I am asked on a daily basis by our Canadian and American clients when is the best time to book a trip to Australia and New Zealand and also what are the best times to visit. Many factors come into play including time of year you wish to travel, whether there is an important event already scheduled in Australia and New Zealand and also what you wish to do when down there.
So here is a general outline.
New Zealand: Remember small country which has more sheep than people!
Best times to visit are Oct through to April at the very latest. Remember New Zealand is quite southern so it gets colder earlier.
Best times to book are at least 6 months minimum in advance if trying to go at these times. The really peak times being Jan- Mar become quite hard to get accommodation if you leave it last minute so these should be booked even earlier.
Australia: Big country which has a lot of conferences and events.
Best times to visit are dependent on which region you wish to see.
Barrier Reef: Best times are during the Australian winter which is June-Jul-August. Worst times are the Dec-Jan-Feb period as it is extra tropical weather and also cyclone season. Though we did have a cyclone visit late this past year.
Southern Regions… i.e. Sydney/ Melbourne/ Adelaide/ Tasmania/ Perth. Best times generally are on the outskirts of the really hot summer months… Sept- Nov and March – April. Many people still visit during the Dec-Jan-Feb time period but be forewarned that it is not unusual for us to see plus 40c days somewhere in that mix.
The Outback: This area gets a criteria of its own. If you wish to see Ayers Rock ( Uluru) then any time of the year- but in the peak of summer once again it is very very hot. Hence why the tour operators have a break during the heat of the day and so do you! If you wish to visit the ” top end” of Australia being Darwin/Kakadu/Broome regions then we have to be very mindful of the time of year. Many operators close down from approx. end of Sept until mid April ish in this region due to it being the wet season. The roads due to floods can become un drivable and the humidity is unbearable.
Best times to book are at least 6-8 months minimum in advance. If going over Christmas then even earlier. Australia is very popular for conferences and events and accommodation can get very easily fully booked.
Some final words…
Seat sales… When it comes to visiting the South Pacific booking your flights earlier is better. It is a totally different ball game to booking different destinations. If you hang around and hope for a seat sale and it does not appear then all of a sudden you are paying out more money for your flights because the cheaper normal seats have now been taken.
We can book flights on average approx. 330 days in advance. So for example if you were planning to travel to Australia in October 2015 we could not book this now as October 2014 has not passed.
This also applies for accommodation and touring. The travel industry year generally runs from April 01st to March 31st. Around about June- August we start seeing the new rates come in for the following travel industry year.
When we design you an itinerary or plan your vacation we work very closely at monitoring what events or conferences may impact your vacation. We also work on making sure we route you in the best possible order to have the best advantage on the weather in Australia and New Zealand.
Remember the above is just a guideline on the best time to book a trip to Australia and New Zealand. If you can not go at the suggested times then do not let it stop you. Both countries are incredible at any time and it would be a shame not to go.
Check out a video of myself talking about Ayers Rock (Uluru) on TV.