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 4 seasons in one day. You might have a heat wave 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 have a tendency to head to the northern states during school holidays).
Melbourne in Summer
January and February are the 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 great multicultural feel to the city. With local kids being on school holidays too, there are normally a lot of 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 particularly strong here and can burn fair skin in minutes.
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 have 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 you will get a glorious display of colour.
By May it can be getting pretty crisp and cool and the rainy days start to set in.
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… 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.
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. This is swiftly followed by the captivating Spring Racing Carnival. 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 cool all the way through to the end of December.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a booking or purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission – at absolutely no extra cost to you.