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When is the best time to go to Australia/New Zealand?

When is the best time to go to Australia/New Zealand?

Feb 12th, 2009, 08:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
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When is the best time to go to Australia/New Zealand?

Considering my next BIG trip vacation to Australia/NZ, and since I'm from the USA, not sure of the seasons, and when the best time is to visit. I noticed many of the cruise lines only offer cruises mainly Nov-Feb. Although very tempting, not so sure a cruise is the best way to see Austrialia/New Zealand?
GailLK is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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The seasons are opposite ours; we went to New Zealand in mid-April, and really enjoyed the changing leaves and beautiful weather. If you like, you can see pictures at

I wouldn't do a cruise, but would rent a car and go where I wanted to go.

If you plan to visit both Australia and New Zealand, be sure to allow enough time to do that. One week in each country really won't be enough.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 02:19 PM
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NZ has generally a cooler climate than most of Australia it being further south and downunder in the southern hemisphere that means further away from the equator.

So whereas NZ has shorter summers without the extreme heat some parts of Australia has, it also has longer wintery months with an earlier onset than most of Australia.

The Australian mainland landmass also stretches far enough north to have a real tropical zone and the weather becomes more of a wet season [ December to April] and a dry season [May/June to October/November] in the far north whilst southern states are your typical four seasons which as Lee Ann describes are the reverse of what you experience up on top.

Do not be alarmed however that we are downunder for we do have great anchoring systems to stop us falling off the planet.

So when and how long do you want to come for?

Cruises, particularly involving NZ are scheduled about summer months December to February as I imagine most people on cruises like to be aboard in warmer rather than the colder time of years.

Bushranger is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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The hottest weather is normally in February, and schools go back after the summer break at the beginning of February so it is not as busy or crowded as December or January. It is starting to cool down by April but still pleasant enough to sight-see.
nelsonian is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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Sorry I am referring to New Zealand in the previous post.
nelsonian is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 06:35 PM
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There are some cruises that hit NZ and Australia in the Feb time frame. We came to Wellington, NZ on Jan 12 and to Sydney, Australia on Jan 22. We have been in Western Australia, very cool: Darwin, hot humid and wet, Alice Springs, hot and mosty dry and have been in South Australia since the 40C temps started. Even as hot as it was for the Australians, for those of us living in the south and the Gulf Coast of the States, it wasn't miserable because it was a dry heat and the breeze was blowing. We were out and about in Adelaide sight seeing. It is now much cooler, so much so, we had a fire in the fireplace of our cottage night before last to warm it up a bit.

In 4 days we will board a cruise ship to see the eastern coast.

Cruises are fine, but you won't see much of the country, try to mix it up a bit.

If you wish to read about our trip go to www.aroundtheworldin132dys.blogstop.com
cwn is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Sorry that sould be days not dys in the web site.

Enjoy you planning!
cwn is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 07:18 PM
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Author: nelsonian
Date: 02/13/2009, 09:45 pm
Sorry I am referring to New Zealand in the previous post.

Much the same in Oz Nelsonian other than that we tend to warm up more and earlier and then cool down less and later, for the southern states anyway.
And then stretch it a bit more both ways as you head up towards the Tropic line.
Bushranger is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 08:27 PM
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My first trip to Australia and New Zealand (in 2005) started in February in Auckland, departing Christchurch for Melbourne in April before continuing on to Adelaide, Alice Springs and then Queensland (Cairns to Brisbane).

That arrangement worked out pretty well as I generally like warmer weather but also enjoy traveling when it's not too hot.

It was starting to get cool on the South Island in April - in fact it snowed in the mountains around Christchurch a few days before I departed. The North Island was quite comfortable in February and March.

I hear that the weather in Melbourne is either too hot or too cold - I found it was quite pleasant when I was there in April. April was also pretty comfortable for traveling through the center of the country (pretty warm during the day but not too cold at night). And Queensland is pretty nice in May.

I imagine you could do something similar in reverse during the spring and summer, starting in the tropical regions of Australia and moving on toward more temperate climates with the warming weather.

Unless of course you want to go snow skiing or snowboarding. Then head south during the winter (which roughly the same as the North American summer)
Kay35 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 09:55 AM
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Last year in mid May it had snowed in Queenstown the week before I arrived. The weather was bright and sunny (although cool) but the snow on the mountains made that beautiful area even more spectacular.

We went to Sydney and the Central Coast for two weeks at the beginning of June ... and had twelve days of rain -- some of it sporadic; some of it torrential.

I'll be back the same times again this year (for an annual conference) and will keep my fingers crossed.

For me ... a cruise is not the ideal way to see these areas. I'd want more time in each port. I prefer a cruise for small islands where I'm not going to do much more than enjoy the beaches.
Songdoc is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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ill advise as to when NOT to go to australia

look up the state's school holidays and avoid them
also avoid long weekends and easter
the accommodation is dearer and places can get crowded
i like feb travelling in aus- the crowds are back at work and the kids are at school
but it is still hot

in saying that - the weather has become very unpredictable
last weekend we had the victorian bushfires and 40 plus degrees

it is always mild but there can be cold snaps so do bring warm tops and pants not just shorts

i like our winters
usually you get cool clear days with little rain
it can be really pleasant
butthe days are shorter
gets dark around 530 even in may even up the top of nsw and qld so that curtails your chance to see things obviously

definitely get a car
good roads
well signposted
and if you have a navman it will get you out to the coastal areas off the highway north and back quickly without retracing your route

dont cruise unless youre unfit to walk or drive yourself
aussies will help you with anything
friendly relaxed people
today im sitting in tracksuit and hoodie and socks
lanejohann is offline  
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