Always one of the most popular months of the year for travel in Australia due to the large number of days off – both public holidays and school holidays over the Easter period when it falls during the month – April is a time of year with typically pleasant temperatures and weather that are still “warm enough” yet without the scorching heat or uncomfortable humidity of summer.
Yet does the fact it’s the holidays mean everywhere is going to be annoyingly busy to visit? And, if you’re looking for the best places to travel in Australia during April – whether you’re a local or visiting abroad – which destinations should you choose to get the most out of your trip?
Taking all of the above factors into account, here’s our recommendations for 5 of the top destinations to visit in Australia during April:
Average Temperatures during April: 19°C (66.2°F) – 8°C (46.4°F)
Ideal for: A cool climate getaway; access to pristine nature; enjoying outdoor walking and hiking
Top things to do: Walk to and take the chairlift over Cataract Gorge; visit the Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair National Park; Hollybank Treetops Adventures; take a winery tour; cruise the Tamar River; do the Bay of Fires lodge walk; relax in Launceston City Park.
Those who prefer their climates slightly cooler that are looking for an Aussie April travel destination can start by turning their eyes to Australia’s southernmost state, Tasmania. With a climate that is often compared to a slightly warmer version of England, April in Tassie is signified by calm, sunny days mixed in with cool and crisp evenings as well as lovely Autumn colours of changing trees that provide a lovely backdrop to all of your travel proceedings. While its capital city, Hobart, may seem like the most obvious choice for a base to use for your Tasmanian adventures, for those making a journey here for the first time we suggest Launceston as a viable alternative, particularly if you’re going to have a limited amount of time during your trip.
Launceston is Tasmania’s second-largest city and has a charming, old-world feel with a lovely waterfront district that includes plenty of pleasant examples of historical architecture, is dotted with the greenery of parks and gardens, and features quaint craft galleries and boutiques lining the streets. The city is also positioned in an ideal, central location that provides a wide variety of available trips within reasonable driving to day touring distance – the full diversity of Tasmania is highly accessible from Launceston with the best of the North West and East, the midlands, the striking East Coast and the pristine Cradle Mountain region all viable options.
Tasmania’s overall smaller size factors in as a large benefit here as it makes navigating from one major attraction or natural highlight to the next far less painful compared to the mainland; while tours are available to take you directly to all the nearby essentials, if you’re planning to stay for an extended period then hiring a car is advisable. Unlike most of Australia’s other more populous destinations, the Launceston region’s generally low levels of traffic serve to make driving typically pleasant rather than a stressful hassle.
The full diversity of Tasmania is highly accessible from Launceston with the best of the North West and East, the midlands, the striking East Coast and the pristine Cradle Mountain region all viable options.
While April is another month that still sees its fair share of rainfall – something Tasmania is renowned for – the predictable nature of the weather during this season makes it possible to plan in advance if you’re following current weather reports and alter your schedule accordingly. And options for making a robust and enjoyable schedule there are here aplenty; while the city of Launceston has its own obvious quirks and charms (see our list of the Top 10 Things to do in Launceston here), look outside its borders and you’ll have some of Tasmania’s most essential experiences within just a few hours drive.
Perhaps the most obvious of these is the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, one of Australia’s true natural wonders which showcases the alternative lush, alpine-style scenery of Tasmania that stands in stark contrast to the offerings of mainland Australia. Named after its characteristic mountain with its distinctive “child’s cradle” shape, it’s a hub of diverse walking trails and also serves as the gateway to one of the world’s best “epic hikes” – the Overland Track. Getting to the national park can be done in just over 2 hours’ drive to the West of Launceston and given it’s one of the most photogenic parts of the state, a visit is well worth the effort; be sure to bring a decent camera along for the ride.
Alternatively, head 2.5 hours to the east and you’ll find yourself on Tassie’s wondrous East Coast, home to many picture-perfect spots such as the famous Wineglass Bay, the charming seaside area of St. Helens and the lush forested region of St. Marys – or even embark on the Bay of Fires Lodge walk, voted one of Australia’s 10 Most Epic Hikes in our nationwide poll. Those instead looking to treat their tastebuds can make their trek to sample the indulgent goods of the Tamar Valley, a region which combines cultural and colonial heritage with some of Australia’s best dining, freshest air and a range of outstanding wineries and cellar doors.
