As the capital of South Australia and one of the largest cities in the country, Adelaide is one of Australia’s gems. A mecca for the arts and culture, the city offers the best of Australia, with beautiful beaches, easy access to wine country and natural wonders, and top-notch museums, shops, hotels and restaurants. If you are planning to visit Adelaide, though, when should you go? Use this guide to help make your decision.
If weather is your primary consideration when you’re planning your trip to South Australia, then you are in luck. Thanks to its coastal location on the southern edge of Australia, the capital city has a moderate climate similar to the Mediterranean region. That means that temperatures stay comfortable throughout most of the year, although the summer months can get warm (and for those traveling from the northern hemisphere, remember that the summer is November through March in Australia).
If you want the best weather during your visit, though, the months of February and March are widely considered the best time, thanks to pleasant temperatures and little rainfall. September through November—the Australian spring—is a great time to visit when you want to get outside, while June tends to be the wettest month of the year. If you do visit during the winter months (June through August) bring a sweater or jacket, since nighttime temperatures can be a little cool.
Not only is March one the best times to take a trip to the capital of South Australia weather-wise, it’s also one of the best times in terms of things to do. March is considered to be “event season” Down Under, with several major events taking place during the month. WOMADelaide, the World of Music, Arts and Dance, for example is one of the world’s premiere arts festivals that takes place every March, as well as the Adelaide festival, which showcases literature, art, opera and theater. The highlight of the March festivals is Adelaide Fringe, a 24-day event that is the largest arts festival in the southern hemisphere. Considered one of the best in the world, the Fringe includes more than 900 events from new and established artists.
Of course, arts aren’t the only draw to this vibrant city. Racing enthusiasts will love the Clipsal 500 race that occurs every month, while vintage car lovers will enjoy the Bay to Birdwood Run. Held each September, this event includes more than 1,500 classic and vintage automobiles parading the 70 kilometer route to the delight of spectators.
Things to See
South Australia’s capital city has something for everyone, whether you want to see gorgeous views or enjoy fine wines. If you want to explore the wine capital of Australia, visit during the summer or early fall, when the vineyards are in full fruit. The summer is also the best time to explore the region’s beaches and diverse natural areas. The local Botanic Garden, for example, is a visitor favorite and in its best bloom during the warmer months.
However, if you want to visit when the crowds aren’t so thick and the rates are lower, the region’s moderate temperatures allow you to experience many of the local attractions throughout the year. Even in the winter you can visit wineries for tours and tastings, or take in attractions like the Zoo and the dozens of galleries and museums that fill the city.
On a Budget?
Of course, while weather and things to do are important considerations for any traveler, how much the trip will cost is often high on the list of concerns. If you want a great deal on flights to Adelaide, you might want to avoid traveling during the month of March, when the sheer number of events sends fares skyrocketing.
Peak season in Oz is during the summer months, from December through February, when visitors from the northern hemisphere flock to the country to take advantage of hot summer temperatures. The lowest flight fares can be found during the winter months, when the weather’s not quite so welcoming, but pay attention to holiday schedules. Australia is fast becoming a choice destination for winter sports enthusiasts, and during some peak times prices can climb considerably. Overall, though, you’ll probably find the best deals from rainy June through August.
Of course, there really isn’t a bad time to visit this vibrant and fascinating city. Between the attractions, events, great weather and friendly people, you truly cannot go wrong.
Bill Pendleton is a former marine and world traveler. He maintains a blog on dining abroad and hopes to one day host his own travel show.
(Photo courtesy of ctrphotos from 123rf.com)