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Melbourne in August

Winter in Melbourne winds up in August in an enjoyable fashion with many things to see and do, including visiting the nearby ski fields.

Much like July, temperatures remain chilly, and it’s advisable to bring warm clothing for those days where you’ll need to rug up. However, with multiple seasons often occurring during a single day, Melbourne’s weather is quite unpredictable.

Regardless, this season is one of the best times to visit Melbourne – if you can tolerate colder weather – due to the lack of crowds and absence of any school holidays. In addition, the ski and snow season is still in full swing until the end of August for those looking to participate in winter sports.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne city, August makes for a lovely and pleasant atmosphere that, while cold, tends to look very beautiful on overcast or foggy days. This adds to the charm of the city and the displays of greenery that can be found throughout.

Here we touch on a few of the best things to see and do in Melbourne during August. Some of the most popular attractions to visit and things to do in and around Melbourne in August include:

Melbourne in August at a glance:

  • Public Holidays: None
  • Season: Winter
  • Average Temperatures: 6.6 to 14.9 degrees Celsius

Take the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Adelaide

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For a scenic experience that will let you stay in the comfort of your heated car or tour bus, the drive from Melbourne to Adelaide along the route that includes the Great Ocean Road is a must-do in the winter months.

Before embarking on the trip, bear in mind that it is likely to take a good three days to make the most of the many sights and landmarks that the route offers along the way rather than just solid driving.

Expect to encounter numerous highlights throughout the trip, including the incredibly scenic and rugged coastline and natural and geological formations such as the Twelve Apostles, the Grampians National Park (an excellent stop for hiking!), and the chance to encounter the rare White Western Grey Kangaroo at Bordertown.

If you’re not looking to commit that much time in a one-way journey, then visiting the Great Ocean Road is possible in a single day. There are numerous day tours available that will take you along the road and back to Melbourne CBD, or you can hire a car and do it all on your own.

Visit Sovereign Hill

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If you’re looking for a dose of Aussie colonial history, Sovereign Hill in Ballarat is a must!

An outdoor museum of sorts, Sovereign Hill, aims to recreate the settings and atmosphere of the 1850’s Gold Rush era and is entertaining, educational and informative, making it a great destination to take the kids.

There are more than enough attractions to fill the whole day, including gold panning, taste testing at bakeries, sweet shops and tea rooms, and watching blacksmiths work.

Sovereign Hill provides a substantial amount of entertainment that makes for a refreshing change from all the run-of-the-mill attractions that can be found elsewhere.

It’s easy to become immersed in the settings as enthusiastic and friendly actors dressed in authentic period-accurate attire roam the streets and work in the shops. This contributes to the lively atmosphere and realism of the township and is great fun for the kids.

They’ll gladly pose for photographs with visitors and put on a series of impromptu shows throughout the day that is very entertaining to watch. Several scheduled demonstrations and displays are displayed at regular intervals; a timetable for these events is handed out with your map on entry.

Enjoy the last month of the ski season at Mt Buller.

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As August winds up, the conditions of the ski fields at Mt Buller are still typically reliable for both beginners and the advanced alike.

As the closest ski resort to Melbourne, Mt Buller is reached in around a 3-hour drive from the city centre, making day trips possible; however, longer trips are advised if you want to get the most out of the conditions on offer.

In addition to natural snowfall, snowmaking equipment is installed at the resort, which helps ensure reliable, skiable snow is abundant until later on in the ski season.

With comprehensive ski hire services, a regular ski patrol, ski school and some of the best terrain in Australia for skiers and snowboarders, Mt Buller ranks as a world-class ski resort.

While it can get crowded in peak season, the resort aims to deal with this by having 25 lifts to move around 40,000 skiers per hour to help keep lines moving.

Plenty of accommodation is also available of various kinds that aim to cater to different budgets.

Things To Do In Australia’s Winter

Whether you love tropical escapes or snowy mountain getaways, winter in Australia has something for everyone.

