October is in the middle of Australia’s Spring season, so be prepared to see blossoming flora, curious fauna and enjoyable weather as the country continues to transition out of winter and move closer to those beautiful Summer days.
Travelling within the month of October is common practice due to the Australian school holidays running into the beginning of the month, followed closely by those eager to escape the school crowds and travelling in the later part of the month. As a result, many tourist destinations’ popularity rise and fall over the month, making it one of the best times to plan your trip! As a shoulder season before the Christmas rush, October brings with it lower prices, higher availability and more comfortable temperatures.
But where exactly should you travel in Australia during October? Here we break down our top six destinations around the country that are joys to explore and relax in over the month of October.
Wine regions are often nearing the top of many people’s travel bucket lists throughout the year, so why not put the wheels in motion and visit one this October? More specifically, visit the beautiful Barossa Valley region in South Australia. While there are arguably better times to visit the wineries, such as during harvesting season, October provides a perfectly viable alternative due to the activity on the vines as new leaves begin to sprout, awakening the vineyards from their dormant winter slumber.
The various wineries in the Barossa Valley are stocked with barrels of some of their best wines year round, so while the vines may still be in the growing stages you’ll definitely be invited to enjoy the tasting stage. The warmer weather calls for relaxing long lunches to be enjoyed outdoors, while the flowering fruit trees create the most picturesque background.
With an estimated 50 wineries spread out around the entire Barossa region, it can be tough to decide which ones you should visit, luckily for you, there are experienced and local tour guides who know all the best spots and can take you around for the day. The best part? You don’t have to drive, so you can enjoy all the wine you like! There are a number of operators who conduct tours over the week, each encompassing different aspects of the region and different wineries within Barossa.
In saying that, it’s not all about wine (dare we say it), there are also a range of activities to enjoy in the Barossa Valley, one of which is hot air ballooning. Hot air ballooning over the valley is a great way to do some sightseeing in between wine tastings and though it requires an early rise you’ll be treated to some of the best views available along with a memorable experiences to take home with you.
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As the Barossa is positioned on the southern end of the country, the temperatures aren’t as sizzling as those experienced further north, so visitors should expect temperatures ranging from 17 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius during the day and dropping down to at least 6 degrees Celsius in the evening.
This is ideal for those who don’t enjoy that famed Australian heat but also aren’t accustomed to the cold weather felt in the winter months down south. October provides you with a happy medium, but no matter how cold it gets you can always be warmed up with a big glass of wine.
October is a special time in Melbourne as spring brings with it comfortable temperatures and the social scene focuses on fascinators, frocks and fillies. Yes, Spring Racing Carnival is in full swing during October and is one of the main drawcards for socialites and fashionistas to the Victoria capital throughout the month.
While the race that stops the nation isn’t until the first Tuesday of November, the social calendar is filled with race days and events every weekend and some weekdays in the lead-up. These events are held at various different race tracks around the city including Flemington, Caulfield, Cranbourne and Seymour, and if you can snatch a ticket to one of these events during October you’ll be in for a treat!
If you want to keep the horse theme going but don’t want to head to the races, there are numerous other kid-friendly activities that are sure to be a hit! In the city you can climb into a carriage to explore the streets with a horse and carriage ride, or you can head to the beautiful Mornington Peninsula for a horse ride around the region.
Melbourne’s top attractions are also great options during October, especially once school holidays have finished if you don’t want to join the school crowds. The likes of Werribee Open Range Zoo, SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, and Melbourne Zoo are great for those looking to come face-to-face with wildlife and marine life, while the Eureka Skydeck and Melbourne Star Observation Wheel are awesome ways to take in views of this beautiful city.
In the theme of spring, florals are a big part of Melbourne in October, this is in large part due to the Tesselar Tulip Festival being held just under an hour out of the city. With more than a million tulips on display, you’ll be blown away by the vibrant colours of the seemingly never-ending fields. Like any good festival, there are also live performances, market stalls, games and more to keep all visitors entertained and occupied.
If you can’t make it out to the tulip fields but still want some florals to brighten up your October then you can head to the Botanic Gardens to take it easy and wander around the grounds, or you can take some beautiful flowers home for yourself fresh from the farm with a visit to the Queen Victoria Markets, an iconic Australian marketplace.
We can’t forget to mention the popular Melbourne Festival, one of the leading international arts festivals in the country, which runs from the 4th to the 22nd of October. Combining all aspects of the arts; dance, theatre, music, visual arts and multimedia, into one unmissable event, there is sure to be something to suit all tastes and budgets at this iconic festival of the arts.
