Summer Down Under runs from December through February. January and February are prone to dry, hot spells, however, so prime time here remains the mild autumn (March to May), when temps range from 63 to 75 degrees and rainfall is at a minimum. Spring (September to November) is also appealing, with temperatures in the mid-60s, but rainy days can prevail.
No matter the time of year or the weather, Melbourne bustles with festivals and activities. Held each March for the past 20 years, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival celebrates the area’s top chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, and sommeliers with more than 250 events. The Melbourne Festival, held during two weeks in October, is a world-class arts fest that has a full docket of dance, music, theater, visual arts, and film. Also held in late October is the Melbourne Cup Carnival, a week’s worth of thoroughbred racing, fashion, and entertainment that captivates all of Australia. Most of the country stops to watch the Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, the carnival’s focal point. In January, the weeklong Festival of Sails—Australia’s largest keelboat regatta—comes to town.