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Summer in Australia is coming! I absolutely LOVE summer in Australia (especially summer in Brisbane!) I love hot, sunny weather and long lazy beach days with the kids off school on their long summer holiday through December and January. 

I’ve written posts about autumn in Australia, winter in Australia and spring in Australia, so now it’s the turn of summer in Australia! I have to say, I think the summer season in Australia is probably my favourite. I have really embraced what it’s like to enjoy a baking hot Christmas in the sun. I love all of the seasons in Australia but summer really is the best! It’s not for everyone though – it can get so hot and summer weather in Australia (particularly in Queensland and the Northern Territory) can get humid. Read on to learn more about what to expect from summer in Australia…

This post about summer time in Australia contains affiliate links

When is summer in Australia?  

A beach entrance at the Sunshine Coast

If you’ve been wondering when does summer start in Australia, the answer is that summer time starts on 1st December in Australia.

The summer months in Australia run from December to February officially.  If you ask me personally what are the summer months in Australia, here in Brisbane it feels like summer runs from October to April as it gets so hot and stays hot for months! It feels summery for more of the year in Australia, whereas in the UK it used to feel wintery for most of the year – I know which I prefer!

The summer solstice Australia is on Friday 22nd December 2023 (but it can happen between 21 – 23 December depending on the year). The summer solstice in Australia occurs once a year when the sun location reaches its highest elevation in the Australian sky, creating the longest day of the year.   

Just like in the UK, our long school holidays take place in summer time. Australia school years (generally) end in December (earlier for some private schools) and return for the new school year at the end of January, although states and territories in Australia all run their own dates. If you’re moving to Austraila, you can Google to check your school summer holidays dates in the state or territory that you’re moving to. Here in Brisbane, we usually start the new school year during the week of Australia Day (26th January). This means our summer holidays AREN’T in July/August as they would be in the UK as that is our winter time!

Summer season Australia | Summer temperature in Australia 

If you’re wondering what the summer in Australia temperature is like, this list of summer temperatures will give you an idea of the range.  

Temperatures in summer in Australia can vary quite a bit: 

Brisbane in summer can be 19.8 – 29.1
Melbourne in summer can be 12.9 – 25.9 degrees
Sydney in summer can be 17.5 – 26.4 degrees
Adelaide in summer can be 15.1 – 28.5 degrees
Perth in autumn can be 14.8 – 31.9 degrees
Darwin in summer can be 24.7 to 32.6
Canberra in summer can be 11.4 to 28 degrees
Hobart in summer can be 10.8 to 21.6 degrees

(Data from Australia.com)

As you can see, summer months Australia are mostly pretty warm! While Canberra and Hobart’s summer temperatures can dip, many of the other states don’t go too low at this time of year. The weather can feel very different though depending on where you are in Australia. For instance, in Queensland and Northern Territory the summer weather can feel very hot and humid at times. And because of the wide range of temperatures in Melbourne, I have friends there who sometimes have to dig out their coats in winter as it can feel cool one minute and then really hot the next! 

Enjoying this post about summer seasons in Australia and want more Australia weather info? Find out about winter, autumn and spring in Australia here! 

What is my favourite summer month in Australia? 

For me, my favourite month in Australia it has to be December! It’s the start of the long school holidays, and we’ve got Christmas to look forward to and plenty of long, lazy days ahead. There are loads of free family events like carol concerts and Christmas festivals. You can be outside late at night wearing short sleeves. It’s the holiday season and while it can also get stormy at times, it is mostly glorious sunshine every day! 

While we can get more humidity in summer in Australia, that tends to get more intense from January to March. December heat tends to be more bearable. Being off school means we can just jump in the pool when we get too hot! (I couldn’t live without air conditioning though). 

Things I love about summer in Australia (specifically summer in Brisbane where I live!) 

  • I love that it is hot all the time! I never need a jumper or jeans in summer (unless I go to the movies where it is always freezing!!). I live in sandals and summer dresses, and I walk around barefoot a lot.
  • I love that the pool is warm and inviting all the time.
  • I love the kids being off school for weeks on end – no packed lunches, no school runs, no assignments or homework for 8 weeks!
  • I love a hot and sunny Christmas by the pool with a BBQ dinner!
  • I love that it’s still so hot at night – we go for late dog walks (as it’s too hot for the dog to be out during the peak daytime) and I love those late night walks in the warm evening air.
  • I love going for night swims in the pool or the ocean.
  • We usually book a holiday during summer so I love knowing we have something fun to look forward to.
  • I adore going along to Christmas carol events, sitting on a picnic blanket eating yummy food while listening to carols and then watching the fireworks.  
  • Going along to evening outdoor movies is so much fun. 

