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Planning a trip to Australia July/August 2019 or Xmas 2019/2020??

(16 Posts)
georgeclooneyfan Fri 04-Jan-19 14:33:55

Hello, Looking for some advice please. I am actually Australian born, and have wanted to go back with my own kids to visit for years. I lived there only as a child/teenager not an adult. I didn't really pay much attention to the weather to be honest, just always seem to remember it being hot, we lived in the suburbs of Melbourne. My brother and wife stay in Brisbane and have always been on at us to come out for a holiday, we would love to go, the cost, parents passing away and school holidays etc we never ending up doing it and I'm not a brilliant flyer so I guess I always found an excuse as well. We really want to go this year if we can, our kids are 19 and 17, dd 19 is at Uni so will be off in our summer July/August (Scottish school holidays), and my son will be off too. Ideally we would like to go for Xmas/New year when weather is obviously hotter. My son will be at Uni in Sept and we would struggle to get more than 2 and a half weeks off over Xmas as I work in a school too. I guess what I'm trying to say is this will be a holiday of a lifetime and is it worth waiting to go at end of year even for a shorter time but better weather? Or stick to going in July/August and try and stay north for better weather? Thanks in advance

OP’s posts: |
mumblechum0 Sun 06-Jan-19 17:07:02

Hi, we’ve just returned from a six week long holiday to Aus. Had never been before.

Our itinerary was:

3 nights in Singapore Four Seasons to minimise jet lag

5 nights Sydney Four Seasons, did lots of ferry trips and ate our way around the world.

3 nights in a cottage in the Blue Mountains (2 hour drive from Sydney) for hiking

4 nights in fabby beach house in Tasmania (Avalon Coastal Retreat), hiking, Wineglass Bay and 1 night in Hobart.

3 nights Byron Bay, again beautiful beach house (The Palms at Byron Bay) to catch up with rallies

4 nights at Noosa North Shore in a house with a mob of tame kangaroos for entertainment

1 night Hervey Bay as we had an early flight to..

Lady Elliott Island for snorkelling the GBR which was a highlight, lots of turtles, rays, amazing coral

8 nights in the Daintree Rainforest in a house called Mali Mali. Now this is the only place we had terrible weather, and we were there over Xmas. It was a total washout, and I don’t recommend Daintree at that time.

3 nights back in Sydney. We were lucky enough to get tickets to a NYE party on board a 200 year old tall ship going round the harbour so the fireworks were spectacular; another highlight.

We flew First in a suite on Singapore airlines which was soo comfy, but business also looks pretty good.

So in a nutshell, i’d Say go for it but don’t make the mistake we did of presuming the weather would be good everywhere; the distance from Daintree to Tasmania, our most southerly destination is the same as Edinburgh to Marrakech 😊

mumblechum0 Sun 06-Jan-19 17:10:40

Having re read your OO I really think you need to go for an absolute minimum of a month. As you say it’s the holiday of a lifetime. Apparently Sydney is good most of the time. Although the North is warmer, the amount of rain is astonishing so if you’re going in July/Aug you need to do deep research into the weather.

Birdie6 Sun 06-Jan-19 17:19:08

I live in Brisbane . If you came in July / August it would be lovely weather. It never really gets cold here , and that would be a great time of the year for you to visit. It would be dry ( summer is the "wet season" here) and warm with temps around 70 F.

If you came for Christmas it would be much hotter - around 80 - 100 F most days and quite possible wet as well. The humidity can be a killer in Dec - Jan.

Either way, do come on over - you'll have a great time.

georgeclooneyfan Sun 06-Jan-19 21:04:01

Hello, thanks very much for taking the time to reply mumblechum0 and Birdie6. Your itinerary sounded amazing mumblechum0, sounds like you made lots of great memories, makes me want to go even more smile. My brother also lives in Brisbane Birdie6 and he says the same that the weather should be pleasant enough July/August, bit cooler in the evenings though. I do remember living there as a teenager and there were some cracking thunderstorms in the summer. I was usually hiding in a cupboard in the house sweating as we didn't have air con blush. We are looking in flight prices and there are a few sales on with airlines just now but won't let you see fares for mid December coming back in mid January, hopefully we will get something sorted but it does look like August would be the time we would be most likely to go, still in school holidays. Thanks again

OP’s posts: |
ShanghaiDiva Mon 07-Jan-19 09:33:15

I have been to Melbourne in July and weather was reasonable and did not stop us doing anything. Have also been to Broome in WA in July and weather was fab as dry season - not humid and around 30 so not baking hot. Perth was also reasonably good in July too - around 24 degrees before we went to Broome and then about 14 when we came back, again plenty to do with museums and galleries if weather is damp.

SJane45S Mon 07-Jan-19 09:45:26

Not sure if I was particularly unlucky but mumblechum I didn't find Sydney good all the time. I was there for about a month in June/July and while it wasn't at all British winter cold, it was wet and grey and not that warm quite a bit of the time. Queensland was a different story so if it was me, I'd stay North!

stopwining Mon 07-Jan-19 10:02:40

I lived in Australia for most of last year, I would not spend a month in Sydney in July/August it was quite cold and rainy (the odd sunny day!)
My sister in in Sydney right now and it was boiling last week but yesterday and today they are needing jackets.
I would visit Sydney if you wanted to do some sightseeing but spend the majority of the time in Brisbane. We went in October (spring) and it was beautiful.
My only experience of Melbourne is every time I have been it's rained!!
Sounds an amazing trip - have a wonderful time

Butteredghost Mon 07-Jan-19 10:06:05

I'm Australian and I find many people say Queensland is warm all year round but for me it isn't, unless you are talking way up north. Brisbane isn't very far north and personally I don't find the weather there warm enough for swimming and relaxing in July/August.

