When Is It Best To Visit Melbourne?
Thanks to its location on Australia’s south coast, Melbourne is the country’s most seasonal city, experiencing hot summers through to cold winters and everything in between!
You can visit Melbourne throughout the year, but Spring (October to December) and Autumn (March through to May) are definitely the best months when you’re most likely to encounter sunshine but not stifling heat.
Be warned that Melbourne has a BIG reputation for experiencing four seasons in one day. You might have a heatwave followed by a cold front that drops the temperature by 10 degrees, followed by a downpour! When the sun comes out, though, there is nowhere more glorious to be. But always pack an umbrella year-round!
Melbourne is really a city of culture and nature lovers, so finding out when events are on is a great way to plan your trip (do note, however, that hotels can book up and be more expensive during popular events).
It can also be a little busier over the school holidays, though not as extreme as other cities (Melbournians tend to head to the northern states during school holidays).
Due to moderate climate and tourist crowds, March to May and September to November are the best time to visit Melbourne. Grape and wine tasting and admiring golden foliage—what could make your Melbourne autumn better?
A chilly period between June and August sees fewer tourists and many cultural events to push yourself out of the blue. And what a fantastic chance to ski snowy Mount Hotham or Mount Buller! Spring months promise amazing blooms during Tesselaar Tulip Festival and iconic events like Melbourne Fringe and Melbourne Festival.
December to February bring stunning beach vacations and cricket season to Melbourne. However, the city also attracts hordes of tourists during summertime, so try to plan in advance.
Melbourne In Summer
January and February are Melbourne’s hottest months but are also a hub of activity. It’s not unusual for the city to experience extremely hot days in excess of 40c (104f) and you’ll find locals and visitors alike flocking to any patch of water they can to cool down.
Popular places near to the city are St Kilda and Brighton Beach, and all the way along the Mornington Peninsular (to the east) and Bellarine Peninsular (to the west).
The Australian Open tennis is held in January, which brings a huge multicultural feel to the city. With local kids being on school holidays too, there are usually many family-friendly activities going on all over town for the little ones to join in.
With the heat can also come high fire danger. If you are taking day trips out into the bush, please be careful to heed warnings. Also, remember your sun safety. Even on a cloudy day, the UV rays are powerful here and can burn fair skin in minutes.
- Temperature: The air temperature during summer fluctuates between 12.9°C and 25.8°C, although there are days when the temperature reaches the 30 – 40°C range. The average sea temperature during this time is 17.4 – 18.8°C.
- Weather: Melbourne summers are usually warm and constitute dry heat. During this period, body moisture is quick to evaporate, leaving one feeling dehydrated and worn out. Although this can be uncomfortable for some, this season is still the best climate to visit Melbourne in as you can explore the city and all its wonders.
- Significance: Summers in this cultural hub is simply delightful. Melbourne comes to life between December and February, from the glistening beaches, boardwalks, and promenades to the bustling night markets, festivals, shows, and street parades. The landscapes are littered with Christmas lights, and the shop displays are truly magical.
- You should visit now: December experiences the longest hours of daylight, sunrise at 6 am and sunset at 8:45 pm. As such, this is the perfect time to wander through the graffiti lined streets, take in the beautiful cityscape, shop, eat and sightsee. One can take advantage of these long days and partake in Christmas and New Year cheer that is reflected in the enchanting décor.
- Things to know before the visit: Summer is the peak tourist season because of the amicable weather conditions. School and university students are on vacation during this time. As such, prices of accommodation and tours will be higher. Although the days are warm, be prepared for chilly evenings and the occasional pitter-patter.
- Tips: Make sure to use SPF 30+ sunblock every day as you don’t want your skin to burn. And burn it will, as Australian ozone protection is weak. Check the UV index in local weather reports to be aware of the daily solar UV radiation intensity. Wear light and airy clothes, but don’t forget to carry a warm jacket too! Umbrellas and gumboots are welcome, as showers can greet you at any time.
