The weather experienced on the east coast of Australia can vary dramatically depending on the state you're in with a mixture of oceanic and humid subtropical climates felt in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. This generally means that various locations within the states themselves enjoy warm to hot summers and cold to freezing winters with frequent rainfall.

There are exceptions to this though with tropical far north Queensland destinations such as Cairns and Port Douglas experiencing hot, humid summers and relatively dry, temperate winters. However, regardless of whether you're beginning your east coast Australia road trip in Melbourne or starting from Sydney and working your way up, most destinations experience a pretty typical seasonal year with clear distinctions between summer, autumn, winter, and spring. 

When's the best time to visit east coast Australia?

There is no 'best time' to visit the east coast of Australia as each season offers travellers something different, however, the most popular time to travel to coastal destinations such as Byron Bay and the Gold Coast is during the summer months when temperatures are a bit warmer. With nice weather comes increased prices and larger crowds at popular attractions so make sure you book accommodation and transportation well in advance to avoid disappointment or disruption to your travel plans. 

That's not to say you still can't have a fantastic time travelling up and down the east coast when the weather's a bit colder because you definitely can. Most major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney are still thriving during winter and offer plenty of cold weather activities such as dining at world-class restaurants and shopping at various precincts. The destinations that are usually extremely hot and humid during summer cool down a little in winter so you can make the most of their extraordinary landscapes without the uncomfortable feeling of being in the heat for too long. 

When planning your holiday, though, ensure you've fully researched what activities are available during the off-season as some national parks and water-based activities aren't open or don't run when the weather is extremely hot or freezing cold. 

Average temperatures on the east coast of Australia 

Temperatures in Victoria

 

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH

AVERAGE LOW

March to May

21°C

9°C

June to August

14°C

5°C

September to November

20°C

7°C

December to February

27°C

12°C

The natural pinnacles of rock along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria

Temperatures in New South Wales 

 

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH

AVERAGE LOW

March to May

24°C

13°C

June to August

16°C

6°C

September to November

26°C

13°C

December to February

33°C

20°C

Two travellers standing in the clear, blue waters of Jervis Bay in New South Wales

Temperatures in Queensland

 

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH

AVERAGE LOW

March to May

30°C

19°C

June to August

24°C

12°C

September to November

33°C

20°C

December to February

36°C

25°C

A row of palm trees swaying in the breeze along the coast of Port Douglas

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