February in Australia is definitely a month where pulling out the sunscreen plays an important role – as the statistically hottest month of the year in Australia, planning a trip during February largely revolves around finding favourable weather and climate considerations.
As a result, all but the most heat-loving of travellers will want to avoid the majority of the northern portions of the country during February, and instead direct their eyes firmly south; fortunately, there are a number of excellent destinations with plenty to offer in Oz’s southern portion that cover a variety of environments.
In fact, the warmer weather leads to many of these Aussie travel spots being at their best during summer, particularly for those looking to enjoy the water, or environments that can be chilly throughout other parts of the year.
If you’re looking for some summertime getaway fun from interstate, or planning to visit Australia in February from overseas, here’s our list of the top 6 destinations to visit in Australia during February.
Tamar Valley, Tasmania
Average Temperatures during February: 24.6°C (76.3°F) – 12.3°C (54.1°F)
Ideal for: foodies and wine lovers; those who like laid-back nature-oriented destinations; self-drivers
Australia’s premier cool-climate wine region features all the elements one might expect of a destination oriented around wine production, however the Tamar Valley of Tasmania is not simply a one-trick pony. Situated in the heart of northern Tasmania and home to the hub city of Launceston, the Tamar is a region that’s an ideal spot for those who prefer more leisurely holidays; travelling here is more oriented around exploring a smaller area over a greater length of time rather than the opposite.
It’s a fertile region full of a mixture of vineyard-meets-water scenery, based around the Tamar River itself, which serves as the lifeblood of the region. The cool weather makes for France-like conditions, and many of its culinary offerings are in a similar gourmet vein, with the Tamar being host to what is widely considered one of the world’s best wine routes: the Tamar Valley Wine Route. The route offers roughly 170km worth of exploration to be done, following a trail that’s home to over 30 wineries that specialise in the likes of Chardonnay, Riesling, Cab Sav, Pinot Noir and other cool-climate varieties.
It’s a wonderful part of Australia for those who can appreciate a picturesque drive, with a variety of scenery mixing rolling vineyard countryside, forested sections, and wildlife-rich areas such as the Tamar Wetlands Reserve located right at the start of the wine route. The reserve is home to dozens of species of birds and other animal life, with plenty of opportunities for up-close encounters and some wonderful wildlife photography for those so inclined.
It’s a wonderful part of Australia for those who can appreciate a picturesque drive, with a variety of scenery mixing rolling vineyard countryside, forested sections, and wildlife-rich areas.
Of course, it doesn’t take a love for wine to appreciate a trip here, as there are numerous other attractions to keep both adults and kids busy along the way. Launceston itself is an obvious starting point, with its inherent architectural charm and nearby highlight of the excellent Cataract Gorge Reserve within walking distance, a lovely city park with ducks to hand-feed and a monkey enclosure, and an excellent Aquatic Centre ideal for cooling off on warmer February days. Head further afield, and experiences such as soaring through the treetops with Hollybanks Treetops Adventures, or taking a cruise on the Tamar itself with Tamar River Cruises all provide the opportunity to see the region from different angles.
The Tamar Valley’s an idyllic combination of the natural and man-made that makes for an indulgent change of pace from mainland Australia while providing a respite from the heat of some of Oz’s more northerly wine regions.
South-West Coast, Western Australia
Average Temperatures during February: 28.2°C (82.7°F) – 15.0°C (59.0°F)
Ideal for: Those who love a beautiful coastline and beaches; wine aficionados; surfers; walking and hiking enthusiasts
Top things to do: Walk the Cape to Cape Track; enjoy the many great restaurants; visit Lake Cave; tour the wineries; trek the Southern Forests & the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk; indulge in fresh seafood; go surfing
Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to Australia’s South West, a greater region that encompasses five sub-regions and which features a number of interesting towns and impressive natural highlights throughout. Long a favoured getaway destination for residents of Western Australian capital Perth, the South West is beloved for its mixture of nature, food, and wine all while being relatively uncrowded; despite its increasing popularity, it’s never to hard to find a little slice of the region to enjoy all to yourself.
