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best time to travel to Australia

Richmond, VA
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best time to travel to Australia

I am dying to take my daughters to Australia (16 & 13). I have been there and seen a few places but it is so expensive and also the holidays and reverse season and all!

Is August very cold?I mean I don't like cold and we'll be sightseeing and will be outside a lot. I don't want to be miserable...December seems to be the most expensive! How is April (spring break for schools)? ie temps and air fares.

thanks

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: best time to travel to Australia

Australia is a country the same size as the US so as you might imagine we have a lot of different weather patterns across that great expanse. So if you were to narrow down exactly what part of the country you are considering visiting we could be more specific on what kind of whether you could expect in August or April. (December is summer and the long school holiday break so yep its high tourism season through to early/mid Feb).

Or take a look at the government weather site for some averages:

http://www.bom.gov.au/index.shtml

Uden, The...
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2. Re: best time to travel to Australia

What part of Australia do you want to visit? Generally spoken september is a great month for most of the places. We also liked march for the states of NSW, Vic, SA and WA and TA. How long are you coming? I'd avoid coming in schoollholidays esp. in januari and at Eastern. Tasmania will be great in februari, Gold Coast and Sunshine coast are very pleasant most of the year. November-april northern Australia will be in the Wet.

Richmond, VA
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3. Re: best time to travel to Australia

thanks. I will look at the link you gave.

I was thinking Sydney, Barrier Reef & Ayer's Rock (Spelling?). Will there be cheaper airfares to fly within Australia through Ansett (Is that the internal airline)? thanks again

Uden, The...
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4. Re: best time to travel to Australia

For domestic flights you could use www.jetstar.com.au and www.virginblue.com.au There are more but I forgot its names.

For the trip you are planning, often called City-Reef-Rock I recommend to come in august/september and start Cairns. 2 weeks will be minimum for a trip like this. Ayers Rock and The Olga's now are called Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Only Qantas flies Uluru. Domestic flights are to Alice Spings but Alice still is some 500 kms from Uluru. It you'll have the time it's a great idea to rent a car in Alice and make a roundtrip to Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon and also visit Alioce Springs but I'd allow at least 5 days for it then. Nights can be cold in the red Center that time of year, 3 days Sydney, 1 day Blue Mountains and at least 4 days in the Cairns/Port Douglas area imo.

Tet

Richmond, VA
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5. Re: best time to travel to Australia

thanks. i will check out the airlines...suggestions are great too.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: best time to travel to Australia

Ansett hasnt existed since 2001.

For interstate flying try jetstar, ozjet, qantas or virgin blue (there is also Tiger but I dont consider them and airline!).

use webjet.com.au to do the comparisons as it will bring up all airlines on the route and day and prices - then go to the actual airlines own site to do the booking - always the cheapest option and no 3rd party surcharges.

Richmond, VA
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7. Re: best time to travel to Australia

another question, would the water be too cold in April for Barrier Reef trip? snorkeling etc..thanks

Richmond, VA
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8. Re: best time to travel to Australia

yes, I noticed that when I tried to go to Ansett...:-) As you can see this was years ago that I went there. thank you for the additional airline names and the site for comparison!

Arlington, Virginia
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9. Re: best time to travel to Australia

I know that having school-aged children limits the time that you can travel extensively. So I assume that you can go sometime during Spring Break (1 week in either March or April), summer vacation (late June - late August since you live in Virginia) or Christmas (late December - early January). Even though the weather is nice in April in Australia, I would not even attempt a one-week trip--it's just not worth the money to go for such a short amount of time. I also would not recommend Christmas because it can be blazing hot and super-busy because this is the time of their schools' summer vacation in addition to it being Christmas. So that leaves sometime between June - August.

We lived in Australia for a number of years and have returned for a few visits. Because of our kids' school schedules, our return visits have always been in July/August. We actually like going there at that time of year because it's a nice break from the heat of Virginia, it's a good time to visit the Great Barrier Reef region and the airfares are generally cheaper than at other times of the year. We have been to all of the places you would like to visit in August (well, it was July for Uluru) and here's how we found them:

Sydney--Their winters are much milder than our winters in Virginia. Most days seem springlike to me--sunny with mild temperatures. (We often wore short sleeves during the day and just added a light jacket for night.) But there can be some chilly and rainy days too. Overall, the weather is good.

Great Barrier Reef--We've been to Port Douglas about 5 times in July/August. The weather is warm, but not hot. (We wore shorts during the day but slacks in the evening). You seldom have to worry about rain at this time of year. It can be windy, however, so you have to keep that in mind when you schedule a trip to the reef. Also, it's not stinger season so you can swim off the beach.

Uluru--The days are sunny and dry with moderate temperatures. The nights are downright cold. (I have a photo of my daughter wearing a winter jacket at night there.)

If you would like to go somewhere interesting and warm in August, I would recommend Darwin and its environs. Our kids love that part of the country in August because it's warm-to-hot and dry. They enjoy the Mindel Beach Sunset Market, swimming at Litchfield National Park, fish feeding at Aquascene, etc.

Finally, you might want to look at the Qantas Aussie Airpass. It includes airfare from LAX and 3 internal flights within Australia. I don't know how it compares to arranging flights separately on the various airlines, but we found it a good deal and it was certainly easy to arrange.

Brisbane, Australia
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10. Re: best time to travel to Australia

I'll just add that I love late August and September in Queensland. Our days

are not overly hot but a bit cooler at night. The skies are usually extemely clear...September is our school holiday time in Queensland...some schools and states vary a bit.

Further north it will be warmer than south east Queensland. New Zealanders and southern states come here for this time of the year as even SE Qld is warmer than their states/country.

Enjoy, but I agree 1 week is far too short for all the travelling you will do to get here and back .

Niec