What to Know About Traveling to Australia in March

Participant in Moomba Festival Parade. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australasia
 Richard I'Anson / Getty Images

Unlike countries located in the Northern Hemisphere, the month of March in Australia brings with it the beginnings of the cool and visually stunning season of autumn.

This is one of the best times to be in Australia, as the extreme temperatures of the summer and winter months are avoided. What’s more, it’s not considered a peak season as kids are one month into the school year, so you’re bound to miss the sky-high prices and clusters of crowds you would have encountered traveling during busier times.

In addition to the generally pleasant weather in March, there are lots of things to do in Australia that is specific to this time of year.

The Mild Beginnings of Autumn

The exact weather will depend largely on where in Australia you plan on traveling to, though generally, the brutal summer heat slowly comes to an end in the first few weeks of the month and the cool change sets in.

This agreeable weather is common in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the southern parts of Western Australia.

In the areas of Australia that are considered to be tropical, like Northern Queensland, the warm weather persists and there is still the possibility of cyclones as the Wet season carries on.

What Is There To Do?

The general sightseeing activities that most tourists to Australia like to take part in, such as seeing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, are still available in March, and as mentioned, tend to run a lot more smoothly without the added pressure of huge crowds.

In addition to that, there are a number of March-specific things to do.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is certainly a spectacle not to be missed, as it boasts a nighttime parade full of sparkle and glitter that makes headlines around the world and draws in some of the biggest musical acts and supporters. Though it begins in February, it usually ends in early March.

Labour Day is not celebrated on the same date across the whole of Australia, but there’s a good chance you’ll come across this public holiday in March. In Western Australia, it’s held on the first Monday in March, and in Victoria, it’s held on the second Monday in March. Eight Hours Day is the equivalent public holiday in Tasmania, which is also held on the second Monday of the month.

The Moomba Festival occurs in Melbourne during the Victoria Labour Day weekend and features a colorful street parade with costumed participants and exciting activities taking place up and down the Yarra River.

Though not a public holiday, St Patrick's Day is still regularly celebrated in Australia on March 17 or on the closest weekend. The strong British and pub culture in the country ensure that this day is remembered all year long.

Depending on the year, Easter usually falls in March, and many cities in Australia celebrate the religious holiday in their own unique ways. The Sydney Royal Easter Show is an event worth attending around this time, as no family can look past the carnival rides and indulgent treats.

Another public holiday, Canberra Day is held in a march in the Australian Capital Territory. Each public holiday is celebrated in different ways specific to the location, so it’s a good idea to check with locals to see what’s on.

Edited and updated by Sarah Megginson.