The best times to visit Sydney are September through November and from March to May. These months skirt Sydney’s Summer and Winter seasons, offering visitors comfortable mid-range temperatures and manageable tourist crowds. Plus, airline prices fall during these shoulder seasons, making it more affordable to visit in the spring and fall. Thanks to Australia’s location in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney’s warmest weather and peak tourist season falls between December and February (winter in the Northern Hemisphere). Consequently, the region’s low season starts in May and lasts through August.
You’ll have the city slightly more to yourself this time of year since these months come right before Sydney’s peak season – but only slightly. The city’s year-round warm weather is pretty sublime, and spring is no different. With the local Sydney siders getting excited for Summer and Christmas and a new year there is a buzz in the atmosphere.
Sydney’s high season, which coincides with the Northern Hemisphere’s winter, sees average temperatures climbing into the upper 30 degrees. As you can imagine, visitors flood the city to take advantage of the warm weather and stunning harbour views. And with the influx of travellers comes higher hotel and airfare rates, making this an expensive time to visit Sydney.
However, we don’t want this to discourage you, with delightfully warm long days there has never been a better time to visit Sydney’s beaches. Renowned worldwide they have beautiful warm sands and crystal clear waters. Come surf, boogie board, build sandcastles, beach run or have a picnic, just don’t forget your sunscreen.
Sydney’s autumn season is another sweet spot for tourists. Many of the peak season travellers have retreated by now, leaving the city a little less occupied. Temperatures are slowly dropping as Australia’s winter approaches, but those summer days linger keeping the beach warm and comfortable. Animal lovers may want to plan a trip for the end of fall as May is considered the start of Sydney’s whale-watching season.
Avoid school holidays when hotel rates are higher.
Best Time for Sightseeing
Avoiding the heat of mid-summer, and the crowds and higher hotel rates of the Australian school holidays, the best time is late spring (October and November) and early autumn (March and April). This also avoids the humidity, which can be draining at times, and (hopefully) the rain, which can be disruptive from April to September.
Best Time for Outdoor Activities
The heat and humidity can be difficult during the summer (December to February) for anything like hiking. Although this is the prime time for swimming at iconic Bondi Beach or Manly Beach. To avoid the heat, head outside in late spring (October and November) and early autumn (March and April). Serious surfers will know the best time is anytime when prepared, but ask the experts if heading further north.
Best Time for Beaches
The delightful Manly Beach, and those to the east, including iconic Bondi, are worth visiting any time of the year for walking, shopping, and admiring the views. But for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing, the best times are from late spring (November) to early autumn (March), but always be careful of the sun and large swells which can be dangerous to inexperienced surf/swimmers.
7 Bucket list sights of Sydney
Sydney Opera House – One of the world’s great icons, the Sydney Opera House is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the star attraction on the glittering harbour. This graceful building, shaped like shells or billowing sails, perches on a finger of land surrounded by water.
Sydney Harbour Bridge – The Sydney Harbour Bridge or “Coathanger,” as locals call it, was the city’s best-known landmark prior to construction of the Sydney Opera House. Supported by massive double piers at each end, it was built in 1932 and remains the world’s largest steel arch bridge, connecting the harbour’s north and south shores in a single curve rising 134 meters above the water. Pedestrians can stroll across on walkways or join a guided ascent through BridgeClimb for a breathtaking panorama of the city and harbour.
Bondi Beach – Less than a 15-minute drive from the city, iconic Bondi Beach beckons with its great surf, café scene, and cosmopolitan vibe. For fantastic ocean views, take the coastal walk along the cliffs from Bondi to Coogee.
The Rocks – On a tongue of land protruding into Sydney Harbour, the Rocks historic area was once home to the Gadigal aboriginal people and later became the country’s first site of European settlement.
Taronga Zoo – At Taronga Zoo, you can enjoy close-up encounters with iconic Aussie wildlife and other animals from around the world, plus superb views of the Sydney skyline. Nestled on a point along the north side of the harbour, the zoo inhabits prime Sydney real estate in the posh suburb of Mosman.
Art Gallery of NSW – Surrounded by beautiful parklands, the Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of the country’s most distinguished art museums. The building dates from 1885 and houses spacious, light-filled galleries and Grand Courts, with collections ranging from works by the European masters and Asian artists to evocative contemporary art from around the world. The gallery also houses one of the largest collections of aboriginal art in Australia.
China Town – Inhale the fragrance of sizzling Szechuan spices, shop for Chinese speciality items, or feast on authentic Asian cuisine at Sydney’s Chinatown. Framed by lion gates at each end, this small district lies in the pedestrian zone of Dixon Street between Darling Harbour and Central Station.
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