Outback Australia is an adventure no matter when you visit but let’s be honest, a visit to the outback is a lot more fun in some seasons than others. So what season is the best to visit the outback? Well, many would say winter to avoid the heat but we disagree. Night time can get damn cold over winter in the Australian outback and many of the freshwater swimming holes are unbearably cold.
Spring might just be the perfect balance between not too hot, and not too cold. Here are five reasons why spring is a great time to visit the outback, particularly this year!
La Niña means the east coast will likely be wet
Spring has sprung and once again, so has La Niña. According to Senior Climatologist, Felicity Gamble on ABC’s climate and water outlook for October to December 2022, we can expect above-average rainfall and an increased risk of flooding for the eastern half of Australia. We can also expect an early start to the wet season in the Top End and a dryer than usual season in the west.
So in the words of the Village People and the Pet Shop Boys …“Go West”
It’s warm enough to swim in the outback water holes
You might be surprised to learn that many outback water holes are chilly. In fact, some are downright impossible to get in past your knees in the colder months. Spring is a great time to plan an outback adventure that includes swimming. The water temperature is more bearable and the daytime temperatures are warm enough to warrant a swim in the first place.
We recommend driving the Red Centre Way from Alice Springs to Uluru for the opportunity to swim in the waterholes of the West MacDonnell Ranges in Spring.
The birdlife is at its best
If you’re itching for some twitching then springtime in the outback has you covered. The drier conditions mean the waterholes are lower so the wildlife tends to congregate at dusk and dawn in these areas. Brolgas in the wild are a sight to see (try outback Queensland around Longreach to see them) as are the colourful flocks of budgerigars in Central Australia. Sadly, outback roads usually mean dead kangaroos so majestic bird of prey species are prolific.
The wildflowers are epic
Early spring sees Western Australia’s outback literally explode in colour due to the wildflowers that bloom in spring. You’ll need to get in quick to see the Gascoyne and Murchison regions bloom as it’s all over by the end of October. However, the Perth region sees blooms from September to November as does Australia’s South West. In fact, out of the 12,000 wildflower species in Western Australia, a whopping 8,000 of them can be found in the South West.
If you’re gravitating towards the Red Centre of Australia in the Northern Territory, Uluru looks amazing rising majestically from a flat plain of wildflowers.
The temperature is just right
Just like baby bear’s porridge in Goldilocks, springtime temperatures in the outback are not too hot and not too cold. In fact, they are just right!