Summer clothes Australia | What to wear in summer

Summer clothing in Australia is basically anything light. You don’t usually need layers (unless you are in Tasmania or a cooler state). Shorts, t-shirts, sandals, thongs (flip flops) – you get the idea. More than ever at this time of the year, you need to consider sun protection in your outfit choices. While a strappy top might sound like the perfect thing to wear because it’s so hot, that puts a lot of your skin in the sun. If you’re going to wear things like that, you need to make sure you’re wearing plenty of sunscreen. Covering up is always the easier option so things like linen shirts are a great option as they’re lightweight and cover your skin. 

You ALWAYS need a good hat in Australia but more so in summer. I try to wear one on the school run and dog walks daily in Australia. 

At the beach, it’s a good idea to wear a rash vest/rash guard to cover your skin (in addition to sunscreen). Bikinis are great, but they don’t give you coverage from the sun. I don’t allow my kids in the pool or to the beach without rash vests during the day – it’s just a non-negotiable for our family. I also always try to buy the kids an ugly Christmas jumper-style rashie because nothing makes me smile like all three lined up wearing their Christmas rashies! (I usually get ours from Best and Less for about $15 each). 

Some summer clothing that I always buy every year is summer Christmas pjs! Unlike in the UK where your Christmas pjs were thick and fleecy, here they’re shorts and t-shirts. My kids live in their Christmas pjs during the summer holidays (well they go from wearing their pjs to swimmers and back again on the days when we’re staying at home!)  

What summer fruits and summer vegetables can you enjoy in Australia? 

Summer fruits in Australia are THE BEST! 

My favourite summer fruits in Australia are peaches, nectarines, blueberries, strawberries and mangos. Food in Australia is seasonal – in summer blueberries might be just $2.49 a bunnet and strawberries $2.99 a punnet – that is the time to enjoy them (not out of season when they’re really expensive)! 

In summer, I buy ALL THE FRUIT as my kids are fruit monsters and eat punnets of anything in one sit-in. 

Summer vegetables include salads, capsicums (peppers) and tomatoes. It’s not a time for us to eat stews and hot meals – we eat a lot of salads and stir frys instead. You don’t feel like eating anything too hot and stodgy when it’s so hot outside. 

Things to do in summer in Australia

While I DON’T go out for long hikes or bike rides much during summer (as it’s just so hot) there are lots of great things to do in summer in Australia. Here are a few of them!

  • Go to the beach
  • Hit the pool
  • Go along to a carols by candlelight concert
  • Take a summer holiday
  • Go to a waterpark
  • Go to an outdoor movie screening
  • Go snorkelling
  • Go to the shopping centre or movies to cool off!
  • Cook a BBQ
  • Sit outside under the shade and enjoy the hot weather

Major summer events Australia

There are lots of amazing summer events on in Australia during summer. 

Woodford Folk Festival – The Woodford Folk Festival is a week-long annual music festival held in Woodford, Queensland, featuring music, arts, workshops, talks, and performances from around the world.

Good Things Festival – The annual music festival takes place in multiple cities across Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, with each city hosting a separate event over the same weekend.

Perth Festival – The Perth Festival is an annual arts and cultural festival held in Perth, Western Australia. The festival usually takes place over several weeks in February and March and features a diverse range of performances and events, including theatre, music, dance, film, literature, visual arts and more.

Sydney Festival – This festival in January features a range of cultural events, including music, theatre, dance, and visual arts.

Australian Open – One of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the Australian Open takes place in Melbourne each January.

New Year celebrations – These events take place in most major cities and usually include a big firework display in the early evening for kids as well as a late display. 

Australia Day celebrations – Celebrated on January 26th, this national holiday marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of British ships in 1788. Events include parades, fireworks, and community celebrations. You can find out more about Australia Day here. 

Midsumma Festival – This LGBTQIA+ festival takes place in Melbourne each January and features a range of cultural events, including theatre, dance, music and visual arts.

Adelaide Fringe – This multi-disciplinary arts festival takes place in Adelaide each February and March and features a wide range of performances, including comedy, theatre, music, and dance.

Quick-fire summer in Australia FAQs

What month does summer start in Australia? 

Summer in Australia starts on 1st December. The last day of spring in Australia is 30th November. 

What month does summer end in Australia? 

February is the final summer month in Australia. 1st March is the start of autumn in Australia

What are the summer months in Australia? 

Summer months in Australia run from December to February. 

When are the school summer holidays Australia? 

You’re going to want to Google when are the school summer holidays in a specific state or territory as the exact summer holiday dates do vary. Also, be aware that private school summer holidays are slightly different from state school holidays.

I hope this post about summer in Australia was helpful for you. Now bring on the sun and let’s enjoy it! 

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