Winter in most parts of Australia is from June to August. This falls within the ‘dry season for the Northern Territory, making it an ideal time to visit the country’s north, including Darwin, the Top End and the Kimberley.

From balmy afternoons in the north to freezing temperatures and snow in many places south of Sydney (head to the Australian Alps and Tasmania if you’re keen for a white winter), travelling to Australia during winter is pleasant. It offers a diverse range of activities and attractions to discover.

Winter in Australia is generally less crowded, but you may find more local families in the ski fields during mid-July when schools have their break period. Learn more about where to visit and great things to do across the country in winter.

Thaw out in Darwin and the Top End

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While southern Australia freezes through winter, it’s the dry season in Darwin and the Top End, bringing warm, sunny days and cool nights.

It’s ideal weather for exploring the many exciting attractions in Darwin, such as the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, cage swimming with a crocodile or seeing a film under the open skies at Deck Chair Cinema. 

Head 115 kilometres (70 miles) south to Buley Rockhole in Litchfield National Park to frolic in a series of connected swimming pools with clear waters.

Lounge about as the stream bubbles past or continue to the park’s signature swimming hubs, Wangi and Florence Falls.

Further south is Nitmiluk National Park, where you canoe in ancient gorges, see Aboriginal rock art and swim in natural plunge pools.

If a winter wonderland is not your idea of a relaxing holiday, head to Australia’s remote Kimberley region for balmy weather that will thaw you out. As winter is the dry season, it’s the perfect time to visit this stunning part of Australia.

Take a scenic flight over the Bungle Bungle Ranges, cruise the coastline or escape to the luxurious El Questro Homestead.

Don’t miss Broome’s pearl farms and its spectacular show known as The Staircase to the Moon. Every full moon, from March to October, as the moon rises, its light reflects off the exposed mudflats of Roebuck Bay, creating a “staircase” that leads up to the heavens. It’s the ultimate romantic way to end an evening.

Swim with whales on the Great Barrier Reef

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The mild temperatures and low humidity of winter visit the Great Barrier Reef a spectacular experience. It also has the added benefit of being outside of stinger season (November to May), so snorkelling trips don’t require that you wear a wetsuit. 

Winter is the height of whale season in Australia, and there are some incredible opportunities to spot and interact with these majestic creatures. From Cairns or Port Douglas, you can head out with Mike Ball Dive Expeditions to swim with curious and playful dwarf minke whales.

Stargaze at an outback sky in the Red Centre

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With cooler days and chilly nights (sometimes below freezing temperatures), Australia’s Red Centre is a fantastic winter retreat.

See the impressive monoliths of Uluru and Kata Tjuta from camel, segway, motorcycle or helicopter, walk the Larapinta Trail or wander the incredible Field of Light installation featuring 50,000 solar-powered stems.

Be sure to stay out late enough to admire the impressive outback sky. Far from city lights, stars seem bigger and brighter here.

Listen to Aboriginal stories and legends of the night sky on the guided stargazing tour at Ayers Rock Resort.

It’s a journey across the Milky Way with the resort’s resident astronomer, using telescopes, binoculars and iPads.

For something a bit quirky, be sure to visit Alice Springs for the annual Camel Cup. This colourful outback festival is a weekend-long party. Some camels are born athletes, while others aren’t even interested in running, making for a hilarious day on the track.

Cosy up at a cellar door near Adelaide

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Misty mornings over the green rolling hills of South Australia’s wine regions will put you in the mood to relax in front of a toasty fireplace – with wine in hand.

Perch yourself in a cosy cellar door to savour the rich red wines the region is famous for. 

The Flinders Ranges is also spectacular in winter, thanks to the respite from the outback summer heat and an abundance of wildlife to spot.

Be sure to join in the fun at any one of the great winter festivals on the events calendar for Adelaide and the surrounding area.

