For many in Australia, summer means long sunny days and balmy nights, sharing a BBQ meal with friends and relaxing beachside. The summer season is a great time to explore outside the big cities, from the peaks of the Blue Mountains to the coasts of Tasmania, ideal weather and sunny days beckon, perfect for visitors. While city centres heave with festivals and events, rooftops bars make for perfect alfresco dining and Australia’s famed beaches offer a chance to refresh. Meanwhile, up north, warm waters and private islands await with air-conditioned suites and lush forests enriched by seasonal rainfall.
Read on to discover where to experience the best of Australian summer.
Venturing into the southernmost part of Australia between December-February offers the opportunity to explore incredible walking trails, diverse landscapes and pristine coasts. With perfect temperatures between 17°C (63°F) and 23°C (73°F) on long, sunny days, Tasmania becomes an oasis for wilderness explorers and avid hikers.
- Whether you seek a meditative solo journey or a bonding experience with fellow travellers, Tasmania offers a myriad of picturesque hikes that traverse its diverse landscapes. Embark on an extraordinary four-day journey along the Bay of Fires, hike across 32 kilometres (19.8 miles) of coastal paradise that beckon with white-sand beaches and untamed wilderness. Or join the Three Capes Signature Walk, a remarkable four-day adventure offered by the Tasmanian Walking Co., and immerse yourself in the world’s highest sea cliffs with boat cruises and cozy lodge stays within the National Park. Hikers can also discover the natural wonders of Maria Island with the award-winning Maria Island Walk, a captivating journey filled with abundant wildlife, history, and breathtaking scenery.
- Immerse yourself in the Tasmanian coast on an expedition that seamlessly combines guided walks and hikes with traversing through hidden waterways and boating alongside the southwestern wilderness with On Board. Guests aboard the luxury vessel Odalisque, can enjoy five-star comfort and exceptional dining whilst enjoying daily shore excursions inviting you to explore the region’s winding waterways by jetboat. Hike to breathtaking vantage points, birdwatch in Buttongrass Moorlands, picnic on remote and pristine beaches, and bask in the remarkable landscapes of sea caves, rock arches, rocky islets, and other sights that can only be experienced from the water.
- Celebrated for its timeless sophistication overlooking the stunning Wineglass Bay, Saffire Freycinet is a coastal sanctuary capturing the essence of Tasmania’s most sublime coastal region, the Freycinet Peninsula. The 20-suite retreat is located on the inside of a gentle curve of sandy coastline that joins the peninsula to mainland Tasmania. Panoramic windows showcase views of Great Oyster Bay where migrating whales and dolphins come to play. In the summer, experience diving, snorkelling, kayaking, boating or fishing in the crystal-clear waters.
- Join Localing on a culinary journey through Tasmania’s celebrated fresh seafood. Inulge in some of finest produce of the region, the best in oysters, walnuts, olives and, of course, fresh fish after a day exploring the breathtaking surrounds.
Celebrated for its famed wine regions, exquisite culinary scene, stunning natural beauty and outdoor adventure, South Australia is a captivating destination for culinary enthusiasts and nature lovers alike . With temperatures between 17°C (63°F) and 33°C (91°F), a Mediterranean-like climate creates perfect conditions to visit one of the many pristine beaches that adorn its coastline, or journey through the rolling Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale wine regions. Summer in South Australia also presents the opportunity to embark on a bespoke tour or relax at some of the best luxury lodges the state has to offer.
- Australian Coastal Safaris conducts free-spirited safaris bringing together spectacular natural scenery, incredible marine life and the unbeatable Aussie beach lifestyle. From remarkable wildlife encounters to roaming over massive sand dunes and rugged clifftops and beachside fishing expeditions, discover what makes the Eyre Peninsula a true hidden gem.
- Take part in one of the many festivals and events that make South Australia known as ‘the Festival State’. From the Santos Tour Down Under to the famed Adelaide Fringe Festival, join the festivities that celebrate arts, colour, creativity and sportsmanship in this vibrant city.
- Discover the history and stories behind some of South Australia’s most iconic wineries with The Tailor Touring Co. Indulge in private tastings, wine mixing workshops or the unique ‘taste your birth year’ tour from award-winning wineries alongside knowledgeable guides. Go beyond the vineyards and indulge in exclusive tours at some of the state’s noteworthy locations with touring tailored to your preferences and interests from history to agriculture to food and wine.
- The Louise is an idyllic and award-winning vineyard retreat. Set atop a gentle hill with breathtaking, sun-dappled views across South Australia’s famed Barossa wine region, this luxury lodge offers refreshing and contemporary ambience while celebrating the natural bounty of the region. Guests of The Louise will enjoy world-class food, wine and luxury combined in an intimate, understated, and balanced blend.
