The opposite of the northern hemisphere, Australia's spring starts in September and ends in late November, which heralds the arrival of summer. And depending on when you visit and where you're going to, temperatures are generally starting to climb. However, it's a good idea to decide what type of vacation you're taking before you set out since the country is so big and the spring climates vary. Outdoor buffs may want to head south for spring skiing, while beachgoers stay up north, enjoying warmer temperatures.
Weather and Temperatures
Even though Australia spans the Tropic of Capricorn—creating a different climate in the north as opposed to the south—the weather is generally mild and spring brings a warm reprieve to travelers, no matter their destination. As a rule of thumb, you'll find warmer weather in northern and western Australia, the Northern Territory, from Darwin south to the Tanami Desert, most of coastal Queensland, and around the Great Barrier Reef.
October in the Northern Territory city of Darwin averages a daily high of 91 F. But as you go south, the weather gets progressively cooler. The cities of Alice Springs and Cairns reach about 86 F in the same month, while most other capital cities hover around 70 F this time of year.
In northern Australia, the seasons are appropriately divided into two (the wet and the dry season). And since spring is their wet season, regions of Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory can have spring rains. Also, an occasional cyclone is not unheard of, but shouldn't deter you from travel.
And if you care to venture there, the interior desert of Australia brings extremely hot daytime temperatures. Then, nighttime temperatures skew and become increasingly cold. Make sure to pack accordingly.
In Australia, as in other parts of the world, spring temperatures cause the earth to wake up from its winter slumber. Flower blooms dot fields and gardens and nation-wide flower festivals take place. Canberra’s month-long Floriade Flower Festival starts the middle of September and offers a different theme each year. In Perth, the Kings Park Festival (popularly known as the Wildflower Festival) takes place during September, as well, where you can see 25,0000 plants and dozens of species of wildflowers throughout Western Australia.
Tulip lovers will enjoy New South Wales' Tulip Time Festival, complete with 100,000 blooms, art fairs, street performances, and local farm-to-table fare. The Lilac City Festival in Goulburn—the longest continuously running festival in Australia—hosts free family activities and a pet parade. In Victoria, the Tesselaar Tulip Festival takes place at a working tulip farm about 25 miles east of Melbourne. And Queensland has its own Carnival of Flowers, where many of city's parks are prepared in elaborate blooms, homeowners compete for prizes, and a parade with flower floats culminates the celebration.
Spring Outdoor Activities
Spring is an ideal time in Australia for almost any type of warm-weather activity. Head south and go spring skiing in the Snowy Mountains or head to the Northern Territories to lounge beachside. (You might want to wait until late spring before venturing to the beaches in the southern states.) Australia is also camper friendly, with accessible campgrounds on the coast and near National Parks. If you're not into roughing it, try "glamping" (glamorous camping) where you still spend the night under the stars, but in something much more substantial than a tent and with a high-end bed and linens. Of course, hiking, exploring waterfalls, hot air ballooning, and almost any adrenalin-inducing sport of your choice can all be experienced in the springtime in Australia.
Interestingly enough, there are no nationwide Australian public holidays celebrated during the springtime. However, in the Australian Capital Territory, Labor Day takes place sometime in October. Meanwhile, other Australian states and the Northern Territory celebrate Labor Day (or its equivalent) in another season. Queen Elizabeth II's birthday (technically April 21) is celebrated in the spring in Western Australia, but in other states and major mainland territories winter marks this holiday. In Victoria, Melbourne Cup Day, on the first Tuesday in November, is the day when this well-known horse race is run. And in northern Tasmania, Recreation Day is a public holiday in November.
Take note if you're traveling to a given location on a publicly-recognized holiday. While the traffic may be bad and the hotel rooms sparse, planning ahead of time may put you in the vibrant center of the local action.