While you’ll need to pack an additional layer of clothing if you’re the type who’s sensitive for a bit of chill, diversity and flexibility in natural sightseeing are the name of the game when using Launceston as the base for your trip; just ensure you book outside of the Easter Holiday long weekend and you’ll find April one of the best and most balanced months to enjoy its many offerings.
Average Temperatures during March: 24.6°C (76.28°F) – 16.8°C (62.24°F)
Ideal for: Balanced holidays for both adults and families; beachgoing during autumn
Top things to do: Visit one of the theme parks; spend a day at one of the many beaches; visit the Gold Coast hinterland; go up the SkyPoint Deck atop the Q1 building; have a flutter at Jupiter’s Casino; go jet boating; take a cruise on the waterways; visit Currumbin Wildilfe Sanctuary.
While Queensland’s Gold Coast is a destination that hangs its hat on being a viable year-round destination due to its remarkably consistent and sunny weather, there are particular times of year where visiting may not be so desirable regardless – the peak of winter means you’ll miss out on taking advantage of the many opportunities for water sports, the summer period can provide some uncomfortably hot days with high UV ratings, and the annual wild Schoolies Week celebrations put something of a damper on the mid-November to early December period. April is a month that suffers from none of these problems, however, and instead serves to highlight all the best of what one of Australia’s most popular getaway destinations is all about.
Less rainy than summer yet still boasting the warm weather for which the region is renowned – this will allow you to take advantage of all the aquatic activities on offer whether it be hitting the beach, kayaking or jet skiing, or taking a cruise through its expansive waterways. Due to the sometimes-presence of the Easter Holidays and the popularity of the Gold Coast for its theme parks, be sure to aim for the end of April to avoid the peak of school holidays unless travelling with kids yourself as both attraction queue times and accommodation prices will be at a premium while the children are off school.
This season is an active and lively time on the Gold Coast with the ideal conditions a main reason for multiple important events on the region’s annual calendar taking place – the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships pit some of the top “ironmen” of the beach amongst one another, while the Surfers Paradise Festival brings a further layer of entertainment to what is already the city’s most famous tourist hub. Those looking for less-touristy events can witness (or take part in) the SupaNova Cosplay Parade which sees hundreds of comic, video game and cartoon lovers dress up as their favourite characters, while those with an artistic bent can enjoy the visual festivities that the Gold Coast film festival provides.
Due to the sometimes-presence of the Easter Holidays and the popularity of the Gold Coast for its theme parks, be sure to aim for the end of April to avoid the peak of school holidays unless travelling with kids yourself.
In terms of attractions and things to do, the aforementioned theme parks are without a doubt one of the most popular draw cards for families coming to the region, and there’s quite a range to choose from, each with its own theming and ride-based entertainment to offer. If you’re planning to go to the parks, it’s highly advisable to line up your visit on a weekday rather than a weekend as otherwise you’ll spend most of your day waiting in queues instead of actually enjoying the rides and shows they offer. Various promotions for the parks that offer bonus extras or seasonal deals pop up all the time, with April being no exception – check out our theme park passes page for an indication of the best deals available, as you’ll often get a cheaper price on multiple parks than the price of a single park entry!
Should you prefer a dose of nature instead of rides and crowds, other destinations on the Gold Coast truly shine during April as well – the Gold Coast hinterland is a criminally underrated spot to visit that doesn’t get enough credit for its beauty and viability as a day trip destination, and the lower humidity of April makes exploring its various rainforest and natural offerings much more pleasant than summer. Accessible via a roughly 40 minute drive from Surfers Paradise, the Hinterland provides opportunities for picnics overlooking majestic panoramas, leisurely winery visits and glow worm caves, lush forest adventures and plenty of other alternatives to the “glitter strip”.
Given the ability to either maximise the activities of a short stay by simply basing yourself around the hub of Surfers Paradise and doing all the essential “tourist” experiences (see our Top 10 Things to do in Surfers Paradise), or extend the offerings of a stay by branching out further with day trips to the likes of South Stradbroke Island, Byron Bay or even Brisbane, there’s no set time of how long you’ll need to spend on the Gold Coast to get the most out of a trip. April provides living proof for first-time visitors as to why this is one of Australia’s most rapidly growing regions; visit during this month and you’ll likely be looking to come back again in future.
Average Temperatures during March: 23°C (73.4°F) – 11°C (51.8°F)
Ideal for: the ultimate in culinary destinations; wine lovers; laid-back and romantic getaways
Top things to do: Take a tour of the many great wineries; go hot air ballooning; visit the “Whispering Wall”; browse the Barossa Farmers Markets; views and culture at the Barossa Sculpture Park; visit the Seppelt Family Mausoleum.