Melbourne In Autumn
March is the absolute perfect time to visit Melbourne. You can still get some long mild to warm days and enjoy the great outdoors. The Australian Grand Prix in Albert Park always brings a hub of activity, as does the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
The delightful Moomba Festival on the banks of the Yarra has been entertaining Melbourne families over labour day long weekend for decades.
Kids are back at school from the end of January through until Easter time, so it can be less crowded to get around, and the weather is a little more predictable. The many parks and avenues around Melbourne are planted with deciduous trees so that you will get a glorious display of colour.
It can be getting pretty crisp and cool by May, and the rainy days start to set in.
- Temperature: The air temperature during autumn fluctuates between 8.6 °C and 23.9 °C.
- Weather: Melbourne during autumn can only be described as dreamlike. The morning fog clears to welcome sunshine during the day. The air is fresh and crisp, endowed with light winds. The leaves take on brilliant red-gold colour and cover the landscapes with immense beauty. Autumn is the ideal time for those who seek cool and pleasant weather.
- Significance: Melbourne fall is simply breathtaking. The natural foliage is hard to ignore as it blankets every nook and corner. Alfred Nicholas Gardens, Gardens of Glenlyon, Tieve Tara, The Valley of Liquidambers, Cloudehill and Maroondah Reservoir Park are some of the best places to enjoy the vibrant autumn leaves. During this time, one can enjoy the lovely festivals and dig into gorgeous dishes created with local produce.
- Why you should visit now: Autumn is blessed with fewer tourists and significantly better weather. One must take advantage of the remaining beachy days and all the outdoor fun before winter creeps in. Plus, the fall leaves are something to witness!
- Things to know before the visit: Melbourne weather is diverse and unpredictable. So, be prepared for warm days along with cold and rainy days too. As this is the in-between shoulder season, prices will be more affordable.
- Tips: Pack a warm jacket and rainwear. Don’t forget to strap on the sunblock, no matter the season!
Melbourne In Winter
It’s fair to say that winter is not Melbourne’s finest season! It is a great time to enjoy local sports, though, like Aussie Rules, and enjoy other cultural, shopping and indoor options, ideal, but I would hold off on planning your BBQ!
There is plenty of indoor exploring to do, though in a city used to rainy day alternatives! You’ll find lots going on at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), particularly over the July school holidays, as well as the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Images) at Fed Square and the Melbourne Museum.
Pop-up skate rinks are also increasingly popular attractions or visit the O’Brien Group Arena in Docklands for indoor skating action year-round.
- Temperature: The air temperature during winter fluctuates between 6°C and 15°C.
- Weather: Melbourne winters are cold and cloudy, interspersed with strong winds and the occasional shower. During this time, the atmosphere is cloaked with enchanting frost. Snowfall occurs in northeast Victoria, in High Country. Winter is the best season to visit Melbourne for all those who love glacial weather.
- Significance: Melbourne’s weather in winter allows for various unique activities, events and adventure sports. From ice skating to skiing, food and wine festivals to winter night markets, jazz shows and igloo dining, the city has tons in store for a magnificent winter gala! And what’s truly special is the tradition of Christmas in July.
- Why you should visit now: Melbourne winters are synonymous with its mulled wine, hot chocolate and eggnog that can be savoured in cosy pubs and cafes. This season is ablaze with magic and wonder that you should not miss out on! Skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes at Hotham, Mount Buller and Falls Creek. Plus, you can optimise on the exciting winter sales that are true to Melbourne’s thriving CBD.
- Things to know before the visit: Melbourne winters can get particularly severe, as it occasionally falls below 5 degrees. As tourism is at its lowest, accommodation and tour prices, tend to be friendlier. Don’t be fooled by the gloomy climate; it’s as important to wear sunblock in the winter as it is in the summer.
