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Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

Tennessee
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Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

Looking at vacationing to Australia and New Zealand sometime during the months of January or February. Is this a good time to go? (weather and crowds) Are there any days during this time frame that is not good?

South Pole
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1. Re: Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

talking about aus only (nz has their own forum but some similar conditions exist).

peak holiday season in january. crowded and expensive in a lot of places. february less so. it's summer so it's hot and humid on the coast, boiling hot and dry in the centre. up north is the wet season with the possibility of cyclonic weather/flooding.

really not the best time to visit but if that's all u have got u have to plan your destinations around the conditions.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

I agree with Lien, if you can come a little later it would be better weather-wise.

Here's a link to dates of school holidays (they vary slightly from State to State) as well as dates of public holidays which should help you in your tgrip planning - …nsw.edu.au/events/vacations.html

And one more thing - our seasons - The official start for Autumn (Fall)1st March, Winter - 1st June, Spring - 1st September and Summer - 1st December.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

Hi,

I also agree try & viisit later in Feb or early March.

Jan is very hot & humid - its also our very busy summer school hols. Prices will be at their peak. Its probably the worst month to visit Australia regarding the weather.

NZ weather is cooler than Australia in Jan or Feb.

Sydney Australia
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4. Re: Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

As a general comment I agree with everyone else.

What is peak period in the north is not peak period in the south, so it's swings and roundabouts to some extent.

I would also add that each of the seasons has its charms. I've been to the far north many times in the wet season and would say that although it is very humid, and there is a risk of cyclone and flooding, these day's you get a break from the humidity in the air conditioning or if you stay in well designed accommodation. As much as I don't like the heat, the wet season in the tropics has charms that I have missed when I've gone at the "ideal" time of year.

It's your own attitude that makes or breaks a trip. So if Jan or Feb is when it suits you to go you can still have a great holiday.

Beijing, China
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5. Re: Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

Don't go January as that's school holidays. Leave it until Feb - weather is still very hot though - but maybe you like that? I'd personally wait until March. I've still been swimming in May/ June on the Sunshine Coast.

Lunenburg, Canada
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6. Re: Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

Hi TN!

If you wanted to visit New Zealand, weatherwise late January and February are the best time to come. It's mid-summer, and the weather has settled. The days are still long, especially in January when there's still sun past 9 p.m. on the South Island.

When we visited New Zealand in November/early December we found the temperature on the cool side most of the time, around 60° F, which is a bit chillier than we would have liked, with numerous cloudy days and often showery periods. We wished we'd been able to come in January/February.

In Australia the climate varies: Queensland in January-February is like Florida in July-August. It's the time of the hottest days and it's hurricane season. Most days there are no hurricanes, and Queensland gets fewer of them in a given year than Florida does, but you've seen on the news the effect of a hurricane warning on tourism in Florida. Keep an eye on the weather forecast.

Southern Hermsphere summer is the best time to see the south coast. The weather is more likely to be settled and warm, with one proviso. The Southern Ocean coast boasts the distinction of being the only place in the world on the polar-facing side of a hot continent. When the wind is from the north, off the land, the day heats up,easily shooting past 100° F. If the wind should swing around to the south, however, it will have to cross long stretches of chilly ocean water, and even in January that means a daytime high probably around a bracing 65° F. It's not extraordinary to find both happening in the same day.

I found that out the hard way in Adelaide, when roasting weather swung abruptly to a spring-like blustery day, with showers mixed in. Instead of the "sunburnt continent", I got thoroughly chilled at the famed Cleland Park zoo and caught a miserable summer head cold that spoiled several days of my trip. If you get a shot of this spring-like weather, be sure to dress for it.

By the way, we traveled across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia in January, the height of the school holidays, and found no problem getting rooms and no excessive crowds. Motels jacked their prices up slightly, usually around $10/night over what one might find in the low season, but for someone traveling from the other side of the world we regarded it as tolerable. It's a refreshing contrast, say, to the New England states of the US, where resort prices commonly double in high season.

We traveled by our own rental car with no reservations any earlier than the same-day afternoon. We got turned away from just three motels in two weeks on the road, and in every case the host himself at the booked-up place helped us with suggestions for the guy down the street who still had rooms available. Do not be intimidated by reports of school holidays crowding. We found it manageable.

Happy travels!

David

capetien10@gmail.com

Edited: 19 August 2011, 09:43
South Pole
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7. Re: Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

"Do not be intimidated by reports of school holidays crowding. We found it manageable"

except maybe on the south coast on nsw where it is definitely NOT 'managable' during the xmas break.

and motel rates here double compared to winter rates.

i wonder what parts of nsw, vic and sa the above contributor travelled thru to give such an optimistic report.

Colorado
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8. Re: Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

Kids in NZ return to school between Jan 30-Feb 7, so in addition to it being high season, the locals will be out and about.

Jan & Feb are pretty miserable here in WA. We're going to NZ in Feb just to get away from the heat!

Lunenburg, Canada
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9. Re: Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

Would you like specifics, Sydney? I'm more than happy to provide!

I keep careful journals of my trips, so that the memories are not lost after I get home. I also find my detailed accounts the best medicine for fear-mongering.

The three towns where we found No Vacancies were:

- Mount Gambier, South Australia, Friday January 7. The host at the booked property directed us to the Motel Mount Gambier, where we found a comfortable room for AUS$80.

- The Grampians Sunday January 9. The place we tried in Halls Gap was both expensive and full. Try outside the national park, said the host, so we went to Dadswell Bridge, Victoria, a one-horse town, and stayed at Dadswell Bridge Motel for AUS$65. Dadswell Bridge doesn't have a lot of restaurants, but the motel happened to have a very good one, specializing in Indian cuisine, which is my favorite.

- Princetown, on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria Monday, January 10. Princetown is the heart of the Twelve Apostles county. The host told us that we might find a room at another place in town, but that the price would certainly be higher than his. When we demurred, he told us about Colac, a town about 60 miles inland. He called ahead for us, and we found a place exactly in our price range, the Otway Gate Motel for AUS$70.

Colac is off the Great Ocean Road, but we weren't disappointed. There happened to be a sea breeze on the Southern Ocean coast. For the benefit of the Tennessee writer, sea breezes on the Victoria coast produce cool, clammy weather. Australians love it, but we're from Nova Scotia where we already get more than our fair share of soggy evenings. We appreciated the dry, invorating climate in Colac.

And these are just the places where we found motels that happened to be booked. We also stayed in Katoomba, NSW $81; Queanbeyan NSW (suburban Canberra) $66; Corryong Vic $66; Swan Hill, Vic $66; Adelaide $66; Kangaroo Island Wilderness Resort, SA $120; Victor Harbor, SA $99; and Goulburn, NSW $55 on various January evenings, and in each of these we hit our choice on the first try.

Perhaps it was beginner's luck, what Sydney!

David

South Pole
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10. Re: Australia and New Zealand Best time to go

most inland as i suspected.