7 Australian summer destinations to plan your holidays around

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

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There's nothing Australians love more than summer and we're very fortunate to have some amazing destinations to visit. Running from December to February, it's 3 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:

7 best Australian summer destinations (in no particular order)

Australian Open Image: Pixabay

1. Melbourne

Why you should go in summer:

  • With Melbourne getting back to a sense of normal and a very merry Christmas on its way, we suggest you hit the Heide Christmas Makers' Markets for some local gifts to put under the Christmas tree. 11 December 2021
  • 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 (if you can nab tickets, that is). See the world's best tennis players battle it out over 2 adrenaline-charged weeks in their quest for the championship trophy. 1–30 January 2022
  • 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. 6 February 2022

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.

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Hobart Image: Pixabay

2. Tasmania

Why you should go in summer:

  • All eyes will be on the harbour from Boxing Day to New Year's Eve as the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race sails in. Who will take this year's glory? It's anyone's guess.
  • 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. This year Midnight Oil is joining the fun as part of their final tour. Throw in some food with wine and beer tasting at MONA Market and you've got an eclectic experience for everyone. 21–23 January 2022 (Launceston) / 28–30 January 2022 (Hobart)
  • The Tamar Valley Folk Festival is a full weekend of musical and artistic events set in the beautiful surroundings of the Tamar River in Launceston. 28–30 January 2022
  • Hobart really shines during the Taste of Tasmania festival. 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. 28 December 2021–3 January 2022

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

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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 returns this year. Things kick off in Sydney with the fleet of yachts it travelling 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 2021
  • If you're keen to experience one of the best New Year's Eve parties in the world then Sydney is a no-brainer. Rivalling Times Square's big bash in popularity, it's a party you need to experience at least once. This year you'll have to wait until midnight with the 9pm fireworks cancelled for the second year in a row. Head into the city to catch it with a ticket to an event or a restaurant booking. 31 December 2021
  • Join in all the festivities this Australia Day with fantastic events around the city including live music, family entertainment and dazzling fireworks. 26 January 2021
  • 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. 18 February–6 March 2022

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.

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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 2022
  • 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. 15 January 2022
  • The competition to find Australia's next Eurovision Act takes place at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. Be part of the magic as local Australian talent compete for the honour in "Eurovision – Australia Decides". 26 February 2022

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.

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Southbank Image: Pixabay

5. Brisbane

Why you should go in summer:

  • If you love Christmas it's tough to find a better place to celebrate than Brisbane. Christmas On Queen, the City Hall Lights, Festive Bets and the Lord Mayor's Christmas Carols in the City are just some of the events to look forward to. December 2021
  • In place of the Woodford Folk Festival this year experience "Bushtime" in the village of "Woodfordia". It's an hour's drive from Brisbane CBD so be prepared to stay the weekend to catch all the festivities including sunset concerts, workshops and citizen science talks. 27 December 2021–1 January 2022

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.

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Rottnest Bay Image: Pixabay

6. Perth

Why you should go in summer:

  • Fringe World is an amazing way to experience Perth with a massive program of events including comedy, circus, theatre and cabaret. There are free shows and street performances every night. 14 January–13 February 2022
  • 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. 26 February 2022
  • Perth Festival is all about thought-provoking performances, big laughs and good vibes from local and international artists. 11 February–6 March 2022

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.

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Nutcracker Image: Pixabay

7. Adelaide

Why you should go in summer:

  • 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. 18 February–20 March 2022
  • 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 to 300m for kids as young as 7. Afterwards, enjoy the Street Festival for a fun day at the beach. 7 February 2020

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

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