The Best time to visit New South Wales
Sydney & New South Wales by Season
New South Wales enjoys a subtropical climate, bringing hot summers and cool winters, with plenty of year-round sunshine across the state and enough rain to keep the land green and fertile. In general, the coast is the warmest place to be, while the inland mountains can experience snow and frost in the depths of winter, so be prepared for all eventualities. To help you plan when to go on your New South Wales holiday, we’ve split the year into its four seasons, which are the reverse of those in the UK.
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September - November
As the days heat up, New South Wales comes alive with greenery and life. Days are warm and sunny, but not too hot, so now’s the time to explore the Blue Mountains, chill out on the beaches and tour the Hunter Valley. Sydney is gorgeous in the springtime too – the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and the city is enveloped in a canopy of purple jacaranda trees.
Whale watching: look out for migrating humpback whales, which pass along the coast of New South Wales between June and November. See them in Port Stephens, Byron Bay and even Sydney.
Festival of the Winds: in mid-September, join the throngs on Bondi Beach for Australia’s largest kite-flying festival, including some very imaginative and colourful designs.
December - February
Summer is the perfect season to discover New South Wales’ great outdoors, and with temperatures hovering at around 26°C in Sydney and pushing 30°C in Byron Bay, it’s a great time to hit the beaches of Bondi and Port Stephens too. For something a little different, fly to Lord Howe Island, 372 miles east of the mainland, and join in with the many festivals and parties held state-wide at this time.
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race: on Boxing Day, watch the yachts and sailing boats leave Sydney Harbour on their annual race to Hobart, 630 miles away.
New Year’s Eve: get down to Sydney Harbour for the annual midnight fireworks extravaganza, and make it a New Year to remember.
March - May
New South Wales experiences mild autumns, with pleasant temperatures and low humidity. These are the ideal conditions for hiking in the Snowy Mountains or photographing the spectacular leaf displays in the Blue Mountains. Rainfall is a little more common at this time, so bring your brolly, but with the sun making an appearance on an average of 340 days every year, sunshine is practically guaranteed.
Mardi Gras: join Sydney’s annual LGBT pride parade, a celebration of diversity filled with life, colour and dance, and marvel at the impressive costumes of the performers.
Bluesfest Byron Bay: over the long Easter weekend, head to Byron Bay for this blues music festival, featuring energetic performances, concerts and the occasional (rescued) koala.
June - August
New South Wales winters are mild, and although it can get chilly, with temperatures dropping to as low as 7°C in Sydney, it’s still possible to explore the Blue Mountains without getting too cold. If you’re planning on exploring outside, bring a jacket just in case, or warm up with a wine tasting session in the Hunter Valley. Winter also marks the height of the whale watching season, and there’s nowhere better to spot a humpback or two than Port Stephens.
Yulefest: In mid-July, pretend it’s Christmas in the Blue Mountains with Christmas trees, log fires, Father Christmas and mulled wine. There might even be snow.
Skiing: believe it or not, you can ski in Australia in winter, so grab your skis and get down to New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains, between June and September for some fun in the snow.