Get the Finder app 🥳

Track your credit score

Free

8 Australian summer destinations to plan your holidays around

Summer holiday fun is on the cards with these top Aussie summer destinations.

Updated

Drone view of Brighton Bathing Boxes in Victoria with cloudy sky in the background, Australia

We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder.

Update on Australian summer destinations

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, most events across Australia will be cancelled, even those a few months in advance.

If an announcement has been made, we'll update this page with any updated dates or note if the 2020 event has been cancelled.

There's nothing Aussies love more than our amazing summer season. Running for three months from December to February, it's three months of beach days, road trips and lazy picnics to look forward to.

Plus, it's got all those Christmas and New Year public holidays for us to make the most of. So where should you go? We've got a few ideas:

8 places to go to in Australia in summer (in no particular order)

Australian Open Image: Pixabay

1. Melbourne

Why you should go in summer:

  • Be there for all the action and drama of the Presidents Cup golf tournament which puts US players against a team of top golfers from the rest of the world (excluding Europe). 9–15 December 2019
  • It seems like every year the Australian Open gets bigger and bigger. Sure, you can watch this on TV but there's nothing quite like being there. See the world's best tennis players battle it out over two adrenaline-charged weeks in their quest for the championship trophy. 20 January to 2 February 2020
  • Melbourne goes all out for Chinese New Year with events in suburbs all over the city. Expect multiple days of celebrations from traditional Chinese music and dance and a lantern parade to martial arts and light installations. 25 January 2020

What the weather's like: Temperatures usually sit at 14–25°C but be prepared for one of Melbourne's heatwaves which can hit 30°C and above.


Hobart Image: Pixabay

2. Hobart

Why you should go in summer:

  • We can't think of a better way to end the year than at a music festival set on picturesque Marion Bay. Falls Festival lets you check out sunset sea views while watching your favourite band perform. Alternatively, you can head to the beach for a swim between sets. 29–31 December 2019
  • Hobart really shines during the Taste of Tasmania festival. Yachts finishing the Sydney to Hobart race fill the docks, live music and entertainment abound and stalls from Tasmanian restaurants and producers are filled to the brim with the likes of fresh seafood, cheese, berries, wine, craft beer and cider. Top it all off with a New Year's Eve party for the whole family and you've got a winner. 27 December 2019 to 2 January 2020
  • An annual music and arts festival that's impossible to really define, MONA Foma is truly a carnival of culture. It draws big headline acts across music, dance, theatre and visual art. Throw in some food with wine and beer tasting at MONA Market and you've got an eclectic experience for everyone. 17–19 January 2020

What the weather's like: Temperatures average from 11.5–21°C and beaches are warm enough to swim at.


Sydney Harbour Bridge Image: Unsplash

3. Sydney

Why you should go in summer:

  • A true icon of Australian summer sport, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race follows an international fleet as it travels 628 nautical miles to Hobart. Witness the spectacle first-hand or take in the vibrant carnival atmosphere on the shore with a picnic. 26 December 2019
  • If you're keen to experience one of the best New Year's Eve parties in the world then Sydney is a no-brainer. Challenging Times Square's big bash in popularity, it's a party you need to experience at least once. 31 December 2019
  • Join in all the festivities this Australia Day with fantastic events around the city including live music, family entertainment and dazzling fireworks. 26 January 2020
  • Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an excuse to let loose and party with over 100 events that culminate in the world-famous parade on the first Saturday of March. Late February to early March 2020
  • As a one-off SEA LIFE is hosting an evening of shark discovery where you can witness a nocturnal feed of green sea turtles, black and white tip reef sharks and sawfish and attend a panel discussion of shark experts. You'll also get to walk through the aquarium after dark (6pm) 26 February 2020, 6-8.30pm.

What the weather's like: Temperatures range from 18–26°C and humidity averages up to 65%. Expect water temperatures of 22–24°C to help cool down.


Surfers Paradise Image: Pixabay

4. Gold Coast

Why you should go in summer:

  • Surfers Paradise is transformed into a beachside exhibition of larger-than-life art pieces at the Sand Safari Arts Festival. Visitors can watch some of the sculptures take shape over several days at the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships. 8–26 January 2020
  • The Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival is an integral part of the Aussie racing calendar. Excited punters, fashions on the field and the picturesque Gold Coast racecourse make this an event to be experienced. 11 January 2020

What the weather's like: Pleasant temperatures (21–28°C) and high humidity are offset by the cool sea breeze. February is the wettest month so you can expect short, tropical storms in the late afternoon and early evening.


