The best time to visit Sydney is… whatever time you have available! Enjoying a mild climate, each of the seasons offers advantages, depending on your interests. As Sydney has so much amazing natural beauty, this is the best time to visit to enjoy Sydney's outdoors.
Summer December, January, February
- Average min – max temperature: 17 – 26 C
- Average rainfall: 93mm per month
- Average sea temperature: 23C
Although summer in Sydney can be quite warm, the national parks contain an abundance of hidden waterholes and beaches in which to cool off. Pockets of bushland in Sydney Harbour National Park provide protection from the hot sun but there are many areas of exposed coastal heath. Be prepared for the possibility of afternoon thunder storms.
Walking along the Coast Track in Royal National Park can be very warm until the afternoon breeze arrives but the clear days make for sweeping views.
Animals tend to keep well hidden in shaded areas on hot days so it's not the best time to see them.
Remember to take at least 2 litres of water with you on a summer day, more if it's hotter.
The major school holiday period is from just before Christmas to the beginning of February. Tourist attractions and holiday accommodation catering to families will probably be busier during this time.
Sydney's national parks that are lucky enough to include beaches – in fact, any beach – tend to get really busy on beautiful Summer days. Here's our guide to knowing where the crowds may be in Royal National Park (and how to avoid them).
Australia Day on January 26 is a significant public holiday. Picnic areas, beaches and anywhere with a good view of Sydney harbour's boat parade will be crowded.
Autumn March, April, May
- Average min – max temperature: 13 – 22 C
- Average rainfall: 97mm per month
- Average sea temperature: 22C
Autumn is one of the best times to visit Sydney as it's great walking weather. The days can still be warm with a crispness in the morning air, enabling the animals to move around for most of the day. As with all wildlife, dawn and dusk are the best time to spot them.
The ocean is also still warm enough for a refreshing dip.
Winter June, July, August
- Average min – max temperature: 7 – 16 C
- Average rainfall: 77mm per month
- Average sea temperature: 18C
Winter is a superb time to visit Sydney's national parks as the wildflowers are in full bloom.
The Superb Lyrebird is also mating in winter so you may be lucky enough to see their extravagant mating display.
Spring September, October, November
- Average min – max temperature: 12 – 22 C
- Average rainfall: 73mm per month
- Average sea temperature: 19C
Spring is the perfect trans-seasonal time for walking. The bush is coming alive again and all the newborn birds are hatching.
Humpback whales and their calves are travelling back south and the sight of a baby humpback breaching beside its mother is a delight.
Daylight Savings Time starts again in October making for long days of light.
Things to Do in Sydney
Now that you've worked out the best time to visit Sydney, explore the best of Sydney's outdoors.
- 24 Hours in Sydney's Outdoors with itinerary suggestions
- Sydney City Walk – all of Sydney's icons and main sights following the greenest paths possible
- Bondi to Coogee walk
- Best Royal National Park walks
- Royal National Park accommodation
- Is it safe to walk alone in Sydney?