- Tips: Dress in layers to protect yourself from the chill. If it gets warmer, you can always take off a layer. Make sure you have a scarf, beany, gloves and boots for when it gets extremely cold. Strap on the sunblock and carry a windproof jacket.
Melbourne In Spring
The entrance of Spring is marked by the end of the Aussie Rules footy season, with the AFL Grand Final being played in the last weekend of September. The captivating Spring Racing Carnival swiftly follows this. Even if horse racing isn’t really your thing, the floral and fashion are unmissable, and there’s a great vibe around town.
Although the rain tends to ease towards year-end, it can still be quite remarkable all the way through to the end of December.
- Temperature: The air temperature during spring fluctuates between 10.3°C and 24°C.
- Weather: The weather of spring in Melbourne is the most variable and inconsistent compared to the other seasons. In fact, it can suddenly change from sunny and calm to cold and windy in a single day. With that being said, the atmosphere is pleasant and comfortable.
- Significance: There is so much to see and experience during this animated season. Spring brings with it a repertoire of exciting events such as the Tesselaar Tulip Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival and Spring Racing Carnival. Spring is also a great time to explore the city because of its world-famous food and art scene!
- Why you should visit now: Although summer is unparalleled, spring is a particularly lovely time to navigate the quirky and multi-cultural city! One can enjoy the cool weather and all its perks before the dry heat begins to settle in. Barbequing and picnicking are especially lovely this time of your year.
- Things to know before the visit: October is the wettest month, so be prepared for the rain to change itineraries. If you’re looking to head to wineries and parks, this month may not be the best time to visit Melbourne in!
- Tips: Check the weather forecast before planning your outdoor excursions. You wouldn’t want the rain to dampen your plans or spirits! Your clothing should take into account the unpredictability of the weather, so be prepared.
When is the best time to visit Melbourne?
- Best Time to Visit Melbourne: October to mid-December, March, and April. These months generally offer sunny weather while avoiding the mid-summer heat and the Australian school holiday crowds.
- Best Time for Good Weather: Late October to mid-April.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: October, November, March, and April.
- Best Time for Honeymoons: Late spring (October and November) and early autumn/fall (March and April).
- Best Time for Nightlife: November to March.
- Best Time for Saving Money: Avoid the Australian school holidays when hotel rates are generally higher, especially around the Christmas/New Year period. Hotels in the suburbs are usually cheaper on weekends though some city centre hotels are still expensive, even on winter weekends, because of the very popular football games.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: Ideally, avoid the mid-summer heat; the cold and, often, wet winter; and the crowds and higher hotel rates during the Australian school holidays. So, the best time is late spring (October and November) and early autumn/fall (March and April).
- Best Time for Outdoor Activities: The heat can be uncomfortable during the peak of the summer (December to February), and it’s always cold and often windy and wet throughout the extended winter (May to September). The prime time for any outdoor activities is late spring (October and November) and early autumn/fall (March and April).
Melbourne Travel Seasons
- High Season (December and January): During this time, the weather is usually hot, but the humidity is not as potentially uncomfortable as in Sydney. Many Melburnians and tourists head to the beaches and various sporting events, especially the international cricket match held for up to 5 days straight after Christmas. Hotel rates are always higher during these two months, which coincide with the Australian school holidays.
- Shoulder Season (February, March, April, September, October, and November): This is the best time to visit because it’s out of the school holiday periods, so there are fewer crowds, hotel rates are lower, and the weather is usually decent enough for sightseeing. Be wary, however, of weekends in September, when finals for the countrywide Australian Rules Football competition are held. These can attract crowds of 100,000, 20-30% of which may come from interstate.
- Low Season (May to August): Winter is always cold and often wet and windy, although days can sometimes be sunny and dry, but still chilly. Prices for hotels are at their lowest, except for the mid-year school holiday period (2 weeks around mid-July) and some weekends when up to 80,000 fans, including those from interstate, attend a football game.