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There is so much to see and do in Melbourne throughout the entire year, but the arrival of spring begins to warm the city, making it a popular choice for visitors from the country’s warmer regions. Whether you’re looking to spend one day or one week, you won’t be hard-pressed to find things to do and fill out your days this month.
As the weather turns golden on the Gold Coast at the end of winter (though there isn’t really a winter here) the idea of a coastal holiday is created. One of the country’s best beachside destinations for more reasons than one, the Gold Coast is a calling card for families looking for fun, couples looking to relax and adventurers looking to explore.
The beginning of the month sees an influx of visitors due to school holidays, so you can expect to see families roaming around the various tourist hubs such as Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, and forming queues at the world-famous theme parks. If you’re looking to travel with your kids and can only plan a holiday during the school holidays, this is the time for you. While the crowds are there, they’re arguably not as large as the crowds that gather in the summer break over Christmas.
In terms of things to do, the theme parks are the top attractions and with a total of five to choose from you can expect the crowds to be spread out. Movie World, Dreamworld and Sea World as well as the two water parks which are great ways to beat the heat, WhiteWater World and Wet’n’Wild, you’ll be able to find fun for all ages!
The best part about visiting these parks is the variety of attractions with which they offer, with dedicated kids zones within each, family-friendly attractions and scream-worthy rollercoasters, you’ll easily spend the whole day running from ride to ride and show to show.
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If you’re in search of a more laidback holiday on the Gold Coast this October, don’t worry, you’re still in the right place. The newly added warmth makes spending days on the beach and in the water viable activities, while the option of venturing into the dense Gold Coast Hinterland is still available.
Some ways to take advantage of this beautiful weather include climbing the Q1 building in Surfers Paradise to take in views of the surrounding region, cruising around the Gold Coast Canals with an evening dinner cruise, and rising up into the sky with a romantic and scenic hot air balloon flight.
For those who love a bit of a social scene in a holiday destination, you won’t be disappointed with the Gold Coast. There are a handful of events held in the region during October, three of which include the Gold Coast 600 from the 20th to the 22nd of October, Oktoberfest at Nightquarter on the 6th and 7th of October and the Breaka Burleigh Swim Challenge on the 15th of October.
So if golden beaches, warmer water temperatures, thrilling and family-friendly theme parks and attractions, informative tours and memorable events are all things that appeal to you, then the Gold Coast should be well up there on your places to visit throughout October.
October falls at the end of Broome’s dry season, meaning it’s the last time you can enjoy the region without the downpour until April the following year. Think warm days, clear blue skies and balmy nights, who would want to miss out on that?! October temperatures fluctuate between 17 degrees Celsius and 30.8 degrees Celsius during the day with relatively low humidity levels, cooler evenings and little rain.
There is so much to see and do in Broome and you can easily fill your schedule with activities, tours and adventures, however, one thing you won’t want to miss is the acclaimed Staircase to the Moon. A natural attraction that occurs from March to October, the Staircase to the Moon is when the moon reflects on the low tidal flats creating an illusion of a staircase.
As this phenomenon begins in March, many people flock to see it over the first two months, so if you’re visiting in October you most likely won’t have the hassle of large crowds gathering.
As an added bonus the 6th and 7th of October play host to the Staircase to the Moon Markets, so you can take in the impressive natural phenomenon, browse a few market stalls, meet a couple of locals and have an enjoyable and relaxing evening on the beach.
October in Broome is generally considered to be out of peak season, as many southern tourists travel to the northern destination from May to September to escape the cooler temperatures. A favourite time amongst the local communities, October welcomes fewer people meaning you will most likely be able to secure accommodation without having to book months in advance and without the inflated price tags.
The iconic attractions in Broome and its surrounding regions are still on the table throughout the month of October. Two standout adventures are the camel rides on Cable Beach, a must-do and an experience that provides some incredible photo opportunities especially at sunset, and the outback cruise up to the Horizontal Falls. Both of these experiences are suitable for all ages and are great experiences year round, the upside being you won’t have the larger crowds that are trying to book in the peak seasons.
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Offering something completely different to all of the other destinations on this list, Broome isn’t a popular city so it doesn’t have all of the frills that go along with it. In saying this, it provides some of its own unique features that shine brightly in the month of October.
If you’re looking for a destination that will take you out of the bustling city, away from large crowds and into Australia’s beautiful outback regions, then Broome is definitely the place to go.
Travelling to the south of Western Australia, we now come up to Perth, one of our top travel destinations in October. Perth’s distant location from the east coast of Australia makes it a less popular option for interstate travellers, however, with its range of experiences and beautiful attractions those who do put in the effort, time and money reap the rewards, especially in October.
