian public holidays in February, but there are several major events during the month include Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the Asian Lunar New Year celebrations, and the Twilight Taronga Summer Concert Series.
- One of the major Australian events of the year, which is celebrated for most of February, is the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The glittering nighttime Mardi Gras parade travels from Hyde Park through Oxford St to Moore Park.
- The Asian Lunar New Year usually occurs in February. In Sydney, it is celebrated as the annual Chinese New Year Festival. You can expect to find many celebrations in other major cities with street and lantern parades. Dragon boat races are held at Sydney's Darling Harbour and other Australian cities.
- February 14 is recognized as St. Valentine's Day and is a celebrated day for romance much like it is in the United States.
- The Twilight Taronga Summer Concert Series in February and should not be missed if you're in the city at the right time. This event features concerts and twilight performances held at the Taronga Zoo on Friday and Saturday nights. The Taronga Zoo is open every day of the year and is just a 12-minute ferry ride from the city. One of the most famous attractions in Sydney, the award-winning zoo makes a great day out for families and is home to over 4,000 animals from Australian natives to exotic species. Guests can also try their hand at Wild Ropes, a sky-high series of obstacles and suspension bridges in the trees.
February Travel Tips
- Being midsummer, February is still popular beach time in Australia, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. Jervis Bay is especially famous, as its white sands are listed in the Guinness Book. But be safe on Australian beaches: The poisonous box jellyfish, including the deadly Irukandji jellyfish, is common along the north Queensland coast past Great Keppel Island.
- Summer is a favorite time for visitors, but January school holidays have ended. Still, hotels can be book almost a year or more in advance, so plan for the best deals—or expect to pay a premium. Rental cars are also more expensive.
- In many parts of the country, bugs like flies and mosquitoes are prevalent. Mosquito repellant is useful.
- Heat can be excessive throughout much of Australia. Prepare yourself by drinking plenty of water, seeking shade (or air-conditioning) during the hottest parts of the day, and applying plenty of high-factor sunscreen. Additionally, the wet season in the tropics can cause excessive humidity in some places. Tropical cyclones (aka hurricanes) aren't frequent but do occur on occasion.