- Australia’s world-renowned Kangaroo Island luxury lodge, Southern Ocean Lodge, is set to reopen its doors in December 2023. With an array of signature lodge experiences designed to highlight the allure of Kangaroo Island, from the maritime heritage and coastal landscapes to clifftop walks and canapes. Championing local produce and beverages with a sustainable approach, this is an exquisite five-star lodge experience in a globally recognised island wilderness that can’t be missed.
- An elegant sanctuary nestled alongside the historic Mount Lofty House, Sequoia is a lodge boasting panoramic views of the Adelaide Hills, personalised service, and exceptional food and wine. It is named for the 150-year-old Sequoia trees planted by Arthur and Martha Hardy, the original owners of the adjacent Mount Lofty House.
New South Wales
Renowned for the iconic Sydney Harbour and its pulsating cultural heartbeat, this state is a treasure trove for the discerning traveller. As the mercury hovers between a pleasant 18°C (64°F) and 30°C (86°F), the golden sands of Bondi, Byron Bay, and a constellation of other beaches beckon, while the city offers a myriad of hidden gems, rooftop bars and cultural experiences. The summer season is the perfect backdrop for celebrating the festive season on the shores of the harbour, relaxing in a luxurious city retreat, or exploring the Blue Mountains for a kick of adrenalin among imposing cliff faces.
- Local Eyes Sydney is a small group and private charter business offering a collection of unique and interactive day tours around Sydney and the greater New South Wales area. From sailing on the iconic Sydney Harbour aboard your own private vessel, to discovering the unbelievable beauty of Sydney’s coastline on a guided walk from Bondi to Bronte beach or venture out to the scenic Blue Mountains and uncover the hidden bars and distilleries currently creating a vibrant urban culture around the city. Discover the beauty of Sydney via both land and sea with this bespoke touring group.
- Summer in Byron Bay is an experience of golden sunlight and vibrant energy. The coastal town comes alive with surfers chasing the perfect wave, markets bustling with local artisanal crafts, and cafes humming with the chatter of relaxed patrons. Exploring Byron Bay alongside Localing during these warmer months offers long, lazy beach days and the opportunity to embrace the town’s free-spirited lifestyle. Whether you’re taking a sunrise yoga class on the beach, hiking up to the Cape Byron Lighthouse for panoramic views, or simply enjoying the local culinary delights, Byron Bay’s summer charm is both invigorating and restorative.
- Explore the lush, rolling hills of the Southern Highlands with Experience Nature through immersive, hands-on and creative adventures connecting people, place and experience. Embark on guided hikes to secluded waterfalls, jet boat charters, artisan food tours and wildlife encounters, before retiring for the evening in the surrounds of a luxurious retreat.
- Canyoning, abseiling, hiking and climbing through the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains region with two-time Guness World Record holder James Castrission is an experience that invites you to explore beyond the edge of your comfort zone. In an experience designed to stretch your own physical and mental capabilities in a supportive environment, guests of all ages and skill levels can meet and triumph over natural obstacles. A truly unique experience amongst a mountain oasis, there is no better way to enjoy summer than adventuring under the Australian sun.
- The Sydney New Year’s Eve celebration is revered across the world over for its light show of fireworks, lasers and flames accompanying music, dance and smoking ceremonies that illuminate the harbour, drawing in visitors and locals alike. Observe this incredible display from room at Crown Sydney or aboard your own private yacht, and ring in the New Year with one of the best fireworks displays in the world.
- As far as harbourside views, Park Hyatt Sydney is unrivalled. Located near the foot of the South Pier of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and facing directly towards the Opera House, it is quite literally in the heart of Sydney’s vibrant Circular Quay and historical Rocks districts.
- Taking pride of place in Sydney’s commercial, arts and cultural hub, the Capella Sydney is an enviable new luxury offering in the heart of the harbour city’s lively business district. Housed in an intricately restored heritage-listed building from the 1930s, this beautiful hotel balances storied architectural features with a light-palleted contemporary design aesthetic. Capella Sydney has been designed to indulge guests with luxurious accommodation, world-class cuisine, and cultural immersion.
A city celebrated for its dynamic arts scene, labyrinthine laneways, and culinary masterpieces, Melbourne’s charm is amplified in the warmer months. As temperatures range from a cool 14°C (57°F) to 25°C (77°F), the climate is ideal for indulging in the alfresco dining that spills onto the vibrant streets, or for watching the sunset from a rooftop bar. The season also beckons with the Australian Open, where tennis ignites the city’s spirit. An urban oasis waiting to be explored, Melbourne’s charm lies in the luxury hotels and experiences that hide within the city streets.