The density of experiences available in the region is all packed into a relatively compact and easily navigable area, too, making for a roadtrip that’s neither arduous nor lacking in highlights both natural and historic.
The south-west trends towards cooler than Perth in the summer months, with weather that tends to be variable – despite travelling in February, you may even need to pack some cool-weather clothes to accommodate these fluctuations. Beachgoing is more than viable during this month, however, and this is definitely a good thing, as the coast of the South West is home to numerous excellent beaches for both swimming, and, especially surfing.
Surfing in particular here is world-class, with breaks that vary in both size and length depending on the region; the likes of Denmark are ideal for beginners, while Margaret River is widely recognised as an amazing spot for big-wave surfing and home to over 40 breaks along its coastline.
Margaret River and Albany in the region in particular offer an extensive variety of things to do; Margaret River has become increasingly renowned for its wine production on the international scene, is home to a number of quality family-friendly attractions including mazes and wildlife parks, and has a spectacular natural cave system nearby that makes for both a visually stunning attraction as well as a welcome respite from the heat on hot February days.
Long a favoured getaway destination for residents of Western Australian capital Perth, the South West is beloved for its mixture of nature, food, and wine all while being relatively uncrowded.
Albany, meanwhile, is a spot steeped in both history and coastal beauty, with plenty of historical architecture remaining from its days of early European settlement. The town has a number of unique attractions both within – including its excellent Whaling Station, lovely boardwalk and excellent stretches of sea and sand – as well as in its surrounding areas that offer a host of wineries, national parks, and hiking trails.
The South West’s town of Busselton is charming, too, with not only picturesque waters and its signature Jetty, but its outstanding evening skies – the sunsets of Busselton were voted #1 on the list of the Best Sunsets in Australia during our national poll back in 2013, and are wonderful to behold.
Driving the South West thus makes for a comprehensive multi-day journey that can be drawn out to a length of your choosing; given its accessibility from Perth, simply heading south from the capital leads to a land of varied adventure and a tapestry of different landscapes.
If planning a South West getaway, aim for after the first week of February once school holidays have ended; this means you’ll save on both accommodation and stress when sharing the roads and attractions with others.
Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Average Temperatures during February: 22.9°C (73.2°F) – 14.5°C (58.1°F)
Ideal for: Those looking for Australia’s ultimate road trip; those willing to invest more than a single day
Top things to do: See the Apostles rock formations; walk through the Cape Otway and Port Campbell National Parks; numerous lookouts and limestone formations including The Arch, Loch Ard Gorge, Bay of Islands; surfing, snorkelling, beach relaxation; enjoy seafood; do the Great Ocean Walk; Split Point Lighthouse; Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
Australia’s most widely-acclaimed scenic drive is an undisputed hotspot for travel all-year-round, so why do we list it as a standout in February in particular? There are a variety of reasons for this, but two of them in particular combine to become paramount: the warmth of summer, and the avoidance of school holidays. The former plays a key role in enjoying much of the beautiful seaside that can be found along the Great Ocean Road, while the latter is important due to the route’s sheer popularity.
February’s weather is warm to hot, but it’s more settled and predictable compared to many other months in the region, and while the roads can still be reasonably busy during this part of summer, they’re exceptionally less so than during the holiday season that has just passed by. In short, travelling the Great Ocean Road during February brings with it the benefits of peak season with far fewer hassles.
This can be taken even further by avoiding weekends; time your journey to begin during the week, and you’ll be able to appreciate the winding route at a more leisurely – and safe – place without the pressure of overenthusiastic tourists in your rearview mirror. This is just as well, as the Great Ocean Road is definitely a part of Australia to be savoured at length rather than rushed through.
While the trip can be done in a day, there’s such a myriad of wonderful natural sights and quirky towns – not to mention activities on both land and sea – to take part in that an extended multi-day adventure comes highly recommended.
