The best Australian autumn destinations to add to your list from March to May

You don’t have to head too far to take advantage of the best autumn has to offer.

Hightailing it out of here between March and May this year? We’ve found eight places in Australia that are best seen, heard and experienced this season.

Think balmy light and music festivals in the north and gripping racing carnivals in the south. Or, if you're not seeking anything specific, head further inland to get out in nature and witness the changing of the season.

Autumn leaves in Victoria. Image: Parks Victoria/Supplied

1. Melbourne

Why you should go in autumn:

  • The autumn leaves are pretty spectacular and some of the best places to see them are in the high country, spa country, Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. If you don't want to venture far however, the city botanical botanical gardens also welcome a change of colour.
  • Join your fellow fashionistas at Australia's largest fashion event, the Melbourne Fashion Festival with ten days of fashion and entertainment all around the city. 1-10 March 2019
  • Get your foodie on at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival when the city opens its restaurants, laneways and rooftops to showcase the culinary delights of Melbourne. 8-24 March 2019.
  • The Melbourne International Comedy Festival will have you giggling with a choice of over 400 side-splittingly funny shows. 27 March - 21 April 2019
  • Get your bets in for the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival which includes some of the most prestigious races on the calendar like the All-Star Mile race day. Fridays and Saturdays in March 2019

What the weather is like: It’s the ideal time to visit after the city’s warmest and wettest months. Expect drier and slightly cooler temperatures with average highs of between 18℃ and 25℃.

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2. Sydney

Why you should go in autumn:

  • Sydney’s Autumn Racing Carnival is the city’s largest horse-racing event. It consists of the exciting Golden Slipper Carnival at Rosehill Gardens and The Championships at Randwick Racecourse. 16 March - 20 April 2019
  • The Royal Easter Show is a two-week agricultural affair celebrating Australian culture with agricultural competitions, carnival fun, animal experiences, live entertainment and shopping. 12-23 April 2019
  • Sydney is set to become the nation's style capital when Australia's most innovative fashion designers and red carpet celebrities descend for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. 12–18 May 2019

What the weather is like: Temperature and humidity start to drop with average temperatures between 14 and 22°C.

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3. Blue Mountains

Why you should go in autumn:

  • This is the true walking season in the Blue Mountains and a perfect time to explore the waterfalls, forested valleys and cliffs of the region along the many walking trails.
  • Mother Nature really puts on a show in autumn when all the gardens become a sea of brilliant red, yellow and orange. Check out Mount Wilson, the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens and Everglades House and Garden for some of the best displays.
  • With three days of folk, roots and blues music, the Blue Mountains Music Festival allows you to enjoy your favourite bands in an intimate and relaxed atmosphere 15-17 March 2019
  • Featuring a focus on fresh, sustainable and regional produce, the Leura Harvest Festival will have up to 75 stalls selling seasonal food and sharing local expertise. You can also expect a number of fun events like the popular Scarecrow Competition and the Great Australian Chocolate Cake Competition. 5 May 2019

What the weather is like: The days start to cool down and there are fewer rainy days than summer.

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4. Armidale

Why you should go in autumn:

  • The newly dubbed New England Festival will this year celebrate the international heritage of the region along with the beauty of the season. You can take part in Breakfast with the Band, Campus to City Canter, the grand parade and pipe band performances. 16-17 March 2019
  • One of Armidale’s newest events, the Colour New England Street Arts Festival showcases local talent in an exciting day of fun and creativity ending with a light show. 6 April 2019

What the weather is like: Arguably the most beautiful time of year, expect highs of 24℃ in March and chillier days in May, dropping down to 16℃ during the day.

Check the price of flights to Armidale

5. Brisbane

Why you should go in autumn:

  • Hosting the biggest international country and roots festival in the Southern Hemisphere, CMC Rocks Queensland is set to deliver an exciting array of country music superstars. 14-17 March 2019
  • Brisbane’s own comedy festival is celebrating its ten year anniversary this year, promising an even bigger line-up with local and international acts. 22 February - 24 March 2019
  • Enjoy the last of the sunny beach weather at the Redcliffe Festival of Sails. Spend Good Friday taking in a slew of activities including the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, live entertainment, markets and an Easter egg hunt, which is perfect for the kids. 19 April 2019
  • The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art brings significant art from across the Asia Pacific to Brisbane. You can also indulge in a cinema program, academic symposium and creative hands-on experiences for kids. Until 28 April

What the weather is like: Expect highs of 24°C and lows of 14°C meaning pleasant days and cool nights.

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6. Canberra

Why you should go in autumn:

  • Witness the Parliamentary Triangle come to life after dark with thought-provoking large-scale projections on some of the most iconic national attractions like Parliament House and the National Portrait Gallery. 1-11 March
  • Celebrate as Canberra turns 106 with a full program perfect for the whole family on Canberra Day. 11 March
  • Wake up to the view of hot air balloons drifting across the sky during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. Passengers can experience sunrise from up high and spectators will get to enjoy the spectacle with live music on the lawns of Old Parliament House. 9-17 March
  • Anzac Day is celebrated in every corner of the country but the Anzac Day Dawn Service held at the Australian War Memorial is an extra special event to behold. 25 April 2019

What the weather is like: Temperatures drop to an average of 7°C - 20°C and the city’s gardens and parks put on a beautiful display of colour.

See the latest Canberra travel deals

Image: Parrtjima

7. Alice Springs

Why you should go in autumn:

  • Parrtjima is a light festival set against the stunning backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges. You can engulf yourself in the rich history of the region, interact with local artists and celebrate indigenous art. 5-14 April 2019
  • The Alice Springs Cup Carnival weekend features three action-packed days of racing with something for everyone including fashion, luncheons and horse sales. 3-6 May 2019
  • Australia's first ever open-air heavy metal festival, Blacken, will feature dozens of bands from every corner of the country for three days of music and community-spirited heavy metal culture. 3-5 May 2019

What the weather is like: Expect warm days and cool nights where average temperatures range from 12°C-27°C.

Check the price of flights to Alice Springs

8. Adelaide

Why you should go in autumn:

  • Adelaide Festival marks the start of the season with a slew of internationally acclaimed theatre productions, world-class musicians, moving dance pieces and dramatic visual arts displays. 1-17 March 2019
  • Tasting Australia celebrates the region’s most irresistible local produce. You can taste wines, enjoy a long lunch created by world-class chefs and learn how to do it on your own in a masterclass. 5-14 April 2019
  • We think it's fair to say that you'll find no shortage of festivals in Adelaide over autumn – and one of the most renowned is WOMADelaide. It's a four-day open-air festival of music, arts and dance. 8-11 March 2019
  • Adelaide Hills blushes in golds, oranges and reds over autumn as the season changes its landscape in dramatic form. If you don't go for the award-winning wines and local produce, go for the leaves. They're absolutely worth it.

What the weather is like: The city and surrounds take on a red, orange and golden hue and the weather is pleasant with very little rainfall.

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