The Best Time to Go to Melbourne

Melbourne's city skyline and river
Melbourne City

Melbourne by Seasons

While Australia experiences summer in December to February and winter in June to August, Melbourne can sometimes be an exception. Notorious for have four seasons in one day, Melbourne’s weather can be temperamental, ranging from 30°C and sunny in the morning to cool and rainy in the afternoon. Luckily, Melbourne offers more than just weather, there are also plenty of annual events to time your visit to as well.

Horses racing at the Melbourne Cup
Spring

September to November

Spring in Melbourne is a fantastic time to see the city come alive with spring blooms and accompany spring festivities with everything from horse racing to fashion festivals. Temperatures at the time typically range from 10 to 20°C. Be sure to keep your umbrella close during this season, particularly in October when rain is common.

Go for…

AFL Grand Final: Fans of the country’s Australian Football League (AFL) will have all eyes on Melbourne when they host the AFL Grand Final. Taking place at the MCG, the stadium holds over 100,000, all of whom will don their chosen teams colours for the game. Needless to say, tickets to this event sell out fast.

Melbourne Cup Carnival: Known as ‘the race that stops the nation,’ the Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most prestigious horse race. The event is so popular that it’s a public holiday in Victoria, with celebration lunches taking place around Melbourne as the race is broadcast live. Tickets can also be bought to attend the horse race at Flemington Raceway.

Colourful houses on Brighton Beach near Melbourne
Summer

December to February

Even though Melbourne sits in the southern part of Australia, it still enjoys a warm to hot summer with temperatures reaching up to 25, even 30°C. Thanks to its location it avoids the humidity that northern Australia experiences, allowing for ideal conditions. With these ideal conditions, summer is a time when Melbourne hosts many sporting events and music festivals.

Go for…

Boxing Day Test: Recover from Christmas by joining Australia’s cricket fans at the MCG Stadium to watch Australia play the visiting international team.

Australian Open: Taking place in mid-January, the Australian Open hosts the world’s best tennis players in the first of four international Grand Slam tennis events that take place each year. 

Autumn leaves in Melbourne
Autumn

March to May

Autumn in Melbourne sees the city’s leaves change colour and days cool with temperatures ranging between 10 to 20°C. This time of year is particularly beautiful with blue skies common. It’s a great time to explore the surrounding countryside and wineries which looking particularly scenic at this time of year.

Go for…

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival: a must-visit for foodies, this festival celebrates Melbourne’s world-leading food scene with over 200 events including wine tasting, live demonstrations and the World’s Longest Lunch.

Melbourne Comedy Festival: the biggest comedy event in Australia, this week long festival showcases both local and international acts. A great event to attend and get a feel of Australia’s unique sense of humour.

Winter

June to August

While the summers in Melbourne can be glorious, the winters can be cold and rainy. If you’re visiting for the sunny weather, winter might not be the best time of year to visit Melbourne with temperatures averaging around 6.5 - 14.2°C and snow falling in the countryside. Weather shouldn’t dampen your holiday completely though as the city has plenty of attractions to enjoy indoors.

Go for…

Melbourne Open House: join the city’s inquisitive locals visiting some of Melbourne’s most historic and interesting buildings that are not normally open to the public.

Melbourne International Film Festival: a premier film event in Australia, the festival features a number of galas but also public screenings of local and international films.

Top Melbourne Journeys

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Round the World Expert Sheena Umbleby

When in Melbourne I really loved the Hidden Laneways of Melbourne tour. The tour takes you through to some of the best parts of the city - parts that you would never find unless you were very lost!

- Sheena Umbleby, Expert