Taking your time pays particular dividends during summer, as it’s by far the best period for surfing, snorkelling, and participating in various other warm-weather activities; couple this with the fact it’s much easier to get accommodation for a reasonable price and staying several nights becomes much more financially viable, too.
In short, travelling the Great Ocean Road during February brings with it the weather benefits of peak season with far fewer hassles.
The Great Ocean Road itself covers an impressive and diverse mixture of national parks, surf towns, and amazing limestone rock formations throughout its 240-plus-kilometre length, and there are multiple potential locations along the way at which to stay, each with their own charm.
Torquay at the start of the journey is host to the famed Bells Beach which is representative of its surf-oriented reputation as a whole; Angelsea offers quality hiking on both cliffs and beach, with some gorgeous views in return; Lorne is famed for its seafood and positioned in a lovely spot right on the seaside; Apollo Bay boasts a great mixture of nice pubs and cafes for a quality feed; and Port Campbell is both charming and host to the route’s most famous icons: the Apostles themselves.
Individually, highlights dotted along the Great Ocean Road encompass a broad enough range of experience to cover the interests of most adults and families alike, with some essential visits such as the Split Point Lighthouse (a 34m-high lighthouse with clifftop tracks that provide an outstanding panorama), Otway Fly Treetop Adventures (a family-friendly combined treetop walk and zip line attraction), Loch Ard Gorge (a lovely cove that’s the thing postcards are made of), and both the Otways and Port Campbell National Parks (featuring a mixture of walking tracks, shipwrecks, waterfalls and giant tree ferns) all making for an itinerary that is easily filled. Wildlife also is quite prominent during the summer – including thousands of Mutton Birds that can be seen along the coast, wild koalas in the forested areas, plenty of kangaroos and emus, and even Australian fur seals offshore.
Simply drive comfortably and safely, ensure you take enough time to soak in all the views, and the Great Ocean Road can form a staple of any Australian travel adventure during February.
Clare Valley, South Australia
Average Temperatures during February: 29.0°C (84.2°F) – 15.0°C (59.0°F)
Ideal for: those looking to escape some of the heat of Adelaide; food and wine lovers; those looking for a less-commercialised and quieter alternative to the Barossa Valley
Top things to do: Visit numerous wineries; cycle the Riesling Trail; take the kids to Mintaro Maze; do the history/heritage trail at Burra; visit Martindale Hall; dine at a range of gourmet restaurants.
It’s amazing what a difference a moderate drive makes; while South Australian capital Adelaide is prone to bouts of scorching hot days during the summer months, welcome relief lies in the form of the verdant Clare Valley, which sits a reasonable 90 minute car trip away and provides both a relative respite from the heat as well as numerous things to see, dine on and drink.
While its’ more famous sister, the Barossa, gets most of the media attention, the Clare Valley is a lovely alternative and a robust wine region in and of itself, home to over 40 wineries and vineyards that are draped in history – some of which have been in operation since the mid-1800’s. There are thus few better escapes from Adelaide in February, with the Clare offering a splendid mix of scenery and culinary delights, along with maximum temperatures that hover around a more comfortable maximum of 29°C.
This is a lush, green and picturesque land of stone cottages and rural villages nestled amongst rolling hills that’s most famed for its Riesling production, embodied in full by its renowned 35km-long Riesling Trail. As a result, one of the most popular ways to explore the Clare Valley is by bike, and the warmer summer days make for an overall pleasant cycling environment – it’s sunny and warm, and February brings along the added advantage of having the lowest average amount of rainfall of any month along with it.
The Riesling Trail runs between Auburn and Clare itself, and is kept in exceptionally good quality due to the concerted effort of passionate local volunteers, making for a wonderful route past numerous cellar doors. It’s well-signed, offers plenty of spots equipped with picnic tables at which to stop along the way, and is even wheelchair-friendly.
The Clare Valley is sunny and warm in this season, and February brings along the added advantage of having the lowest average amount of rainfall of any month along with it.