- Discover the best of the best with local insight and plenty of backstory to guide you through the streets of Melbourne with Localing. Whether it is making your way from bohemian Fitzroy to lovely seaside St. Kilda; from Little Italy to Little Saigon, travel between worlds sampling favourite treats from around the globe, or exploring inner Melbourne’s rich urban labyrinth, its stunning local boutiques, buzzing lanes and hidden treasures. Localing guides you through the maze of their city with your interests and preferences front of mind.
- In the heart of Melbourne’s summer, the Australian Open transforms the city into a global stage for tennis’ brightest stars. As the first Grand Slam of the year, it’s a thrilling congregation of world-class athletes, passionate fans, and electric competition. The iconic Rod Laver Arena becomes a thrumming epicentre, where each serve and volley is met with rapturous applause. Beyond the courts, the event is a festival of culture and entertainment, with Melbourne’s renowned food and arts scene providing a vibrant backdrop.
- Explore the famed Great Ocean Road from the seat of a private helicopter in an experience that reveals the gems along one of Australia’s most iconic coastal drives. Create a unique work of sand art using bare feet inspired by the surrounding land with a local and celebrated Aboriginal artist. Then, embark on an Australian bush safari with a local naturalist guide of the Tower Hill National Park to spot kangaroos, emus, and koalas in the wild, concluding with a scenic drive along Shipwreck Coast to the 12 Apostles.
- Indulge in the flavours and scenery of the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula with a wine tour that caters to connoisseurs and casual enthusiasts alike. Meander through verdant landscapes dotted with vineyards, each offering a unique glimpse into the region’s winemaking heritage. With each sip, uncover the subtle notes and robust bouquets that characterise these famed wine-producing areas. Personalised tours allow you to delve into the artistry behind the wine, from vine to bottle, all while soaking in panoramic views that make these locales a feast for the senses as well as the palate.
- Located in the heart of Melbourne’s urban landscape, Park Hyatt Melbourne is a luxurious inner-city hotel offering guests an exceptional stay. Overlooking St Patrick’s Cathedral and Fitzroy Gardens, this five-star appointed hotel prides itself on exceptional levels of service, luxurious hotel amenities and excellent proximity to many of Melbourne’s unique city experiences. Just a few minutes travel from the hotel, guests can explore Melbourne’s laneways and arcades, museums, art galleries, copious restaurants and cafés and even the major sporting precinct to watch the Australian Open Tennis.
- Located on the southern bank of the Yarra River, Crown Towers sets the benchmark for luxury hotels in Australia. Lavishly appointed and offering an impeccable standard of customer service and attention to detail, all of Crown Towers’ luxurious and oversized guest rooms have spectacular views to the city or Port Phillip Bay. Guests looking for the ultimate in relaxation, service and entertainment need go no further than the spectacular Crown Spa, the culinary delights of the superb signature restaurants and the amazing Crown Entertainment Complex with its cinemas, nightclubs, bars, shopping and indoor entertainment theme park.
A mosaic of lush rainforests and sun-kissed beaches, Queensland is a summer staple recognised globally. Celebrated for its natural wonders and vibrant outdoor culture, the warmth of the season sees temperatures ranging from 25°C (77°F) to 31°C (88°F), perfect for savouring the open-air beachfront vistas or diving into the underwater majesty of the Great Barrier Reef. Summer is the perfect time to visit the southern end of the reef or head inland and stay in a luxury lodge that enjoys souring mountaintop views in volcanic scenery.
- Island hop from the comfort of your own private yacht in the Great Barrier Reef. Embark on a luxurious journey through Australia’s stunning waterways, dive into azure waters for snorkelling, paddle boarding, kayaking or scuba diving. Experience unparalleled access to pristine beauty, versatile adventures and enjoyed unrivalled luxury aboard with personalised service and knowledgeable guides.
- Occupying a sun-drenched location on the northern-most tip of Hamilton Island, luxury lodge qualia looks out to Coral Sea waters – home to the Great Barrier Reef – and vistas of mesmerising calm. qualia has been meticulously designed to relax the mind yet completely spoil the senses, offering 60 exquisitely appointed pavilions that sit in perfect harmony with the rare, natural beauty of the Whitsunday Islands.
- Spicers Peak Lodge is a luxurious mountain retreat located two hours south-west of Brisbane. At 1100 meters (3,600 feet) it’s Queensland’s highest accommodation, enjoying views of Great Dividing Range, one of Australia’s most scenic wilderness areas. The lodge is an architectural showcase best described as contemporary and classic. It’s also exclusive, featuring only 10 private suites.
Whether you choose to explore the vibrant arts scene of Melbourne, soak up the sunny days in Sydney, or indulge in the culinary delights of Adelaide, each region offers a unique blend of experiences to be enjoyed during the summer season. From challenging hikes to iconic monuments and breathtaking natural wonders, these regions invite you to create lasting memories in Australia.