Launceston Image: Pixabay

5. Launceston

Why you should go in summer:

  • The Tamar Valley Folk Festival is a full weekend of musical and artistic events set in the beautiful surroundings of the Tamar River. January 2020
  • Tasmania is renowned for its world-class cool climate wines coupled with seasonal produce and Festivale gives you a chance to taste and experience the best. 31 January to 2 February 2020
  • Australia is hosting this year's World Fly Fishing Championship and all the action will take place in Launceston. If you're keen to take your fly fishing to the next level, this is the event to aspire to. 30 November to 8 December 2019

What the weather's like: Average temperatures range from 11–21°C and the months of January and February are the driest.


Southbank Image: Pixabay

6. Brisbane

Why you should go in summer:

  • If you love Christmas it's tough to find a better place to celebrate than Brisbane. A Christmas parade and pantomime, the City Hall Light Spectacular, City Sounds Christmas Up Late and the Lord Mayor's Christmas Carols in the City are just some of the events to look forward to. December 2019
  • The Woodford Folk Festival is a rich and colourful experience that has something for the whole family. Musicians, artists, street performers and circus acts all gather in the village of "Woodfordia" to put on one of the biggest shows in Australia. It's an hour's drive from Brisbane CBD so be prepared to stay the weekend to catch all the festivities. 27 December 2019 to 1 January 2020

What the weather's like: Average temperatures range from 21–30°C and you can expect thunderstorms as the city has its highest rainfall this season.


Rottnest Bay Image: Pixabay

7. Perth

Why you should go in summer:

  • Fringe World is one of the best times of year to experience Perth with a massive program of events including comedy, circus, theatre and cabaret. There are free shows and street performances every night. January to February 2020
  • Comprising a 19.7km open water swim, the Rottnest Channel Swim is one of Western Australia's iconic events. Swimmers can compete solo, as a duo or in a team. You can also choose to stay dry and go along to soak in the atmosphere of the day. February 2020
  • Perth Festival is all about thought-provoking performances, big laughs and good vibes from local and international artists. 7 February to 1 March 2020

What the weather's like: Summertime is hot and dry with low rainfall. Temperatures range from 17.5–30°C but the afternoons usually get a cool sea breeze for some relief from the heat.


Nutcracker Image: Pixabay

8. Adelaide

Why you should go in summer:

  • Christkindlmarkt is a European-style Christmas market found in the German settler town of Hahndorf. Experience all the atmosphere you would find in many European cities over the holidays, but in a warm Aussie setting. 13–15 December 2019
  • Adelaide Fringe is Australia's largest open-access arts festival. It welcomes artists from around the world to venues in parks, laneways, warehouses, empty buildings and established venues throughout the city. 14 February to 15 March 2020
  • The Brighton Jetty Classic is the largest open water swim and street festival in South Australia. Challenge yourself with the 1,500m swim or take it easy with a 400m swim. The SwimKids Series also offers distances from 100m for kids as young as 7. Afterwards enjoy the Street Festival for a fun day at the beach. 2 February 2020

What the weather's like: Average temperatures range from 17–29°C and rainfall is sparse.


Latest Australia travel deals

Groupon Groupon

Up to 75% off Australia activities + an extra up to 30% off with code

Available on select dates and activities like spas, skydiving, hot air balloon flights, tours, whale watching, skywalks, classes and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and more. Maximum discount of $40. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Virgin Australia sale: Australia-wide flights from $89 each way

Available for flights on select dates from November 2020 - September 2021. Sample fare is Ballina-Sydney. Destinations include Gold Coast, Brisbane, Launceston, Cairns, Mackay, Adelaide, Hobart, Newcastle, Perth, Townsville, Broome and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Up to 30% off last-minute Australia stays

Available for stays until October 2020 in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Newcastle, Rockhampton and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Australia-wide flights from $51 each way

Available on select flights until February 2021, including over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth, Broome, Melbourne and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Ballina with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Viator Viator
Exclusive

10% off things to do in Australia

Available on select dates for activities including jet boat rides, sightseeing cruises, tours, wildlife and animal interactions and wine tastings. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns, Adelaide and more. Discount will be applied at check-out. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trip.com Trip.com

Up to 38% off Australia attractions and experiences

Available on select travel dates in Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Darwin, Canberra, Melbourne and more. Attractions include SEA LIFE Aquarium Sydney, Sydney Featherdale Wildlife Park, Madame Tussauds and Eureka Skydeck. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Wotif Wotif

Up to 60% off Australia stays

Available on stays until May 2021 in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sunshine Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Extra 10% off Australia activities with code

Valid on all dates on activities like skydiving, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, cruises, tours, high tea and more. Minimum spend of $100 applies. Destinations include Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Hotels.com Hotels.com

Up to 60% off Australia-wide stays + an extra 8% off with code

Available on select dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Oaks Hotels & Resorts Oaks Hotels & Resorts

Up to 30% off Australia stays

Available on select stays until 30 June 2021. Destinations include Darwin, Sydney, Brisbane, Gladstone, Townsville, Adelaide, Glenelg and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Up to 56% off Australia getaways

Available on stays until December 2020. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Trip.com Trip.com

Up to 46% off Australia-wide hotels

Available on select dates until December 2020. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

Up to 15% off last-minute trips

Valid for travel on select dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Europe, UK, the Middle East, Argentina, India, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Africa and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Europcar Europcar

Up to 20% off Australia and New Zealand rentals

Available on select dates until 15 December 2020. Rental must be for 2 days or more and booked 21 days in advance. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Europcar Europcar

$1/day one-way car hire in Australia

Valid on select dates for select car hire in Australia. Destinations updated regularly.