Multiple destinations in the Clare Valley are definitely worth visiting, too, with history playing a prominent role in what makes any of them appealing. The town of Burra in particular is a standout, with its heavy Cornish influence obvious in its architecture and a justified State Heritage status – visit here and you can see over 40 heritage buildings of various forms and functions.
Buy a Burra Heritage Passport for access to many of these, and you’ll have an in-depth look at sites such as mines, dugouts, a powder magazine and more. Other highlights include the charming Mintaro and its signature Mintaro Maze (an excellently-kept example of botanic work that brings with it a dose of family fun) and nearby Martindale Hall (a Georgian-style building that makes for an impressive snapshot of 1800’s high society frozen in time).
Of course, food and drink remain the stars of the show in the Clare Valley, and in this regard, it’s a region that punches well above its weight in terms of quality offerings. The valley’s ideal climate conditions are a major reason it is home to famous and internationally-recognised wine brands such as Jim Barry and Taylor’s, as well as a number of small and continually innovative labels that make for a diverse array of flavours and experimentation for visitors to sample.
Food is also a point of pride here, and many quality locally-produced ingredients – such as olives, grains, sauces and other organic offerings – are utilised by talented local chefs to produce some wonderful gourmet opportunities. Many of the restaurants in the valley come with shaded outdoor areas with sweeping views, making for an excellent way to escape the February heat while absorbing the region’s scenery, too.
Jervis Bay, New South Wales
Average Temperatures during February: 24.1°C (75.3°F) – 18.1°C (64.5°F)
Ideal for: those looking for a clean beachfront environment; fishing enthusiasts; snorkellers and those interested in marine life
Top things to do: Swimming and beach relaxation; fishing (both on and off-shore, as well as freshwater); do the White Sands Walk; take a dolphin-spotting cruise; snorkelling; explore a walking track
South of Australia’s largest and most famous city lies a stretch of coast that’s highly enjoyable during the summer months, and comes with numerous pockets of glorious beachfront and aquatic activities galore. Chief among these is Jervis Bay, one of Australia’s true hotspots for all things related to marine life – both spotting and catching, or simply relaxing alongside.
While its popularity makes it a no-go for the crowd-averse during peak periods, by February the numbers have cleared out while the sun still shines and the water remains highly swimmable, meaning you’ll be able to grab a slice of seaside heaven all to yourself. The most famous of Jervis Bay’s beaches is the picturesque Hyams Beach, which is host to some of the whitest sand you’ll come across in Australia and generally kept in clean, enjoyable condition comparable to an island environment.
Jervis Bay’s Marine Park is its key environmental feature, and what a feature it is – the waters of the marine park are not only exceptionally clear, but home to a wide range of fish species, as well as pods of dolphins. The Bay is one of the country’s foremost spots for dolphin-watching adventures, and a number of tour companies offer visitors the chance to get out on the water and see these intelligent and playful mammals up close. Fishermen will also be in their element here, with plenty of locations to choose from; the likes of marlin, kingfish, snapper, tuna, flathead and more can all be caught by the aspiring offshore angler here, while rivers offer freshwater catches too.
Those happier in the water themselves can take advantage of sheltered conditions and comfortably warm water temperatures that hover around 23°C during February, while snorkellers will benefit from both the water’s clarity and a number of rocky areas teeming with fish for some great underwater viewing.
Jervis Bay is one of Australia’s true hotspots for all things related to marine life – both spotting and catching, or simply relaxing alongside.
On land, meanwhile, Jervis Bay is no slouch, either; further natural highlights can be found upon additional exploration of the Booderee National Park, which blends great bush camping with surprisingly well-equipped amenities and provides a number of great walking tracks brimming with native animals. It’s also rich in Aboriginal heritage and offers a wonderful lookout point from which to take in the surrounding panorama.
In addition, the “White Sands Walk” from Greenfield Beach to Hyams Beach is one of the best ways to soak in the bay’s nature, offering a journey past a number of beautiful bays and beaches over the course of its hour-long expanse – along with an overview of a number of ritzy properties in desirable positions overlooking the water.