Melbourne Weather by Month
The city’s weather is infamous for being so unpredictable. Locals often say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.” The musical group Crowded House even wrote a song about it: Four Seasons in One Day.
Melbourne Weather in January
This is the middle of summer, so take the usual precautions (hat and sunscreen), though Melbourne doesn’t suffer the high humidity that affects Sydney. Average daytime temperatures of 26°C can be misleading; they can often be 10° higher during the afternoon. Some rainfall, but it’s much more likely to be remnants of a sub-tropical weather pattern to the north rather than the sort of drizzle witnessed in winter.
Melbourne Weather in February
The dry heat continues, peaking in February, the hottest month of the year. Daytime temperatures of 37°C (about 100°F) are not uncommon, although it can fall to half that in a couple of hours after dark—the least number of rainy days (6) for the year.
Melbourne Weather in March
As the autumn (fall) quickly arrives, the heat doesn’t tend to hang about in Melbourne like other Australian cities. Average daytime temperatures drop a few degrees to a pleasant 24°C, but there’s no more rain than January or February.
Melbourne Weather in April
A pleasant time to visit as the numerous parks and gardens are covered in fallen leaves, and some lingering warmth and sunshine are yet to be replaced by dark clouds and howling winds. Slight increase in the amount of average monthly rainfall and the number of days with rain (10). Daylight saving time finishes on the first weekend in April.
Melbourne Weather in May
By now, winter has well and truly started, so be prepared. Average daytime temperatures have dipped to 17°C and about ten °C overnight. This is made worse by winds that can blast through the city streets and destroy defenceless umbrellas.
Similar rainfall as April and not much more than the summer months on average, but it may drizzle for hours, even days.
Melbourne Weather in June
Melbourne never receives snow, and damaging hail is rare, but the winter can be cold, windy, wet, and cloudy. The shortest amount of daylight does not help this for the year. The good news is that the football season is now in full swing.
Melbourne Weather in July
Come prepared with an extra-thick coat and super-sturdy umbrella. Oddly, not as much average monthly rainfall as the summer months, but the mizzle (combined mist and drizzle) can last for days.
With the year’s second-highest number of rainy days (14) and the lowest average daytime/overnight temperatures (14°C/7°C), even the hardiest Melburnians do sometimes complain.
Melbourne Weather in August
The imminent finish of the football season heralds some optimism about the weather. While August is still one of the wettest and windiest months, clouds do break more often to reveal welcome patches of blue.
Average daytime temperatures increase slightly as the winter officially ends by the start of September, but the weather can be (and often is) still reasonably miserable.
Melbourne Weather in September
Start of spring and the football finals. A changeable month, but more likely to remain wintry than summery for a few more weeks. Highest average monthly rainfall for the year so far, so don’t put away any coats or umbrellas quite yet.
Melbourne Weather in October
More changeable weather, when a promisingly warmish morning can turn disappointingly wintry in minutes. Surprisingly, there is more rain in October than any month in winter, but it is now more likely to be short, heavy spells than all-day drizzles.
Average daytime temperatures have now hit the optimistic mark of 20°C but are a still-chilly at 11°C overnight. Daylight savings time starts during the first weekend in October.
Melbourne Weather in November
Stretches of blue skies and dry days improve the morale of Melburnians immeasurably as the Spring Carnival of horse racing is squeezed between the football and cricket seasons. Strangely, November almost ties with December as the wettest month, but short sub-tropical downpours are much more likely than long drizzles.
Every month from now until March, average daytime and overnight temperatures rise by a degree or 2 (°C), and there is much more blue sky than grey clouds.
Melbourne Weather in December
As summer has now arrived, daytime temperatures can peak significantly higher than the average of 24°C. Scorching days of +35°C are standard, and bushfires in rural regions an occasional danger, but Melbourne does not suffer the high humidity of Sydney.
Paradoxically, December is the year’s wettest month for total rainfall, but precipitation is only ten days per month on average.