Last verified

Hotels.com Hotels.com

Extra 8% off on hotel bookings

Save on hotel stays before 31 December 2020 in Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Fiji, Thailand, Singapore, USA and more. Available at select hotels.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Europcar Europcar

Up to 20% off base rate

Available on rentals until 15 December 2020 in Australia and New Zealand. Pick up on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday required to avail offer. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

Otel.com Otel.com

Extra 9% off hotel bookings

Valid on select hotel stays worldwide like Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Thailand, USA, Europe and more on all dates, including over holidays like Easter, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Some restrictions apply.

Last verified

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 15% off Australia and New Zealand tours

Available on select dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Cairns, Wellington, Auckland, Queenstown and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Experience Oz Experience Oz

Up to 50% off Australia activities

Available on select travel dates until 2021 on activities like skydiving, hot air ballooning, whale watching, sightseeing tour, wildlife interactions and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

Up to $1,000 OBC on cruises

Available on cruises in 2021 and 2022. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Singapore and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Australia flights from $92 return

Available on select dates until March 2021, including over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Gold Coast, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Launceston and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Australia experiences for 2 from $38 + Extra $10 off with code

Available on select dates for experiences like tours, zoo and wildlife interactions, hot air balloon flights, skydiving and more. Destinations include Sydney, Hunter Valley, Melbourne, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $80 required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Up to 60% off Australia activities + an extra 10% off with code

Available on select dates and activities like hot air balloon flights, tandem skydiving, getaways, driving experiences and more. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns and more. Minimum spend of $100 required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Hertz Hertz

Get 1 day free on Australia car hires

Available on rentals until 31 December 2020 when you book a minimum of 5 consecutive days. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Hertz Hertz

Free upgrade on Australia rentals

Available on rentals until 31 December 2020 when you use the code. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Skydive Australia Skydive Australia

Up to $20 off skydiving with code

Get $20 off per person when you book for 4 or more. Destinations include Sydney, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Cairns, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 61% off Australia holiday packages

Available on select dates until December 2021, including over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Adelaide, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney, Cairns, Canberra, Hunter Valley and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Avis Avis

4th day free + free upgrade on Australia car hires

Available on rentals until 18 December 2020 in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide and more. Minimum 4 days rental required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Get Your Guide Get Your Guide

Australia activities from $10

Available on select dates for activities like sightseeing tours, attraction passes, river cruises, hop-on hop-off tours and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Launceston, Melbourne, Cairns, Hunter Valley, Perth and more.

Last verified

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Up to 60% off Australia hotels

Available on select 2020 dates and hotels. Destinations include Perth, Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane, Newcastle, Port Stephens and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

DriveNow DriveNow

Campervan hire from $5/day

Available on select routes, dates and locations in Australia, including Darwin, Alice Springs, Cairns and Brisbane, and New Zealand.

Last verified

Cudo Cudo

Up to 93% off things to do in Australia

Available on select dates and activities like classes, spas, getaways, dining experiences and more. Destinations include Sydney, Perth, Melbourne Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Voyagin Voyagin

Up to 40% off things to do in Australia

Available on select dates and activities such as Sydney attractions tickets, SEA LIFE Aquarium Sydney, Sydney Harbour Bridge climb and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

RedBalloon RedBalloon
Exclusive

Dining experiences at home from $40 + an extra $10 off with code

Available on select 2020 dates across Australia on experiences including wine tasting, cooking classes, cheese making, high tea, cocktail making and more. Minimum spend of $80 applies. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Stayz Stayz

Australia beach holidays from $82/night

Available on select stay dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Adelaide, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne and more. Sample price is for a stay at a private beach cottage in South Greenough, Western Australia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Contiki Contiki

Up to 15% off Australia tours

Available on select 2020 and 2021 dates for trips to Byron Bay, Uluru, Perth, Whitsundays, Melbourne, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

Up to 15% off Australia tours

Available on select dates in 2021 and 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Broome, Uluru and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Adrenaline Adrenaline

Up to 40% off last-minute things to do across Australia

Available on select dates until December 2020 for activities including abseiling, hot air balloon flight, tour and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Up to 32% off Australia getaways

Available on select 2020 dates when you book your flights and accommodation together. Destinations include Perth, Adelaide, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site