May and June for many Australians signals the end of a potentially hot, humid and oppressive summer, as well as a time to celebrate the much-appreciated cooler temperatures. The average daytime summer temperatures in Australia can range anywhere from 90 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, sending many of the tourists and locals straight to the beach or an air-conditioned restaurant. Explore the variety of events –including cultural exhibitions, food and music festivals – featured in the more temperate months of May and June.
May is generally considered the month before winter throughout Australia and the average temperature hovers around 68 degrees Fahrenheit; although areas of northern Queensland can reach temperatures of nearly 83 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainfall is also generally lighter during May throughout the continent.
The word “winter” varies, depending on where you travel inside Australia. In southern portions of the continent, the temperatures are around 63 degrees Fahrenheit. The more north you travel, the warmer the average temperatures. Don’t be surprised if you see the thermometer hit 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re visiting cities such as Darwin or Cairns. Snowfall is minimal and restricted to higher elevations.
Captain Cook 1770 Festival: The Captain Cook 1770 Festival is held yearly in the town of 1770, Queensland. The event celebrates English explorer Captain James Cook’s first landing in Queensland on May 24, 1770. The festival runs on the weekend of May 26 – 27 2012, although Saturday features the majority of events worth checking out. This includes a re-creation of Captain Cook’s landing, an impressive parade, a plethora of rides, live entertainment, food booths and a variety of children’s activities. If you’re traveling with the kids, bring them along on Sunday, which is considered “Kids’ Day” and features a variety of events geared toward the festival’s younger guests.
Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival: The Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival is a biennial event held on the coast of Western Australia near the town of Exmouth. This year’s festival is scheduled for May 25-27, 2012 and celebrates the return of whale sharks to the Australia’s North West Cape. The festival is geared toward adults and children of all ages and includes educational and fun-filled activities, such as the possibility of snorkeling with the whale sharks themselves.
Noosa International Food & Wine Festival: If you’re looking for a festival to satisfy your need for entertainment and your stomach, visit the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival. The town of Noosa is located on Queensland’s coast and each year hosts this celebration of food, wine and merriment. This year’s event is being held on May 17 – 20 and features over 200 of the world’s most renowned figures in food and wine. Share your love of food by visiting the variety of stalls featuring cuisine from across the continent. Sample a glass of wine from the dozens of vineyards operating throughout Australia. The event ends with a seven-course dinner prepared by many of Australia’s premiere chefs.
South Australian Country Music Festival & Awards: From June 1 – 11, the Southern Australia town of Barmera becomes the unlikely country music capital of the world. The annual South Australian Country Music Festival & Awards is a family-friendly event that features some of Australia’s most well-known country music personalities performing on stages throughout the festival grounds. Speak to the locals to learn about the best acts to witness, as it’s nearly impossible to enjoy the nearly 90 performers featured at this year’s event.
Sydney Film Festival: If you’re looking for a more adult-oriented entertainment, visit the Sydney Film Festival. This year’s festival is being held from June 6 – 17 and features a variety of films and shorts from over 40 countries. The event is open to any film buff over 18 and allows you to view some of the world’s most provocative, entertaining and mind-blowing films before they hit theaters.
Picasso to Warhol – Twelve Modern Masters: Travel to the Art Gallery of Western Australia in one of continent’s largest cities, Perth, to witness over 100 masterpieces of modern art created by a variety of well-known painters, including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Henri Matisse. Many of the works are on loan from New York’s Museum of Modern Art and are some of the most provocative and thought-provoking pieces created in the last hundred years.
While partaking in some of the well-known events being held throughout Australia in May and June, don’t forget to support the local economies. Stay in family-run hotels and eat at mom-and-pop restaurants to keep the local economies alive and thriving.
This article was written by Erica Gustafson who writes for Expedia. Erica is a freelance media consultant for the Abbey Beach Resort hotel. She enjoys traveling throughout Australia and writing about her experiences.