The 5 best places to travel in September 2018
Prepare yourself for a whale of a time this spring break.
Warming weather, school holidays and Father's Day – these are just a few teasers of what you can look forward to this month. Need something else to look forward to? How about a trip away from the everyday?
That's why we've brought you the best places you can jet-set off to this month that won't blow the budget and won't use up too much of your precious leave... because you'll need that for the Christmas holidays, right?
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 3-day breaks start for under $500 per person.
- September weather: 11–17℃, spring.
- Top September events: Whale migration, Junction Arts Festival (5–9 September), Great Eastern Wine Weekend (8–9 September), Tamar Valley Writers Festival (14–16 September) and Blooming Tasmania Flower and Garden Festival (22–23 September).
- Best for: Outdoor adventures and weekend getaways.
2. Best city to visit: Perth
The Western Australian capital is at its finest, in all senses 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 (1–30 September), Perth Royal Show (22–29 September), Toodyay Picnic Race Day (23 September) and Listen Out (23 September) dance music event.
- Best for: Nature and city breaks.
3. 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 Royal Court Investiture and Opening Ceremony, 66th annual Waikiki Hoolaulea and the 72nd Annual Floral Parade.
- Best for: Beach breaks, cruising holidays, honeymoons and romantic getaways.
4. Best for events: Canberra
Fondly referred to as "Australia's biggest celebration of spring", Canberra welcomes the 31st 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 (15 September – 14 October), Turning Wave Festival (14–16 September), Korean Film Festival (21–23 September), Canberra Times Fun Run (23 September) and the Canberra Moon Festival (21–23 September).
- Best for: Weekend breaks, festivals and events.
5. Best surprise destination: Samoa
Approximately five 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 heavy rains 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 (15 September), Teuila Festival (2–8 September) and Miss Samoa Pageant (8 September).
- Best for: Beaches and surfing.
Top September events
- Father's Day. Dad's big day lands on the first Sunday of September, which this year is 2 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.
- Spring school holidays. Depending on which state you're in, the spring school holidays start as early as 22 September and run into mid-October.
When's 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. In Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia the school holidays start on 22 September, but for most other states they don't start until 29 September, so aim to leave early to avoid the worst of it.