June is the beginning of winter in southern parts of Australia, but the middle of the dry season in the tropical north. While Australia isn't known for its cold temperatures, many visitors will be surprised by how cool it can get inland in the south, with snow possible in some places. But, if you'd rather avoid that, northern Queensland, the Northern Territory, and northern Western Australia are at their best in June.

Weather

While Australia is more famous for its hot temperatures than its cold ones, cities like Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, and Hobart can get quite cold in June. By 'cold' we're not talking Canadian winter cold, but you'll definitely need a warm coat, especially at night. Canberra regularly sees winter temperatures below 32° F (0° C) overnight in winter, rising to a cool 53° F (12° C) in the day. Most other southern cities are a bit warmer, with Melbourne and Adelaide experiencing average highs in the high 50s F (14-15° C).

Coastal Sydney and Perth, despite being quite far south, stay relatively mild in June, with highs around 65° F (18° C). A light sweater is usually fine for daytime wear in these cities, and a warmer jacket for evenings and when there's rain. Alice Springs, as well as other desert places, is still pleasantly warm in the daytime (with highs of around 66° F/ 19° C), but temperatures plummet at night.

As for rain, Sydney and Perth tend to experience their heaviest rainfall of the year in June, so you can definitely expect some showers is visiting these cities this month. Other southern cities are much drier in June, and you may not see much, or any, rain in Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, or Hobart.

Northern parts of Australia see very little rain in June. Darwin remains hot, with average highs of 86° F (30° C) and lows of 68° F (20° C). But, there is practically no rain here in June, July, or August, meaning humidity is at a low. Northern Queensland towns are a bit cooler but still warm: Townsville, for example, has June highs of 77° F (25° C). Rainfall is still low though, so June is a comfortable time to visit northern parts of Australia.

Crowds and Costs

Although most visitors to Australia will fly into Sydney or Melbourne, June is low season in the southeast of Australia because of the cooler temperatures and higher rainfall (in Sydney). But, being big cities, there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy when the weather's not great. June is low season, rather than off season.

Conditions in the north in June mean that this is the peak season in these parts of Australia. But, getting to Australia in the first place is often cheaper in June, as international fares are generally at their lowest. On the other hand, domestic Australian tourists like to travel to warmer parts of the country to escape the winter.

Expect places like the Whitsundays, Port Douglas, Broome in Western Australia, and the national parks near Darwin and around the Northern Territory to be quite busy in June. Book domestic flights and accommodation as far in advance as possible, especially if your travel coincides with Australian school holidays later in June (although the main winter holidays usually fall in early July).

Where to Go

If you want to spend time checking out the cultural attractions in the southern cities then this is totally possible in June. However, northern Australia really shines at this time of year, with warm but not overly hot temperatures, but more importantly, little rainfall⁠—this not only means greater comfort, but better accessibility to places that could be flooded in the rainy season.

For gorgeous beaches, head to northern Queensland and northern Western Australia. 'Stinger season' generally ends in May, meaning you'll no longer find the deadly box jellyfish in the sea in June, although do check local conditions before taking the plunge. 

June is also a comfortable time to travel around the outback, to highlights such as Uluru or the national parks (Kakadu, Litchfield) of the Northern Territory.

Southern Queensland and northern New South Wales⁠—Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Noosa, Byron Bay⁠—can also be pleasant in June. You may find the sea temperatures too cool to swim in, but there are other activities to enjoy.

For a totally different scene, it's also possible to ski in some mountainous parts of Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra). Although Australia's mountains aren't as high as many others around the world, ski fields of around 5000 feet (1500 meters) in elevation generally provide enough snow for skiing from mid June.

What to Do

June is a good time to embark on a cross-country road trip, if you have the time. You won't experience the extreme heat or floods that you might at other times of year, making conditions ideal for trips across the outback or up the east coast.

As mentioned above, general sightseeing in the cities, beach activities in the northeast or northwest, and skiing in the mountains can also be enjoyed in June. 

June Events

Peak Festival, Snowy Mountains. This festival at the Perisher Ski Field in New South Wales kicks off the ski season in early-mid June. Australian musicians entertain, and ski pass/festival ticket combos are available.

Vivid Sydney. This festival of lights that brightens up the wintry city. Highlights include colorful light projections on the Sydney Opera House, and other landmarks. It's usually held from late May into June.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Music lovers should go out of their way to attend this music festival. Local and international musicians perform at venues around the city from late May to early June.

Traveling to Australia in June? Check out these great itineraries

Tropical North Queensland - Hamilton Island, Port Douglas, Cairns, and More - 7 Days. Explore tropical northern Queensland at the best time of year, where you can swim, snorkel, sea kayak, and relax. 

Outback Adventure: Uluru and Alice Springs - 5 Days. Begin in Uluru and discover the ancient Red Centre and its surroundings. Then, travel to Alice Springs to enjoy the cultural attractions in this desert town.

More Helpful Information

Australia in May
Australia in July
Getting Around Australia