Australia in August: Winter's Last Hurrah

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A trip to Australia in August sees the last month of winter. The mercury rises slightly in the south compared to July as spring hoves into view, but it's warm and dry in the tropical north. As southern sun-lovers scurry for warmth, expect crowding and price spikes in northern destinations. Thanks to varying climates, however, the sky’s the limit on what you can do: visit Queensland’s beaches, ski in the Australian slopes, explore wildlife in the outback, or experience the south’s winter charm.

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Australia Weather in August

Ellery Creek Big Hole, MacDonnell Ranges, Australia
Explore the different adventurous creeks in the MacDonnell Ranges in Alice Springs, Australia

Australia in August weather is generally warmer all around compared to July. Southern cities like Hobart, Melbourne, and Adelaide bear the brunt of the winter chill, with Canberra seeing average temperatures of 32°F - 53° F. Coastal cities like Perth and Sydney are warmer with highs of 65°F.

Desert regions like Uluru or Alice Springs are pleasantly warm but beware as temperatures plummet at night. It’s hot and dry in the northern regions; Darwin records average highs of 87°F. Join snowbirds at the beaches of northern Queensland, explore Northern Territory’s national parks, or go skiing in the mountains of Victoria.

For a month-by-month rundown, read our article on the best time to visit Australia.

Weather in Australia in August - Rainfall and Temperatures

Jul Aug Sep
Avg Daily (°C) 17 18 20
Avg Nightly (°C) 8 9 12
Avg Daily (°F) 63 65 68
Avg Nightly (°F) 47 49 54
Avg Rainfall (mm) 56 99 65

Why Visit Australia in August

A surfer surfing on a trip to Australia
Visit Noosa, the surfing hotspot on the East Coast of Australia for the best waves and surf camps
Aerial view of Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Take a road trip on the Great Ocean Road on your tour to Australia

Australia in August offers both warm and wintry excursions, so your vacation can be anything you make it. The month offers travelers their last chance to immerse themselves in winter activities like skiing before the weather warms and the powder thins.

Now is also the best time to explore the north’s national parks before humidity levels peak in the tropic north in September. Exploration can be a more difficult pursuit in the midst of choking humidity. All in all, it’s great to travel to Australia in September, and here’s why.

  • Less rain and humidity: The north’s dry season offers very little rain, so you can hike without the hazards of slippery terrain and flooding. Less rain also means lower humidity, so you can explore without the inconvenience of choking heat.
  • Northern adventures: The northern regions, now in their dry season, are this month’s main draw. Now is a great time to explore the beaches of Whitsundays or Port Douglas, as well as Northern Territory national parks like Litchfield or Kakadu.
  • Cheaper airfare: Budget travelers rejoice. Winter means cheaper international flights to Australia. However, there’s high demand for flights to the north, so if you’re basing yourself in Sydney, make sure to book well in advance.
  • Sports events: Australia is chockful of sports events and competitions like Australian rules football, the rugby union, and the rugby league. Spectate to your heart’s content or test your legs in Sydney’s City2Surf run held on August’s second Sunday.

Where to go and what to do

Visit Perth in an Australia itinerary and see fairy penguins
Fairy penguins can be spotted in Penguin Island near Perth

You’ll find plenty of things to do in Australia, especially in August when the climate drastically varies from place to place. Just like in June and July, the north is still this month’s main draw. Explore the stunning beaches of Port Douglas, Broome, or the Whitsundays. Now is also a great time to visit bucket-list destinations like The Great Barrier Reef.

For top-notch national parks, head to the Northern Territory where World Heritage-listed parks like Uluru and Kakadu await. For winter excursions, the slopes of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory offer great conditions this month.

You’ll find many things to do in Australia without having to venture very far. August is a great time to explore the indoor attractions of big cities like Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. Find out how many days to spend in Australia for the best vacation here.

What to bring

Sydney Harbour Bridge, a great stop to visit on an Australia itinerary
Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge to get a panoramic view of Sydney
An aerial view of the Surfers Paradise skyline on a clear day in Queensland
Queensland has the best beaches in Australia. Make sure that they are part of your itinerary if you're looking for beaches to relax in

When traveling to Australia in August, your packing list depends on what region you'll explore. It's hot and dry in the tropical north, so wear light and breathable fabrics. Desert destinations like Alice Springs have warm days and chilly nights, so dress in layers to adapt. Southern cities can be cold this time of year, so bring a light jacket or a winter coat.

Visiting the destination in August offers lots of choices for travelers looking for hot or cold excursions. In the middle of its dry season and with low humidity, the north’s desert, forest, and beach attractions steal the spotlight. Do note that August is the north’s peak season, so you’ll likely contend with crowds and deal with fully-booked accommodations if you don’t plan well.

Elsewhere, the winter cold opens up lots of possibilities. August will probably be your last chance to engage in winter activities like skiing in the Australian Alps. Southern cities will also feature fewer crowds, so take this time to explore popular attractions. Thanks to cheaper airfare, August is also a great month for budget travelers! Contact our travel experts in the country to help you with a tailor-made trip to Australia.

You can also browse through our list of available Australia tours in August.

Other Related Articles:
Australia in July
Australia in September
Winter in Australia

Published by David Lee, updated on May 19, 2023

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