For a truly unique adventure, take the two-day Swim with Giant Cuttlefish tour that takes you snorkelling with the fantastic giant cuttlefish at Stony Point, located on the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park coastline Eyre Peninsula.

Be part of the action in Perth and the surrounding regions.

Start your winter adventures in Western Australia’s capital city with Perth City Winter Fest, featuring a range of free and ticketed events that take advantage of the cool, sunny days.

It’s also a great time of year to head south to the Margaret River region to celebrate truffle season. 

One of the most revered delicacies, black Perigord truffle season in Manjimup is June to September, and you can join a hunt for the prized fungus, take a cooking class or enjoy a themed degustation dinner paired with the region’s finest wines.

There’s lots of action happening north of Perth as well. Head up the Coral Coast to Ningaloo Reef to swim with friendly whale sharks and humpback whales on their migration.

Shred the ski fields near Melbourne

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The southern state of Victoria can be pretty chilly in winter, but Melbourne knows how to keep things toasty.

Every visitor should experience the excitement of an Australian Football League (AFL) game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the rivalry can get heated. 

Spend an evening strolling the Winter Night Market at the Queen Victoria Markets, where you can enjoy street food, roaring fires, specialty shopping, spiced mulled wine and live music.

For a day of adventure in the mountains, head to Mt Buller or Mt Baw Baw (two to three hours from the city) to ski, snowboard, snowshoe or even go dog sledding. You can thaw out with a soak in a thermal hot spring on the Mornington Peninsula or, for a bit of winter magic the whole family will love, head to Sovereign Hill for the Winter Wonderlights Festival.

Hike snow-dusted trails in Tasmania

It may be cold in Tassie over winter, but it’s still a great time of year to head outdoors and experience all that’s on offer.

Head to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park to hike through snow-dusted trails, spotting wildlife and hopefully catching a glimpse of the southern lights along the way.

It’s also a great time of year to experience some of the festivals that are on. Head to Hobart for the midwinter festival Dark Mofo. Highlights include the food lover’s Winter Feast and the Winter Solstice Nude Swim. It’s also time for Tasmanian Whisky Week, which offers an incredible calendar of events celebrating the warming drink.

Discover black gold during truffle season in Canberra

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Winter is truffle season in Australia, and Canberra has truffle-inspired events happening as part of its annual Truffle Festival. Experiences range from truffle hunting and cooking classes to themed degustation meals.

Canberra is also conveniently located about 2.5 hours from many of the country’s best ski fields, making it the perfect day trip from the city.

Head out of town for a day on the slopes of Perisher, Thredbo or Selwyn.

Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, you can enjoy a day in a winter wonderland snowshoeing, dog sledding or tobogganing. Canberra is also well-positioned for a day trip to Jervis Bay, where you can enjoy a dolphin or whale watching cruise as they migrate north for winter.

Get active in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

The ‘humpback highway’ extends through southern Queensland, so head to Hervey Bay for epic whale watching adventures with Spirit of Hervey Bay, or jump on board with Sunreef Mooloolaba in the Sunshine Coast to swim these gentle giants.

If you’re here in August, don’t miss the Curated Plate – a four-day food festival featuring the best chefs from Australia and around the world.

One hour south of Brisbane is the family-friendly Gold Coast, with its world-class theme parks and wildlife parks where you can cuddle a koala. It’s also home to the Gold Coast Marathon held every July.

Experience winter festivals in Sydney

Sydney is an absolute stunner in winter, often treating visitors to clear blue skies and calm conditions during the day before the temperature drops as the sun goes down.

Head out on the harbour for a whale watching tour or spot them from the shore as you walk the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Trail.

Bondi also plays host to the annual City2Surf – a 14-kilometre (8.7-mile) fun run that attracts over 80,000 participants.

If you’re visiting in early June, you can catch the end of Vivid Sydney to see the city transformed with light installations and projections. Just west of the town, the Blue Mountains are celebrating Yulefest, where you can experience the festive cheer and maybe even some snow.

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