One of the key draw cards for visitors to South Australia is the Barossa Valley, which has more than earned its reputation is one of the finest wine-producing regions in all of Australia. If you’ve got even a passing interest in wine and fine foods, then there are few other places in the country during April that will provide you with a better balance of both sightseeing and food than the Barossa. April – and the autumn months in general – brings out the best in the region’s Mediterranean-esque climate that is one of the key contributing factors In aiding its production of some of the best up-and-coming wines in the world.
Couple this with a strong overall culinary culture – food plays almost as large a role as wine in the Barossa – catered to within numerous delightful restaurants as well as quaint, old-world style accommodation in the form of an array of lovely B&B’s, and you’ve got a destination that is both scenic and quaint, panoramic and escapist all rolled into one. Couple this with the fact that the cooler weather makes getting out and enjoying a stroll through the scenery (whether it’s a township or a vineyard) a much more pleasant proposition than in the summer months, and April showcases the Barossa’s best under generally favourable conditions.
April is a key month on the Barossa Valley tourist calendar as it serves as host to the bi-annual Vintage Wine Festival that provides a cavalcade of both visual and culinary delights.
April is also a key month on the yearly Barossa Valley tourist calendar as it seres as host to the bi-annual Vintage Wine Festival that provides a cavalcade of both visual and culinary delights to take part in – from the expected wines and cheeses to other highlights such as carnivals, live music, dance events, cultural events, and much more. In terms of culture, the Barossa Valley also has a strong European – particularly German – influence that becomes obvious when you observe some of the architecture that dots the region, particularly in the areas of Tanunda and Hahndorf. It’s this European-type flavour that the region exudes that make it feel like one of the more exotic places to visit within Australia without actually travelling overseas.Barossa Farmers Markets
Both renting a car and taking a tour are viable ways of exploring the region; your own car grants an obvious degree of freedom, while numerous winery tours are available that will take you directly from Adelaide to the Barossa and beyond without having to monitor your alcohol consumption. Regardless of how you choose to navigate, the Barossa Valley is the perfect place to sample some of the famous Shiraz, Chardonnay and Riesling that have gained international fame at some of the most widely-known cellar doors in the country, as well as smaller boutique wineries where you may be the first person to discover the newest hidden wine gem.
Average Temperatures during March: 29°C (84.2°F) – 12.6°C (54.68°F)
Ideal for: visiting some of Australia’s most famous natural icons in comfortable weather conditions
Top things to do: Take a tour to Uluru/Ayers Rock; see Kata Tjuta/the Olgas; take in an Uluru sunset; visit Alice Springs Desert Park; take an Outback camel ride; hike the Larapinta Trail; visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary; go hot air ballooning in the Outback.
Australia’s Red Centre is almost as famous for its fiery desert heat during the summer months as it is for its famous natural geographical landmarks – specifically Uluru and the Olgas. Fortunately, April marks something of a turning point as the weather begins to cool down while the skies remain clear – neither the blistering heat of the Aussie desert’s daytime or the frigid conditions of its night are major factors during this month. As an added bonus, while everyone tends to flock to destinations such as the east-coast tropics during this season from locations such as Sydney and Melbourne, you’ll be able to set your eyes westward and head towards heart of the country at a time when the tourist numbers are generally fewer.
The regional town of Alice Springs has long served as the functional hub and ideal “springboard” for those looking to explore the Red Centre’s many icons, and visiting here during April comes with an array of benefits. For starters, what is typically a barren town representative of the Outback as a whole will have some patches of greenery to break up the monotony, while the weather’s relatively mild nature combines with a general overall lack of other tourists.
This makes for an atmosphere where you’ll want to actually explore what this historic town and its attractions have to offer rather than attempting to rush, get to Ayers Rock, take your token photos and then leave as soon as possible. Alice Springs has plenty to offer those willing to look into it a bit more further – local camel rides, wildlife parks with distinctive showcases of the NT’s odd animals, incredible walking treks and more all serve as worthy compliments to the show-stopping highlight that is Uluru.
If you’re planning to travel to Uluru in April, a fly-net for your hat is a must – the quantity of flies is typically the one major gripe visitors have during this time.
