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Best places to visit in October 2020

Our top destinations to spend the middle of spring in.

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Beach in Broome, Western Australia

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Spring has sprung and to celebrate surviving the winter blues, we're eyeing these top destinations to travel this month.

It's also the end of the school holidays (yay? boo?) so if you haven't yet given the kids a treat, you can find yourself a last-minute break before the term commences again.

Where will you go?

Fremantle waterfront at sunset, Perth, Western Australia

1. Best city break: Perth

Perth blossoms over spring and when the school kids have returned to learning you can get busy soaking up that sun and those beautiful wildflowers. Before you get stuck into its exceptional wines, that is.

  • October weather. 22℃, spring
  • Top October events. ST. ALi Italian Film Festival, WAFL Grand Final, Drug Aware Groundswell Festival, Nuit Blance/White Night, Yello Festival, Nanga Music Festival, Elmar's in the Valley Oktoberfest and WA Beer & Beef Festival.
  • Travel status: Western Australia is closed to all other states and territories. In 2020, this one's for locals only.

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Rear View Of Woman Looking At Sydney Harbor Bridge Over River Against Sky

2. Best for events: Sydney

There's always something going on in Australia's biggest city. During October there are art exhibitions and food festivals aplenty to attend either in person or (this year in particular) virtually.

  • October weather.22℃, spring
  • Top October events. Spot On Children's Festival 2020, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, MS Gong Ride (virtual), Emerge Festival, whale watching, Good Food Month, spring racing, Sydney Night Noodle Markets (at home/delivery) and Oktoberfest in the Gardens.
  • Travel status: NSW is open to all states and territories except Victorians. However depending on where you're flying in from you may need to quarantine on your return.

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Byron Bay Lighthouse New South Wales Australia.The most eastern point of Australia

3. Best for beaches: Byron Bay

It's been a tough year and if rest and relaxation are on the cards Byron Bay has it in spades. This sleepy coastal town is so laidback it's practically horizontal. Spend your time here getting golden on the beaches, hitting the surf or reading a book with a cup of a coffee at a beachside cafe.

  • October weather. 24℃, spring
  • Top October events. Byron Eco Living Festival, Byron Bay International Film Festival and Curious.
  • Travel status: NSW is open to all states and territories except Victorians. However depending on where you're flying in from you may need to quarantine on your return.

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The Strand Townsville

4. Best for adventure: Townsville

Townsville is viewed as the gateway to tropical north Queensland where colourful reefs, verdant rainforests and blissful beaches roll into view. From Townsville is a short trip to Magnetic Island which awaits with hikes and history. Otherwise, jump into your car and drive north to tick the Great Barrier Reef off your bucket list.

  • October weather. 28℃, dry season
  • Top October events. Northern France Festival, Art in the Park and Festival of Stories.
  • Travel status: Queensland is open to all states and territories except Victoria and most of NSW. If you're travelling from Tasmania or Western Australia into the state you may have to quarantine on your return.

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Broome, Australia

5. Best surprise destination: Broome

Broome has become one very popular destination to visit lately. And why not? It has beaches, craggy coastline, dinosaur footprints, camel rides and Indigenous experiences. In fact, it's top of Australia's local bucket list to visit in the coming year.

Get in this October before the weather gets too hot.

  • October weather. 33℃, dry season
  • Top October events. Staircase to the Moon.
  • Travel status: Western Australia is closed to all other states and territories. This is for locals only in October 2020.

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The best of the rest:

Saving up your leave and your funds for a big trip? Keep these in mind when booking your 2021 October getaway. All events mentioned are typically held in October. In 2020 some may be cancelled.

Waterfront

Best places to visit in Europe in October

  • Greece. The summer crowds have gone back home, but the sun's still out. For some beach time, head to the island of Kos where daily highs can sit around 26ºC in October.
  • Prague, Czech Republic. October is an ideal time to visit. Not only have the crowds thinned out, but you're also in for a month full of festivals, including the SIGNAL Light Festival and Designblok, the largest design and fashion show in Central Europe.
  • Germany. Autumn is showing its true colours and the month is full of festivities. Catch the tail end of Oktoberfest at the start of the month or head to Ludwigsburg for something quirky and traditional – the largest pumpkin festival in the world.

