The 5 best places to visit in August to celebrate winter’s end
Sun's out and we're ready to party errr- we mean, travel!
It's been a cold winter but the days are getting longer as spring is finally knocking on our doors and we're counting down the days through August.
If you're excited to get out and explore, we've got the intel on the best places to go – and the best deals to get to them – to say adios to the Aussie winter or hola to somewhere new.
1. Best budget destination: Snowy Mountains
Snow season is in full swing, so you'd better catch that powder while it's fresh.
The Snowy Mountains is one of the most accessible snow resorts on mainland Australia.
July to August is peak season, so while prices may still be high, you have a greater chance of nabbing that precious powder.
As the school holidays have ended by August, you'll find the crowds thinning so you won't have to compete for space on the runs, either. You'll also find a healthy handful of snow deals running around calling for numbers to fill the void.
- August weather: -4–5℃, winter
- Best for: Snow sports, apres ski
- Learn more: Best ski resorts in Australia
2. Best family-friendly destination: Gold Coast
Soak up that sunshine and let the kids loose in the local theme parks.
The school holidays might be over but if you're searching for a local break that won't take up more than a weekend, the Gold Coast is where it's at.
From blissful beaches to amusement parks to cater to any age and interest, this one's a no brainer really.
- August weather: 20–24℃, winter
- Best for: Beaches, short breaks, theme parks
- Learn more: Gold Coast city guide
3. Best for beaches: Vanuatu
Get set to work on your tan under the beautiful Vanuatuan sun.
Vanuatu in August is everything you want from an island holiday and more.
Right in the middle of the dry season, the weather is warm and the rainfall is minimal, with shower spells only in bursts, making it ideal for sun worshippers.
- August weather: 25–28℃, dry season
- Best for: Honeymoon, unwinding, romance
4. Best for events: Melbourne
Enough festivals and musicals to tide you over until summer.
Melbourne takes centre stage as the hub to gravitate towards in August for culture, festivals and celebration.
More than a handful of events occur throughout the city in August/September including the Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne Fashion Week and Melbourne Writers Festival.
Whatever your artistic interests, they're bound to be met in Melbourne this month.
- August weather: 14–16℃, winter
- Best for: Culture, arts and entertainment
- Learn more: Melbourne city guide
5. Best surprise destination: Iceland
Now's your chance to experience the midnight sun.
During winter, Iceland is one of the best places to catch the Northern Lights, but during summer it welcomes another natural phenomena – the midnight sun.
From May to August, Iceland is bathed in near-endless sunshine with the sun setting for only a few short hours in the early morning. Not only is it a fun novelty to be able to walk in daylight at midnight, but long days also give you extra hours to explore the country’s stunning landscape.
- August weather: 12-16℃, summer
- Best for: Adventure, culture, nature
- Learn more: Top things to do in Iceland
Top August events
- Truffle Festival: Winter is the truffle festival season in Australia's Canberra Region. It's a time filled with truffle-tastic events including truffle hunting and truffle-inspired meals in outstanding restaurants.
- PGA Championships: The PGA Championships is a world-class golf tournament held in the USA annually in August. Book your tickets to catch the golfing greats do battle.
When's the best time in August to take a holiday?
For Australians, August is one of the quietest travel months of the year and is a great time to holiday on the cheap whichever dates you choose. This is because the winter school holidays have come to a close and there is only one public holiday in the month across the nation, which is Picnic Day in Northern Territory (6 August 2018).
However, prices do surge at ski resorts as August is peak snow season. To avoid inflated prices and crowds to these locations, travel during the weekday or closer to the end of the month when the season starts to wind down.