tHE bEST tIME to visit Canberra

Are you wondering when is the best time to visit Canberra? The busiest times for visitors are March, September and December.

Most people visit Canberra during the spring (September to November) when the Floriade Festival (Sept/Oct) brings the city to life. These times see the highest hotel prices. The city really comes alive during any of the major events like Enlighten Canberra (March) or the National Folk Festival (April).

Autumn when the city’s plantings of deciduous trees see the streets bathed in a palette of bright red, orange, yellow and even shades of deep purple is every bit as pretty as the spring festival. The autumn display is at its best from mid-April to mid-May.

If you are in town for a museum hit consider visiting in winter when hotel prices and crowds are at their lowest.

Tip: Visiting on weeks when Parliament is not sitting may help you score a more affordable hotel room.

Weather in Canberra

With a high inland location, Canberra is warmer than the coastal capitals in the summer and decidedly colder in winter. In fact, there is occasional snow in July and August some years. Regardless of what you see here between March and October, you will need to carry a warm jacket for the evenings.

Rainfall is fairly even throughout most of the year with the lightest falls in April, May and June. November receives the most rain followed by December and January.

Autumn Trees in Canberra ACT Australia
Canberra in the final days of autumn

Summer (December to February)

Summer weather gets pretty warm and temps over 30 °C are not unusual. While rain is not all that common in Canberra at any time of year it’s most likely in November and December. You will encounter 5-7 days with some rain at this time of year.

Autumn (March to May)

Autumn sees clear blue skies and relatively warm days. However, you can get caught out by just how cold it can get at night. As soon as the sun goes down you may find you need at the very least a light jacket. By May it will need to be a decent warm one!

Winter (June to August)

It’s cold in Canberra in Winter, and some of the outskirts of the territory may see occasional overnight snow but the skies are blue and with the right clothing you can really enjoy a visit at this time. Winter sees on average 4 rainy days per month.

Spring (September to November)

Cool nights and early mornings then comfortable days make spring a very popular time for visitors. November can see a few more wet days than the previous months.

Average Temperatures in Canberra are as below:

Month Maximum temperatureMinimum temperature Average rainfall (mm)
January26.313.640mm
February26.514.137mm
March 24.112.739mm
April 20.410.138mm
May 16.68.436mm
June13.76.339mm
July13.05.539mm
August 14.56.043mm
September16.67.144mm
October19.38.551mm
November22.110.461mm
December24.212.051mm
Source: Climate of Australia

Find out more weather and temperature details on the Bureau of Meteorology.

Canberra Event Calendar

The biggest event of the year might be Floriade, but there are several other times when the city really comes alive.

January Street Machine Summernats
25-27 FebruaryRoyal Canberra Show
Cancelled for 2022The National Multicultural Festival
4-6 MarchSurface
4-20 March The Enlighten Festival is Canberra’s version of Vivid.
14-18 AprilNational Folk Festival
25 AprilIf you have a chance to experience the ceremony at the War Memorial do it!
17-21 AugustCanberra Writers Festival
17 Sept-16 OctoberFloriade
Dates correct at time of publication

ACT and Canberra School and Public Holidays

Long weekends see prices rise and availability drop, so book in advance for the best deals. Most attractions only close on Christmas day and perhaps Anzac Day or Good Friday; please check individual places before visiting.

Public Holidays in Canberra 2022-2023

New Year’s Day + Monday Holiday 01 and 03 January*01 – 02 January**
Australia Day26 January26 January
Canberra Day14 March 13 March
Good Friday15 April07 April
Easter Sat.16 April08 April
Easter Mon.18 April10 April
Anzac Day25 April 25 April
Reconciliation Day30 May29 May
Queens Birthday13 June12 June
Labour Day 03 October02 October
Christmas Day25 December 25 December
Boxing Day26 December 26 December
Christmas Day Holiday 27 December N/A
* As 1 January 2022 falls on a Saturday in 2022, the following Monday is observed as an additional public holiday.
Correct as of Jan 2020, Information presented is from ACT Government sources.
** As 1 January 2023 falls on a Sunday in 2023, the following Monday is observed as the public holiday.

School Holidays in Canberra 2022-2023

If you don’t have children avoiding these dates will save you money, and you will find the museums a lot less crowded.

Period 20222023
Autumn break:09 April – 25 April 07 April – 23 April
Winter break: 2 July – 17 July 22 June – 09 July
Spring break:24 September – 9 October23 September – 08 October
Summer break:17 December – 23 January 202316 December – 28 January 2024
Information from ACT Government website

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people.

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