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Hot air balloon

Best places to visit in the USA in October

  • Hawaii. Weather-wise, October sees consistently sunny days and a little rain. The swell is just starting to pick up for the surfers and the water is usually around 26.5ºC, which is great for a swim.
  • Manchester, Vermont. Famous for the brilliant fall foliage that peaks in October, Manchester is a top spot to see the colourful show.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico. Picture the sight of over 500 hot air balloons of all different shapes and sizes taking off at dawn. The International Balloon Fiesta (pictured) is on at the most beautiful time of the year in New Mexico, so get your cameras ready.

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Red temple

Best places to visit in Asia in October

  • Taiwan. The month of October is that sweet spot when the southwest typhoons have been and gone and the typhoons from the northeast have yet to arrive, so there's a low chance of rain and lots of sun to look forward to.
  • South Korea (pictured). This month you'll find near-perfect weather, the beautiful changing of the leaves and a whole slew of events including the Busan International Film Festival and the Jinju Lantern Festival.
  • Hong Kong. The rain is mostly gone, so you'll get to sightsee with clear skies and days that are not too hot. National Day is celebrated on 1 October and is culminated with a massive fireworks show.

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Chiang Mai Temple

Best places to visit in Thailand in October

  • Chiang Mai (pictured). If you want to avoid the rain that is likely hitting most of the country, then Chiang Mai is a safe bet. You'll find much less rain here, cooler temperatures and fewer crowds as the peak season is yet to begin.
  • Bangkok. While you're still in the rainy season, it does start to retreat by mid-month. It's worth a shower or two, though, to take part in the many festivals including Awk Phansa and the Kin Jay Vegetarian Festival.
  • Mae Hong Son. You can expect much less rain than in the previous months as well as moderate temperatures, making sightseeing a lot more pleasant than in the south. The Chong Para Festival is also on this month.

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Girl in red

Best places to visit in Japan in October

  • Kyoto. In October, you'll find some of the best weather of the year and a calendar full of events such as the Kurama Fire Festival and the popular Jidai Festival.
  • Hokkaido. If you're travelling around Japan in October, this is one of the few places to see some dramatic autumn foliage. Another highlight is the Hokkaido Food Festival, which is a celebration of regional flavours.
  • Nagasaki. Undoubtedly the most famous festival in the city, the Nagasaki Kunchi (pictured) is hundreds of years old. Arenas and streets are filled with dances and shows designed to showcase the unique culture of the city's various districts.

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Church

Best places to visit in the UK in October

  • Nottingham. The UK has some unique customs and traditions and Nottingham in October gives you a huge serving of that quirky taste with its variety of festivals. Check out the Goose Fair, Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival and the Hockley Hustle.
  • The Cotswolds (pictured). Get ready for lunches in charming pubs with a fireplace roaring and bracing walks among the stunning fall foliage. In October, you also avoid the crowds of the peak summer period and still get to enjoy pleasant weather.
  • Edinburgh. The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is all about traditional entertainment and attracts bards from Scotland and around the world.

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Italy

Best places to visit in Italy in October

  • Rome (pictured). After a scorching summer packed with tourists, Rome finally starts to cool down. For a taste of the traditional, schedule in the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi and for a more avant-garde experience, check out the Romaeuropa Festival on all month.
  • Perugia. If you're a chocolate fan, the Eurochocolate Festival is one not to be missed with chocolate tasting and workshops from makers around the world.
  • Alba. Love it or hate it, there are few things more decadent than the white truffle. The International Alba White Truffle Fair is definitely one for the foodies.

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Top October events

  • Oktoberfest. Even though Oktoberfest starts in September, it runs through the first half of October. You don't even have to be in Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest as numerous destinations around the world host their own parties.
  • Labour Day. NSW, ACT and South Australia celebrate Labour Day in October with a public holiday. While not an event, it is a day off and often welcomes local events within city centres.
  • Good Food Month. Specifically a Sydney event, Good Food Month is an annual gastronomic celebration that overtakes the city throughout October.
  • Halloween. 31 October is Halloween and is a day of tricks, treats and parties.

The best time to travel in October

Outside of the school holidays, October is relatively quiet for travellers making it low season and a great time to travel.

The best time to travel is then mid-end October as kids are back in school and, if you're planning to travel around Australia, the weather will be warming up.

October is also a quiet month for international travel as again, it's outside of the major school holiday period. Being that period between the summer break for the Northern Hemisphere and Christmas, people tend not to take leave during this month, preferring to save it for the Christmas holidays.

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