The first reason supporting Perth’s ranking is due to its wildflower season. The city and its garden beds come alive during the Spring months with wildflowers and create a colourful and aromatic atmosphere for the entire month. The largest wildflower collection in the world, Western Australia grows more than 12,000 different wildflower species 60% of which aren’t found anywhere else on Earth! How could you miss an opportunity to see this?!
Come October, the wildflowers have grown and made their way through the city’s botanical gardens and into the forests and coastal regions of the south-west so you won’t have to travel far to see them.
In conjunction with this natural growth is the Perth Hills Spring Festival, a festival celebrating all things that are perfect for spring; long lunches, outdoor markets, photography, gardening and more! The festival runs for the entirety of the month and is a great way to rid yourself of those winter blues and help the region come back to life with colour, laughter and fun!
In Perth the excitement doesn’t stop in the gardens, there is so much more going on in and around the city you might have a hard time deciding what not to do this month. Two other standout events include the Beauvine Food and Wine Festival which is a celebration of all things edible with more than 60 wineries, breweries and cideries serving up over 500 different alcoholic varieties, 12 restaurants serving food from their pop-up eateries, live music, entertainment and more.
The second event is the Fremantle Festival, a showcase of the arts in this popular portside town with performances from The Jezabels, Ecca Vandal and Koi Child (2017) as well as comedians Frank Woodley and Sam Simmons (2017) and a range of kid-friendly activities.
Perth is a great family-friendly destination offering visitors a number of attractions and activities that are perfect for a range of ages. Perth Zoo, Peel Zoo, Caversham Wildlife Park and The Aquarium of Western Australia are all awesome options for those who love animals as they all provide you with opportunities to get up close and even hands on with a range of animals, while relaxing in Kings Park and walking along the foreshore are great options for those travelling on a budget or who are just eager to sit back and relax in beautiful surroundings.
To those residing on Australia’s east coast, don’t let the distance come between you and an incredible holiday. Perth provides so many opportunities for exploration and adventure without leaving the country!
While this may seem like an unusual pick for the best place to visit in Australia during October, Canberra flourishes come spring and we mean literally! October plays host to the floral festival that attracts visitors from far and wide to admire the beautiful blooms and vibrant colours of the city’s gardens, Floriade Festival.
Beginning in mid-September and running until the 15th of October (2017), Floriade is open for the public to admire the beauty of the region. Wowing visitors and bringing more colour and life to the region since 1988, Floriade has continued to grow (pun intended) over the years to become the wonderful floral display and event it is today. Made up of over one million blossoms, the festival attracts almost half a million people every year and you could be one of them!
While the flowers are at their most vivid during the day, it’s Floriade Nightfest that tends to draw even more crowds. Held after the main event, NightFest runs over two weekends; one at the end of September, and the second in the bridging weekend of the 29th of September and 1st of October. Complete with mesmerising light installations, live comedy and music performances and a wide variety of food and drink vendors, you’ll be able to make a night of it here at Floriade NightFest.
If you prefer footy to florals, then you’ll be pleased to know that Canberra is hosting the Rugby League World Cup 2017, an event set to attract thousands of league fans from around Australia, France, Fiji and Italy. Round one kicks off on the 29th of October (2017), while the two remaining games are being held on the first two Fridays of November, so if you’re visiting during the business end of October you’ll be lucky enough to squeeze one round in.
For those looking for other things to see and do, Canberra is home to some of the country’s most iconic attractions, namely the Australian War Memorial, the Royal Australian Mint and Parliament House. While these may sound like attractions suited to older aged visitors, don’t be fooled, sometimes an educational and historic attraction is what you need to break up an adventurous holiday break.
If you’re visiting with kids you won’t want to miss a trip to Questacon, a science-focused attraction that provides kids and adults alike with some hands-on educational fun, the same goes for the National Zoo and Aquarium, an awesome animal attraction displaying land and marine animals from around Australia and the world.
You can even go hot air ballooning over the region, so whoever has said there’s nothing to do in Canberra clearly hasn’t done their research, but now there’s no excuse because we’ve done it all for you!
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While these might not seem like typical holiday activities, you should at least visit the capital once to form your own opinion on it. Canberra is also relatively close to the New South Wales capital so you can drive there for the day to wander around, visit a few attractions, smell a few flowers and be back in the bigger smoke, that is Sydney, by the end of the day.
If you’re looking for more things to see and do in the regions we’ve listed here, or you want to research thousands of other things to do in October around the country, check out our full catalogue online. What will YOU do?