Huskisson is Jervis Bay’s main hub, and while the region is still naturally beautiful as a whole, it’s become gradually more developed over the years resulting in a range of restaurants, cafes, pubs and accommodation to choose from. Each of these choices of places to stay run the gamut of budget options, so those with tighter wallets should be able to find something suitable – with bookings in mid-to-late February typically far lower price than the December – January rush period.
Add in an ever-advancing local culinary scene utilising local produce such as seafood, cheeses and wines from local vineyards, and it’s easy to see why Jervis Bay is considered one of the jewels of the NSW South Coast.
Bruny Island, Tasmania
Average Temperatures during February: 20.6°C (79.0°F) – 10.2°C (50.3°F)
Ideal for: those wanting a peaceful yet scenic travel spot; wildlife enthusiasts; people wanting a balance between food, scenery, adventure and relaxation
Top things to do: Take a wildlife cruise; take a photo from “the Neck” lookout; sample wine, cheese and oysters; visit Cape Bruny Lighthouse; walk the national parks; relax on a secluded beach
If dramatic scenery that comes with a slice of peace and solitude rank high on your list when selecting travel destinations, then the incredible concentration of nature and a distinctive landscape that comes with Tasmania’s Bruny Island should check all your holiday boxes. Pocketed with rocky sea cliffs, dotted with coves and covered with natural bush to explore, the island to the south of Hobart is a microcosm of Tassie’s beauty in a single, easily navigable spot.
February ranks as perhaps the best and most consistent month of the year weather-wise to explore Bruny, and the warmth provides an excellent backdrop for visiting the island’s popular spots such as its lovely beaches, scenic lookout points and iconic lighthouse – most of which you’ll have completely to yourself at this time of year.
It’s seriously possible to see less than a dozen people in a day for those who so choose, as Bruny Island is relatively big compared to its visitor volume and there are plenty of of natural spots to go around.
The island blends the best of rugged coastal environments with rolling farmland, a huge array of ocean-dwelling animals and dramatic scenery, and is thus is the ideal destination for short trips that provides opportunities for a mixture of both adventure and relaxation for a wonderfully balanced holiday.
Bruny Island can be accessed via a vehicle ferry which takes travellers from the port of Kettering on the mainland across the waters of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, and the reasonably short journey results in a destination that is fairly geographically unique.
Where else in the country can you learn about war history, go swimming with crocs, and then relax with a drink outdoors at night while taking in a movie – all in the middle of winter?
The island is divided up into two main “sections” – north and south – by a narrow strip of land between them, and presents a diverse array of terrain types that range from sandy beaches, to rolling farmlands, to tall forests and its characteristically wild coastlines.
Exploring Bruny Island can be done in a variety of ways both on land and in-ocean, perhaps the most popular of which are marine cruises with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys which take travellers on an aquatic adventure to see its distinctive and towering ocean pillars up close, and Bruny Island Safaris which allow visitors to indulge in gourmet experiences on the island itself.
The island’s immense array of wildlife – including seal and seabird colonies – are a wonderful sight to behold, and dolphins and even migratory whales can be spotted within the surrounding waters. For nature lovers, there are few parts of Tasmania better than Bruny Island. The enjoyment of Bruny Island isn’t limited only to the seas, however; the island boasts a bourgeoning culinary scene where visitors can indulge their tastebuds on the likes of rich local cheeses, fresh oysters, locally-produced wines and various other delights. As a result, staying overnight on the island comes highly recommended as taking in all its highlights in a single day is next to impossible.
Bruny Island’s mixture of visual and taste sensations make it an underrated travel destination, and its relatively low-key renown on the Australian travel destination scene makes for a slower and laid-back style of life. If you’re looking for a holiday location that provides a wonderful getaway from the urban with a sprinkling of adventure mixed in, this Tasmanian isle of delights comes highly recommended during February.
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!