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Best places to visit in March

Say "yes" to that early-year break with a trip to these top spots in Australia and around the world.

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Feeling the year is going way too slowly? Staring at your calendar and the amount of annual leave you've accrued and thinking it's time to dip into it a bit?

We hear you.

So if you're ready to pack your bags, these are our top picks for you to march into adventure this month.

1. Best budget destination: Yarra Valley

Surround yourself in the tranquility and beauty of one of Australia's most lauded vineyards.

March marks the beginning of harvest season in Australia's vineyards. It's also an exceptional time to explore and taste the finest each has on offer.

If you're in Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is a budget-friendly destination that doesn't have to eat into any of your annual leave. Unless you want it to. If you're in Sydney, the Hunter Valley is beautiful this time of year as well.

  • March weather: 22–33℃, autumn
  • Top March events: Lotus Flower Season at Blue Lotus Water Garden, Wildflower Festival, The Big 80s Party at Rochford Wines, Summer of Live Music at Yarrawood Estate and The Healesville Wine & Race Day
  • Best for: Romance, relaxation, wine and cheese lovers
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2. Best city to visit: Canberra

Two words: Light festival.

Sydney's Vivid might be 2 months away but if you can't wait that long Canberra can sate your desires. Its answer to the illuminations spectacular is Enlighten Festival. Similar to Vivid, it dresses the city's most iconic buildings in a splay of colour and light.

The illumination element runs from 4–20 March 2022. Highlights include live performances, glow bars under the stars, dinner in Parliament House and open-air movies.

  • March weather: 21–34℃, autumn
  • Top March events: Enlighten Festival, Canberra Balloon Spectacular and Skyfire (TBC 2022)
  • Best for: City breaks, festivals, night owls
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Gold Coast skyline

3. Best for beaches: Gold Coast

Relax, rewind and bask in the sunshine in the idyllic surroundings of the Gold Coast.

By March the family holidaymakers have dissipated from the Gold Coast's shores, leaving you with sand to spare to get your tan on. Its northern location means that it never truly gets cold so you can expect all those T-shirt and short feels as the rest of the nation cools down.

  • March weather: 28℃, autumn
  • Top March events: Beyond The Sand Arts Festival (formally Sand Safari Arts Festival), Gold Coast Festival of Color HOLI and Gold Coast Harmony Festival
  • Best for: Beach escapes, water exploration, theme parks
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The Adelaide Festival Centre is lit up at night in preparation for the yearly OzAsia festival. Mirror reflections are cast over the Torrens River.

4. Best for festivals: Adelaide

Visual arts, music, film, literature – whatever your passion, Adelaide can please this month.

Known as Mad March, the city of churches becomes the city of festivals in March with Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide and Adelaide Writers' Week being a few of the big events to book a seat at.

The weather won't let you down either with predominantly sunny days and temperatures in the mid- to high-20s. Pack your T-shirts, shorts and sunscreen.

  • March weather: 22–29℃, autumn
  • Top March events: Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Writers' Week and Thai Festival
  • Best for: Art appreciation, foodies, city breaks
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Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) with baby in pouch under cafe table on Rottnest Island, Perth, Western Australia

5. Best for families: Rottnest Island

Hang out in Perth with the happiest animals in the world.

The opening of Western Australia's borders comes at the most idyllic time. The sun-blessed state's weather cools down dramatically in March, making it pleasant for family friendly experiences such as hiking and swimming.

If you're short on time, Rottnest Island is a melting pot of experiences for all and it's only a short ferry ride from Perth. Bask on one of 63 secluded beaches, snorkel underwater playgrounds, hike the craggy coastline and, most importantly, say hello to the local quokkas.

  • March weather: 23–31℃, autumn
  • Top March events: Channel 7 Port to Pub
  • Best for: Outdoor pursuits, romantic escapes, cultural experiences
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Yellow Water Billabong, Wetlands of Kakadu, North Territory, Australia

6. Best for outdoor adventure: Kakadu

The Aussie outback awaits.

Keen to tick a few more icons off your Aussie bucket list this year? Start with Kakadu this March. Yes, this month is part of the wet season, which runs from November to April. However, it is at the tail-end of the wet season and is more sunny than rainy.

Travelling during the wet season has heaps of perks. There are fewer crowds, prices are lower, the waterfalls are roaring and the landscape is lush and teeming with local wildlife. Just remember to book a 4WD if you're self-driving to help you get across any bogs.

  • March weather: 32–35℃, wet season
  • Top March events: None
  • Best for: Adventure and cultural experiences
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7. Best for events: India

There's no event more colourful.

Also known as the Festival of Colour, the Hindu festival of Holi is celebrated in India and Nepal in time for the arrival of spring. This year it falls on 18 March.

  • March weather: 23–35℃, spring
  • Top March events: Holi Festival, Goa Carnival, Maha Shivratri Festival and Jaipur Literature Festival
  • Best for: Cultural escapes, foodie experiences, festivals
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Patagonia.BestPlacestoTravelinMarch

8. Best surprise destination: Patagonia

Prepare to be in raptures when you set eyes on the Argentinian Andes.

Argentina is a good idea all year round but if March is your game plan, spare some time for Patagonia. It's South America's southernmost region and boasts a landscape of mountains, steppes, deserts and glaciers.

The warm March weather is excellent for outdoor activities such as mountain biking and kayaking. If you're lucky you can also spot penguins in the Strait of Magellan. Those who love a good tipple can tuck into a month of wine festivals, which crop up all over Argentina.

  • March weather: Varies throughout but is generally mild and warm, autumn
  • Top March events (throughout Argentina): National Grape Harvest Festival/Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia, Afterlife Buenos Aires and Lollapalooza
  • Best for: Adventure, culture, wine
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What's on in Australia in March?

  • Archibald Prize: Every year the highly lauded Archibald Prize showcases the best captured portraits of Australian figures in a roving exhibition. The display runs from January–March annually.
  • Adelaide Festival: Established in 1960, Adelaide Festival is a 17-day celebration of local and international arts. Expect music, visual art, installations, dance, drama and literature.
  • Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: Held annually between February and March is a series of parties that culminate in a parade of floats that march through city. Book your hotel early.
  • PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival: One of the major events on Australia's fashion calendar, it's a week where designers show off their latest collections on runways flanked by celebrities and the media.

When is the best time in March to take a holiday?

The turning of the seasons occurs in March and is when the southern hemisphere transitions from summer to autumn, making destinations that would otherwise be too hot to visit, pleasant.

In the northern hemisphere, it's when winter turns to spring, so you'll start to see foliage reappear.

Catch the best travel deals in March.

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