Are you planning to stay mainly in Brisbane? My advice would be, if you are staying just in Brisbane for a beach holiday wait until Xmas. If you are visiting Sydney, Melbourne and other places and not to fussed about going to the beach or swimming, come in July.

PenguinPandas Wed 09-Jan-19 02:38:14

We went in August and weather in Cairns / Atherton Tablelands / Daintree was amazing as was the activities, Great Barrier Reef, loads of wildlife, tree kangaroos, possum, etc rainforest etc. Magnetic Island looks well worth visiting around then too and has wild koalas and rock wallabies.

Did first three days just north of Sydney in Port Stephens and was sunny and about 22C and did whale and dolphin watching etc and sandboarding. Way back did Blue Mountains and saw kangaroos but only 10C and couple of days in Sydney around 15C and windy. Not the best time to see Sydney but worth spending few days if not been there before. Massive country and think in their summer you would do different destinations but would strongly recommend Queensland for August.

PenguinPandas Wed 09-Jan-19 02:41:37

We just did 2.5 weeks over there 11th, arriving 13th, back 28th to 29th and was fine but obviously if money and time not an issue the longer the better.

alwayscrashinginthesamecar1 Wed 09-Jan-19 02:58:18

I'm in Perth and usually encourage visitors to come March/April as the weather is usually lovely then. Or just come at Xmas for the full summer experience if you like the sunshine. I'd strongly discourage coming in winter, what's the point of coming when the weather is at its worst, and you don't get the lovely endless blue skies and sunshine? I was in Sydney just before Xmas though and found that it felt hotter there than Perth due to the humidity, 29 degrees in Sydney felt like a good 35 here in Perth, ridiculous as that may sound. So, it just depends what you want really, my preference would be a month in Jan/Feb.

Oh and the poster who pointed out that it rains a lot in the Daintree Rainforest, errrr, what did you expect really? grin

babyworry2018 Wed 09-Jan-19 03:39:28

Would Easter be an option? We went then because of uni holidays and it was nice: great weather most the time, some rain, but I'd say 90% sunny and warm without being unpleasant.

DH went in june/July to visit his sister last summer during the heatwave here and was huddled by a radiator in a borrowed hoodie on one call and said it wasn't that dissimilar to a mild winter day here, and fairly rainy. So I'd suggest aiming for Easter- don't forget flights over xmas will be much more expensive too.

georgeclooneyfan Fri 11-Jan-19 18:44:50

Thanks again everyone for your replies, think we have come to the conclusion that we will probably have to wait until December 2019/Jan 2020 to go now. My dd has to a year long industrial placement starting prob June/July 2019 until the following year, not sure where she will be yet as hasn't secured a placement yet. We obviously won't know if she is entitled to any holidays either. We did try and look at end of March/April but my ds has exams to study for. All a bit up in the air at the moment we should of actually went before now, never mind hopefully we can get something sorted or dh and I go on our own wink . I really appreciate all the feedback, thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Pythonesque Fri 11-Jan-19 20:01:47

I agree with trying to plan a longer trip if you can. July/August is the perfect time to visit central Australia, and will be good for the far north too. Monsoon season in the far north is I think October to March. You might even end up having a trip where your children join you for part of it but you stay longer? Have a good time whenever turns out to be the right time for it.

Personally I took mine "home" to Sydney over Christmas once some years ago and will be quite happy to never go there in summer again smile I've never enjoyed humid weather! But yes it can get cold and windy some days in the winter.

KingIrving Sun 13-Jan-19 19:13:49


I think you have taken the right decision.

I live in the Northern Beaches near Manly. Before being posted here, we lived 5 years in Barcelona and in my opinion, Sydney is not that hot, except in those rare days in which you have a heat wave for 48 hours.

It is mid Summer, and I still have my duvet on my bed and haven't turned aircon once this summer. In Spain, you wouldn't tolerate even a bare sheet on your skin.

Australia's attraction is highly based on the beaches and the lifestyle around beaches. Yes of course, you have the opera house and Uluru and the Southbank of Melbourne, but Australia without the beaches is half Australia.
So stay less but stay better?
Sydney can be a lot colder than you would imagine specially because there is no central heating, and houses are freezing. Where I live, it can be 5 degrees in the morning. Even if it heats up a bit somedays, other days will be cold and wet.
I have a very good friend who used to live in Brisbane and we visited her in every season. Summer is so much better. You can enjoy the southbank pool, have a day trip to the Gold Coast and jump in the sea from the bridge (totally illegal but the adrenaline!) ,visit Noosa or Surfer's paradise.
Wherever you have it will be nicer in Summer unless of course you go deep in the Outback.
Late teens (17-19) will also enjoy the summer vibe in Manly day or evening on the wharf

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