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Warming weather, school holidays and Father's Day are just a few teasers of what you can look forward to in September.
Need something else to look forward to? How about a trip away from the everyday? If
If it's been a while since you have holidayed to the south or west of the country, Western Australia, the southern coast of Victoria and Tasmania are all excellent bets.
1. Best budget destination: Freycinet, Tasmania
September is prime whale-watching season across Australia's eastern coast. Budget-friendly and local options to catch these magnificent mammals include Sydney, Hervey Bay, Gold Coast and Fraser Island, but for something different, try Great Oyster Bay in Freycinet.
It's a fabulous spot to catch humpback and southern right whales migrating north this month, and being shoulder season, it doesn't attract too many tourists.
- September weather: 11-17℃, spring.
- Top September events: Whale migration, Junction Arts Festival (1-5 September), Great Eastern Wine Weekend (9-18 September), Running in the Shadows - The Fleetwood Mac Show (9 September 2022).
2. Best for events: Perth, Western Australia
The Western Australian capital is at its finest, in all sense of the word, when spring comes around. It's a time when the weather is still cool but doesn't have too much rainfall.
As it follows a rainy winter, it's also ideal for catching the local wildflowers in bloom.
This year is said to be one of the best for the florals, so get in while you can.
- September weather: 17-22℃, spring.
- Top September events: Kings Park Festival (16-30 September), Perth Royal Show (24 September - 1 October), 1st Annual Perth Elvis Festival and Toodyay Picnic Race Day (26 September).
3. Best for events: Canberra, ACT
Fondly referred to as "Australia's biggest celebration of spring", Canberra welcomes the 32nd Floriade festival this year.
It's a month-long event featuring colourful blooms, markets, sculptures, workshops, amusement rides, live entertainment and children's activities.
- September weather: 13-19℃, spring.
- Top September events: Floriade, Canberra Times Fun Run (4 September) and the Canberra Moon Festival (9-11 September).
4. Best for adventure: Darwin and Top End, Northern Territory
If you're longing to feel a sense of adventure, then Darwin and the Top End is the place to be. Spend a few days touring Kakadu National Park or Katherine Gorge. The weather is warm with low humidity, making it an ideal time to visit before the hotter weather arrives with summer.
You can't really say you've been to the Top End if you haven't come face-to-face with a croc. For those brave enough, try the thrilling cage of death experience at Crocosaurus Cove.
- September weather: 23-33℃, spring.
- Top September events: Darwin Street Art Festival (26 August - 5 September) and Mindil Beach Sunset Market (every Thursday and Sunday).
5. Best for getting out on the water: The Gold Coast, Queensland
Time to throw off your winter woollies and get wet on the Gold Coast. The days are warmer, the rains are yet to come and September offers great wind conditions for water sports.
Whether you're keen to do some whale watching, try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding or master kite-surfing, the Gold Coast has it all on offer this month.
- September weather: 15-24℃, spring.
- Top September events: Crafted Beer and Cider Festival (28 August), Ballet International Gala and SWELL Sculpture Festival (9-18 September).
6. Best for a weekend escape: Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Surround yourself with nature, relaxation and a bit of a pamper on Kangaroo Island. This little speck off the coast of South Australia packs a punch with its remarkable natural rock formations, enviable beachfronts and friendly characters, including kangaroos and seals.
Over spring, you can catch the newborn kangaroos, wallabies and koalas emerging from their mothers' pouches.
- September weather: 15℃, spring.
- Top September events: Spring is when the island's wildflowers are in full bloom.
7. Best for beaches: Hawaii
The US island-state is at the end of its summer season so all the tourists and crowds will have dissipated, but the warm, dry weather is still in play, so you can still snorkel or sunbathe.
- September weather: 30-32℃, summer.
- Top September events: Aloha Festivals throughout September include the Royal Court Investiture and Opening Ceremony, the Annual Waikiki Hoolaulea and the Annual Floral Parade.
8. Best surprise destination: Samoa
Approximately 5 hours from Sydney, Samoa is part of the Polynesian Islands and is a dream destination that's too often overlooked by Aussies seeking an island getaway.
This month, the rain and high humidity take a break, so you can rest easy swimming in its azure blue pools and exploring its verdant jungle.
- September weather: 28-31℃, dry season.
- Top September events: Insel Fehmarn Food and Wine Festival (TBC 2022), Teuila Festival (1–7 September) and Miss Samoa Pageant (10 September).
Best places to visit in Europe in September
While we can't travel now, use these as inspiration for future spring trips. Many of the events mentioned are cancelled for 2021 due to the pandemic.
- Greece. All around the country, the crowds start to dissipate but the idyllic weather stays put. Corfu and Santorini (pictured) are particularly perfect at this time of year.
- Munich, Germany. Don't let the name fool you, Oktoberfest actually takes place at the end of this month, and if you're a fan of beer or just a great time, Munich is the place to be.
- Istanbul, Turkey. The summer temperatures start to drop this month and it's one of the best times to take a Bosphorus cruise. Modern art lovers should also make time for the Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair.
- Ireland. If you're looking for mild weather, fewer crowds and lower prices, September can't be beaten. The Galway Oyster Festival is a particularly tasty treat this month.
