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Tickets Icon Looking to book things to do in BRISBANE?

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The Best Time to Visit Brisbane, QLD



Looking for all the best tours, attractions and other things to do in Brisbane?

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Over the coming months, Experience Oz is running a series answering the frequently-asked question by many potential travellers: “When is the best time to visit...?” for some of the most popular destinations in both Australia and New Zealand. Here, we look at Brisbane, sunny capital city of Queensland.

A brief summary of this article:

Queensland's capital city is a true up-and-comer, with Brisbane boasting one of the fastest growth rates of any Australian capital due to a number of factors such as its solid balance between size and population, ideal location between coast and river, and generally enjoyable and comfortable weather throughout the majority of the year. It's a city that's diverse, large and modern enough to compete with the likes of Sydney and Melbourne in terms of offerings of the essentials such as shopping, facilities, businesses and other big-city staples yet without much of the overcrowding that is starting to seep in to these other southern capitals.

As a result, Brisbane is a destination that can be chosen for a visit without disappointment in most months; its location in the south-east of Queensland positions the city in a spot that leads to a high number of sunny days, as well as a warm-temperate climate that takes much of the chill out of winter compared to other cities. Combine this favourable climate with a position that puts it at almost the central points between two other QLD travel hotspots – the Sunshine Coast to the north and the Gold Coast to the south – and you've got a versatile destination to use as your base for travel when visiting this part of Australia.

Brisbane QLD

Panorama of Brisbane City skyline and river

But then, if Brisbane is so well-balanced, is there any particular month or season that could be called “the best time to visit Brisbane”? To answer this, it's best to go via a process of elimination, and that all starts with summer (the period from December through February) – and that's because it's often simply too hot. Summers in Brisbane are prone to random spikes of inordinately high levels of heat and humidity, and temperatures during summer can hit 40 degrees Celsius seemingly out of the blue. Add to this Brisbane's propensity for frequent thunderstorms and random heavy downpours that can last days and even lead to flash floods, and you've got a season that's best to avoid unless you're a fan of the heat.

Other seasons in Brisbane, meanwhile, also come with some of their own downfalls to go with the positives. Most travellers who are visiting from either interstate or abroad will likely want to avoid the school holidays, as the city's attractions become crowded and noisy, accommodation prices soar, and traffic becomes uncomfortably heavy – a problem made worse by the city's often confusing and poorly-planned road layout. This automatically rules out much of March, some of April, June, July and October, as well as the Christmas holiday period as no-go zones unless you're only travelling because you have children and they are on holiday with you.

Put all these factors together, and the consensus both from our staff and the opinions of Brisbane locals, tour operators and others in-the-know is that the end of April – May bridging period is the best time of year to visit Brisbane, for a variety of reasons that are outlined below.

Why Brisbane in April – May?

When travelling to any location for the first time, other than the tourist attractions and scenery one of the most important factors is going to be weather, and it's in the April – May period that Brisbane's best climate comes to the forefront. The weather during this period is generally great, as it's the apex of autumn and both neither too hot nor too cold to enjoy outdoor activity – which is what you'll likely be doing for much of your visit to Brisbane.

Temperatures during this period typically hover around a maximum of 24°C and minimum of 14°C, with that 10 degree variance producing conditions that make for warm and pleasant days and easy sleeping conditions at night. Humidity is also much lower during these months, and rainfall is limited to an average of 6 days per month. While these temperatures may not be conducive to swimming, Brisbane is generally a destination where that's not a factor as the city has no true beach (other than an artificial one at Southbank).

Moreton Island Brisbane

Moreton Island is one of Brisbane's most popular day trip destinations

In addition to the ideal weather conditions, late April and May in Brisbane is a solid time to visit several of its surrounding nature-based destinations, and it's also got several events providing alternative things to do for additional variety. The sunny and calm weather conditions make this a top choice of seasons to make the trip over to nearby aquatic hotspot Moreton Island, a tropical island destination that can be reached in a reasonably short boat ride from Brisbane. The island is surrounded by a marine park that's teeming with ocean wildlife such as dolphins, sea turtles, coral and numerous species of fish and provides the chance for a wide array of activities to be enjoyed both in and out of the water. Lower U.V ratings make the boat trip over more pleasurable during this season as well, reducing the impact of sunburn and making spending time in the sun less of a hazard.

Likewise, spending time in the extensive pockets of greenery strewn throughout Brisbane city is also enjoyable at this time of the year; both the lovely grassed areas of Southbank Parklands and the picturesque Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot Tha make spreading out a picnic blanket and enjoying the sunshine in lush surroundings a pleasant way to while away a few hours. While you're at Southbank, it's worth paying the price of admission and taking a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane for the best 360 degree panorama the city has to offer.

In terms of events, the city is also fairly buzzing during April – May, as the annual Greek Paniyiri Festival in South Brisbane takes place and offers a diverse a ray of tasty Greek food, live music and dance, and an overall friendly outdoor vibe that's well worth the low cost of admission. Horse racing is big during this season; the yearly Brisbane Racing Carnival begins around this time and both the Doomben and Eagle Farm racecourses have multiple high-profile races as well as entertainment and events to coincide with them.

In all, while Brisbane can be visited in perhaps a broader range of months for an enjoyable time than any other capital city in Australia, it's the April – May season where the city truly shines while you won't be fighting as many other people to make the most of your time there.

If you're looking for a range of all the best things to do in and around Brisbane, be sure to visit our main Brisbane region section to browse and book online today.

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