The Best Time to Visit Perth
The best time to visit Perth is usually in the spring (September to November).
The less extreme temperatures in the fall (March to May) are also good, but spring offers a chance to see the famous wildflowers of Western Australia in bloom.
If you are looking for wildlife encounters, spring and fall are also great times to spot humpback whales or even blue whales.
Peak season in Perth coincides with Australia's summer vacation period (December and January), so plan to travel outside of those months for more affordable accommodation prices and fewer crowds.
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Whale watching in Perth
Western Australia is one of the best destinations in the world for whale watching, thanks to its clean oceans and geographic isolation. As the state capital, Perth will likely be your base for ocean tours in the area.
There are two main whale watching seasons around Perth: March to May and September to December.
From March to May, the northern migration of humpbacks brings humpback males to Flinders Bay, 200 miles south of Perth, where they compete for the attention of females.
The world's largest mammal, the blue whale, also comes to Perth Canyon to feed on krill from March to May.
Perth Canyon is 30 nautical miles off the coast of Perth and can only be reached by boat. Be sure to check with local tour operators for seasonal availability.
From September to November, the humpback whale migration south of the Perth coast offers the opportunity to see females with newborn babies returning from a nursery.
While they can sometimes be viewed from various coastal lookouts near the city, it's a good idea to book a whale-watching cruise for the best chance of seeing these playful animals.
Wildflower season in Perth
Western Australia is home to more than 12,000 species of wildflowers, 60 percent of which are unique to the area.
The blooming season begins in the northern part of the state in June and extends south, reaching Perth in September. During October and November, the flowers bloom in the southwestern region of the state.
Despite its population of around two million residents, Perth maintains many green spaces. In spring, you can immerse yourself in the wildflowers of Kings Park, Bold Park, Wireless Hill Reserve, and Kensington Bushland, all within a 20-minute drive from the city center.
Weather in Perth
Perth's climate is often compared to that of the Mediterranean. It is one of the sunniest cities in the world, averaging 3,200 hours of sunshine a year.
However, temperatures in Perth do not rise as much as one might expect, peaking at just under 30 degrees Celsius in summer. Winters are mild, with lows generally in the range of 45 to 65 degrees F.
Surprisingly, Perth is also one of the wettest cities in Australia. Although rain is generally rare, it tends to fall in sudden showers during late fall, winter, and early spring.
The city is also known for experiencing occasional rains in summer, often as a result of tropical cyclones that form further north.
Perth's beaches tend to be at their best from November to April, though locals have been known to hit the sand year-round, thanks to plenty of sunny days in the colder months.
Peak season in Perth
Perth's peak tourist season is largely dictated by the Australian school holidays, but the surge in visitors is generally not much of a hassle.
From mid-December to January, the city experiences its high season, with another minor flow during the Easter holidays. The Perth Festival and Fringe World, which take place annually in January and February, are also popular.
The distance from the city to Australia's densely populated east coast (roughly a five-hour flight) means that state and national holidays don't have a huge effect on tourist numbers.
For this reason, fluctuations in accommodation prices are generally limited to the Christmas and New Year periods.
December and January are the peak season in Perth, while Australians enjoy their summer holidays.
While temperatures are still reasonably hot (with highs at 85-90 degrees F), the crowds subside when Australia returns to work and school in February.
Visit Perth in the summer for sun, sand, and sea, but be aware of potential crowds and the high demand for accommodation.
Events to watch:
- Celebrate New Year's Eve at Origin Fields, a two-day music festival.
- January 26 is Australia Day, also known as Invasion Day or Survival Day, which marks the day the continent was officially established in 1788.
There are a number of events in the city, as well as protests led by Noongar people, the traditional owners of the Perth region, along with First Nations people across the country.
- The Perth Festival is the oldest arts festival in the southern hemisphere, bringing together innovative performances, literature, music, film, and visual arts throughout the month of February.
- Embrace the strange and wonderful at Fringe World, with comedy, circus, theater, visual arts, musicals, dance, and cabaret from local and international artists.
Temperatures stay warm through fall in Perth, peaking at 70 to 85 degrees F. Average precipitation increases dramatically in May, and nights can be quite cold (up to 50 degrees F.)
Autumn is the only time that visitors can see the elusive blue whale. feeding in Perth Canyon.
Events to watch:
- In March, Hyde Park Fair offers family entertainment, market stalls, and food.
- Like its sister event in Sydney, Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach combines art and nature to create an unforgettable sight.
- At the end of the month, the Perth Craft Beer Festival brings together more than 55 craft breweries and ciders from across Australia, plus carnival rides, beer masterclasses, and live music.
- At the end of March, Night Noodle Markets presents Australia's innovative Asian fusion dishes in the heart of the city.
- In the Swan Valley wine country outside Perth, the Wine Machine festival combines music and stunning scenery in April.
- The Perth Comedy Festival also kicks off in April, with local promises and top attractions on the program.
Winter in Perth is the rainiest season, but clear blue skies are not uncommon.
The climate does not prevent locals and visitors from taking full advantage of the many markets, cafes, restaurants, galleries, and nearby nature.
Temperatures drop as low as 46 degrees F at night in July, the coldest month, and rise to around 65 degrees F.
Events to watch:
- City Wine is a winter wine festival that brings the best of the Swan Valley to the city in May.
- WA Day is a public holiday that falls on the first Monday in June, with free events throughout the city (and the rest of Western Australia).
- Visit the Good Food and Wine Show in August to enjoy the best of Australian cuisine.
- In July, the Fremantle Festival highlights local artists and community projects through performances, music, and food.
Early spring can be cold, but the city heats up quickly in time for wildflower season. Temperatures range from lows of around 50 degrees F to highs of around 80 degrees F.
This is also the best time to see humpback whales (including calves) as they migrate south.
Events to watch:
- The Kings Park Festival is the heart of Perth's wildflower season, with free flower shows and events such as exhibitions, guided walks, lectures and family activities.
- At the end of September, the Perth Royal Show showcases the agricultural products of the region with tours, food, and a county fair atmosphere.
- Visit Swan Valley in October for Entwined in the Valley, a month-long celebration of food, wine, music, and art.
- Unwined is a premium food and wine extravaganza that takes place in October and brings together more than 60 local vendors in Market Square Park.
- The Perth International Jazz Festival takes place in early November, with an exciting lineup of local and international musicians.
- Also in November, PrideFEST features a calendar of arts, cultural and community events, as well as a vibrant Pride Parade.
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