Best places to visit in Spain in September
- Barcelona (pictured). Festa de la Mercé, one of the city's biggest festivals, is celebrated with fireworks, wine fairs and parades.
- Logroño. This is Spain's best destination for all things wine. This month, you can celebrate with the locals during the annual La Rioja Harvest Festival.
- Canary Islands. Enjoy the same sunny weather as the peak season but without the masses sharing the beach with you.
Best places to visit in Italy in September
- Venice. The Regatta Storica (the first Sunday of September) and the Venice International Film Festival are 2 very good reasons to plan a visit this month.
- Naples. The most important religious festival in the city is the annual Feast Day of Saint Gennaro when you might get to see a miracle.
- Florence (pictured). For a taste of culture, tradition and an opportunity to view Florence all lit up by beautiful paper lanterns, pay a visit to one of Italy's best festivals, the Festa della Rificolona.
Best places to visit in Sicily in September
- Bronte. The Pistachio Festival, celebrating the green gold of Sicily (the pistachio nut), is a special time to visit this village on Mount Etna.
- San Vito Lo Capo (pictured). Considered the most significant gastronomic event in Western Sicily, the Cous Cous Fest brings together different cultures, languages and religions in a culinary celebration.
- Ciminna. For something a little bit more traditional, visit Palermo on the first Sunday of September for the celebration of Saint Vito Day.
Best places to visit in Switzerland in September
- Appenzell. This is one of the best places to check out Alpabzug, the annual procession of cows dressed in floral crowns and fancy bells as they come down to the valleys from the mountains.
- Neuchâtel. This beautiful lakeside town will enchant you most times of the year, but a visit during its annual Grape Harvest Festival is definitely a highlight.
- Lucerne (pictured). The Lucerne Festival in summer draws music fans to central Switzerland for 4 massive weeks of classical music.
Best places to visit in Scotland in September
- Braemar (pictured). Arguably one of the most popular Highland Games, the Braemar Gathering has the added benefit of potentially giving you a glimpse of one of the royal family members.
- Largs. Find your inner Viking at the Largs Viking Festival where you can explore the 13th century village and witness traditional fire processions.
- Galloway Forest Park. Animal lovers will get a chance to see a variety of wildlife and the spectacle that is red deer rutting season towards the end of the month.
Best places to visit in the US in September
- Utah. The "Mighty Five" national parks, including Zion (pictured), are great to visit in September. The heat of summer has subsided and the holiday crowds are gone for the year.
- San Francisco. The city's infamous fog starts to clear in September and temperatures rise a little higher, making this one of the best times to visit.
- New York. This city is always full of people, but September gives you a little bit of a breather. You'll find great weather and tons of festivals to fill your travel itinerary.
Best places to visit in Canada in September
- Vancouver Island. The milder weather means you'll probably have some beaches all to yourself in Tofino (pictured) and it's also a great month for hiking and wildlife spotting.
- Prince Edward Island. A great one for foodies. You've got the Fall Flavours Festival all month long and the International Shellfish Festival in Charlottetown to indulge in.
- Toronto. The summer festivals continue with the Toronto International Film Festival, Beer Week and the Cabbagetown Festival.
Best places to visit in Asia in September
- Beijing and Northern China. The rain and hot weather start to settle down in September. The Mid-Autumn Festival is on the agenda for a taste of a traditional holiday.
- Bali. September is near the end of the dry season so you can expect good weather, great conditions for diving and surfing and fewer crowds.
- India. Goa (pictured) and Delhi are ideal in the second half of September. The rains have cleared and you'll beat the crowds by a good few weeks.
Best places to visit in Japan in September
- Tokyo. September is 1 of only 3 months when you can witness a sumo tournament in Tokyo, and music fans should book ahead for Ultra Japan.
- Hokkaido. Head to the northern areas of Japan for the first sight of Japan's autumn leaves. Sounkyo Gorge, in particular, offers a picture-perfect view.
- Osaka (pictured). Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri is one of the most traditional and exciting festivals in the country.
Best places to visit in Thailand in September
- Ko Samui. If you're keen for some island time, avoid Andaman Sea islands like Ko Phi Phi and head instead to the islands of the Gulf for the least amount of rain.
- Phuket. Ready to get out on the waves? Phuket should be free of the crowds until November and the beaches belong just to the surfers.
Top September events
- Spring school holidays. Depending on which state you're in, the spring school holidays start as early as 17 September and run into mid-October.
- Father's Day. Dad's big day lands on the first Sunday of September, which this year is 4 September. It's bound to be a busy weekend wherever you are, so try to avoid travelling early in the month to steer clear of overpriced holidays.
When is the best time in September to take a holiday?
For Australians, September is a month filled with event dates and school holiday breaks. It's also a time when the weather starts to turn warm so those looking to kick the winter blues will be considering travelling, even for a short weekend.
To avoid the crowds and the holiday surcharges, travel as early in the month as possible.
Queensland and Victoria's school holidays start on 17 September. NSW, ACT, Northern Territory and Western Australia school holidays start on 26 September. Tasmania and South Australia's holidays start on 1 October.