Most travelers will find November, late spring, a very comfortable time to travel to and around Australia. Temperatures are almost uniformly warm but not overly hot, and rainfall is low (except in the tropics, where November marks the start of the rainy season).
In the southern cities, temperatures range from warm to very warm. Hobart, in Tasmania, has an average November high of just 64° F (18° C), but most other southern cities are a few degrees warmer: Melbourne and Canberra get to 71° F (22° C), Adelaide and Sydney to 75° F (24° C), and Perth to 79° F (26° C). Brisbane, which is in Queensland but not the tropics, has average November highs of 80° F (27° C).
In the outback, November can get pretty hot. Although temperatures do drop significantly at night though, so a light sweater may still be necessary. Alice Springs, which is quite near Uluru, sees November highs of 91° F (33° C), and overnight lows of 65° F (18° C).
With the exception of the tropics, November is not an exceptionally wet month and rain shouldn't be an issue in most places. However, November is the wettest month of the year in Melbourne (which is not saying much, as it's generally a pretty dry place), and Sydney and Brisbane also see a bit of rain. Expect showers in these places rather than continuous downpours. Other southern cities are very dry, especially Perth.
Crowds and Costs
November is not peak season in Australia, but the south of the country does get a continual stream of visitors, especially in cities like Sydney and Melbourne. As many major holidays don't occur until December, November is shoulder season in much of Australia. In the tropical north, it's off-season, as the increasing rain and high humidity, paired with high temperatures, keeps travelers away. Visitors to Australia in November shouldn't encounter much difficulty booking their preferred hotels at less-than-peak prices, and domestic flights should be easily available.
Where to Go
Unless you love high humidity, tropical rain, and temperatures of around 95° F (35° C), the tropical north is best avoided in November. This includes Darwin and the coastal Northern Territory, northern Queensland (Cairns, Townsville, the Whitsundays, Port Douglas), and northern Western Australia (Broome).
But, practically everywhere else in Australia is great in November. The southern cities are warm but not too hot; in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales you can enjoy some beach time; and although the outback can get very hot, you can fly into Alice Springs and/or Uluru to experience the Red Centre. Tasmania remains cooler than most of mainland Australia, but is an outdoor lover's paradise, so November is a good time to visit if high temperatures aren't important to you.
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
What to Do
November is a good time to take a road trip through southern parts of the country, such as along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, or along the coast of New South Wales and southern Queensland between Sydney and Brisbane. Avoid driving long distances through the desert, as this conditions can get very hot, especially later in the month.
While swimming in the sea in the tropical north is off-limits due to the presence of deadly jellyfish, further south the conditions are good. Although water temperatures may be a bit cool at the start of the season, when the sun is shining taking a dip in the sea can be a good way to cool off. Beach towns around Perth and Sydney, as well as along the New South Wales coast (Byron Bay) and southern Queensland (Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast) are swimmable in November.
If you want to visit Uluru and Alice Springs, it's preferable to fly there rather than drive in November. Conditions may be uncomfortable for long-distance road trips at this time.
Sightseeing in the big cities is comfortable in November, because if temperatures get a bit warm to be walking around outside, you can retreat to an air-conditioned museum, gallery, or restaurant. Plus, most big Australian cities (with the exception of Canberra) are on the coast, so beaches are never far away.
The Melbourne Cup. Horse racing enthusiasts won't want to miss the biggest race on the Australian calendar, the Melbourne Cup. This is held every year on November 5th.
In general, November is a quieter time on the Australian festival front, as people are gearing up for the summer, when a lot of events are on.
Traveling to Australia in November? Check out these great itineraries
Self-Drive Tour: From Melbourne to Adelaide - 14 Days. Explore the natural beauty and diverse wildlife on this two-week coastal adventure of Victoria and South Australia.
Gold Coast & Byron Bay - 7 Days. Enjoy the sun, surf, and sand on this week-long tour of Australia's famous Gold Coast and Byron Bay.