Regardless of whether you choose to refer to it as Uluru or the now-dated name of Ayers Rock, the giant red monolith remains one of the essential must-do bucket list destinations in Australia and April’s typical warm-day, clear-evenings weather make the best parts of the day – such as sunrise and sunset (Uluru was recently voted one of our Top 10 Sunsets in Australia) – even better. Coupled with the clear, starry skies which can be viewed most nights – the region is renowned as one of the best stargazing spots in Australia and boasts amazingly clear night views – and you have yourself several magical vantage points from which to take in the best of what “The Rock” has to offer under stable, enjoyable conditions.
If you’ve already been to Uluru or are simply looking to explore a different kind of national icon, Kakadu National Park further to the north of the Northern Territory is another great Outback destination to visit in April thanks to lower levels of humidity and a greater level of accessibility due to a lack of rainfall, while still being far enough away from its annual dry season to see the waterfalls in action.
With a rich tapestry of delicate ecosystems – from sandstone escarpments to monsoon forests with tumbling waterfalls and an immense range of wildlife – Kakadu is a comprehensive showcase of all things natural about Australia. Kakadu can be easily reached from Darwin via a single-day tour, yet it will likely require you taking multiple days to appreciate all the offerings of this vast, World Heritage-listed Aussie treasure.
Average Temperatures during March: 29°C (84.2°F) – 21.5°C (70.7°F)
Ideal for: exploring the waters of Australia’s greatest natural wonder; relaxing island getaways; honeymoons and anniversaries
Despite its typically “summery” image, many experts and veterans who know it inside-out list April as their favourite month of the entire year to pay a visit to what is perhaps Australia’s most famous natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef. With the weather ranging from mild to warm, with less daily rain showers (expect a typical pattern of warm days and rainy evenings) and plenty of days with crisp, blue skies, April presents one of the most consistent months in what is typically a very unpredictable area of tropical north QLD. This consistency makes planning days out on the water – whether it’s for snorkelling and diving or simple relaxation – much easier during April than other months.
“I prefer April”, says Marine Tourism Management Manager Amanda Pelham, “not only because there are lots of clear days, but the generally calm waters make it easy to explore by boat – and in the reef the scenery is beautiful wherever you go.”
As to which part of the Great Barrier Reef are the best spots to visit in April, this will largely depend on your preferred base from which to launch your adventures. Both Knuckle and Hardy Reefs from the Whitsundays are sites that are both accessible and extremely scenic and make for some excellent aquatic exploration; expect to see hundreds of different types of fish as well as hard and soft corals that thrive at each site. Each of these spots are decked out with excellent facilities for visitors, with some of the facilities on offer to enjoy the reef including pontoons, activity platforms, and semi-submersibles that allow you to view the marine life without getting wet, as well as traditional snorkelling and diving experiences.
April is one of the best times (to visit the Great Barrier Reef) not only because there are lots of clear days, but the generally calm waters make it easier to explore by boat and avoid seasickness during this time – as well as better underwater visibility.
Those staying in Cairns and Port Douglas, meanwhile, will have an even greater range of options for exploring the reef – there’s enough diversity on offer in terms of choices that both families and those short on time can head to a nearby island (including Green Island and Fitzroy Island just off the Cairns coast), while those wanting the ultimate reef experience can head further onwards to the Outer Reef to see the coral and marine life at its best.
One important factor to be mindful of when swimming in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef is its stingers – and, while April typically falls towards the end of the unofficial “stinger season”, you’ll still likely want to be protected by an enclosed wetsuit for peace of mind. Tour and dive operators will almost always provide you with these as part of your itinerary inclusions and are experts at determining the safest parts of the reef to visit, so this should help alleviate most concerns however.
Lastly, while April avoids the true “peak season” of the Great Barrier Reef in general, if you’re planning to stay at one of the areas near the reef during this period – such as Cairns, Port Douglas, the Whitsundays or Airlie Beach – you’ll want to be sure to book your accommodation up to 6 months in advance, as accommodation rates tend to skyrocket during the school holiday periods. There are numerous tours and holiday packages for the Great Barrier Reef available among the many different tour operators that service the reef; for an in-depth and detailed breakdown of all things reef-related, visit our Ultimate Great Barrier Reef Guide to details on trips for families, couples, honeymooners and more.
In addition, if you’re looking for all the top things to see and do in and around the rest of Australia including activities, attractions and more, be sure to check out our main Experiences section to browse and book online!