If you’re lucky enough to be visiting our wonderful city and surrounding area, then you might be wondering exactly what you need to be putting in your suitcase. This is a question we often get asked, no doubt because Melbourne has a bit of a reputation for being unpredictable – in terms of its weather that is. So it’s important to get your packing requirements bang on, so you’re covered for all eventualities.
To sum it right up, Melbourne’s weather is a mixed bag. However you can predict what it is likely to be (to a degree) depending on the time of year. Summer can get very hot indeed, especially during heat waves when temperatures can soar above 40 degrees. The good thing is that while it can get hot, it’s rarely humid so it can actually be a big relief visiting in summer and escaping humid climates elsewhere.
You may not think that it can get cold in Australia, but think again. Winter in Melbourne can be wet and cold, and this season can pack a punch if you are heading towards the coast. Of course it is all relative, as winter in Melbourne is mild compared to most places. Autumn and spring are sneaky little things and are the ones to watch out for as they give us our international reputation for unpredictability. So if you’re visiting in autumn or spring then you need to prepare for even more eventualities which may mean a bigger suitcase or some seriously ruthless packing to be done!
So, when exactly do these seasons occur in Melbourne? Well, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere then think about Melbournians sunning themselves as you tuck into some mulled wine or eggnog at Christmas time, or Melbournians gathering around a cosy fire with red wine in hand while you take a coastal break. ‘Tis the opposite in the land down under.
Summer in Melbourne is from December to February, winter is from June to August, spring is September to November, and autumn is March until May.
Like many places in winter, it is inevitable that the rain will come out to play. When you think of Australia then you are no doubt envisaging red desert sand and golden sandy beaches that glisten in the sun all year round. Well yes, this can happen, but Melbourne is not immune from the harsh bite of winter. The further south you head, the cooler it can be. So be sure to pack an umbrella and a thick jacket during the winter months and a lighter weight jacket (but still a decent thickness to protect you from the elements) during the autumn and spring season. During summer however, these cooler temperatures are unlikely and the most you should need is a lightweight cardigan or jacket if you’re heading out later at night, or going further towards the coast.
If you do forget something then never fear, Melbourne is renowned for its fabulous shopping. There are designer, boutique and high street retailers aplenty in Melbourne. The Bourke Street Mall is a great place to start. Or take the free shuttle bus to the outskirts of Melbourne and show Chadstone Shopping Centre (the largest in the Southern Hemisphere) who’s boss! The Discount Factory Outlet (DFO) is also a must. And because shopping is so great you’ll probably want to throw some comfortable footwear into your suitcase as we can guarantee you’ll want to pound the pavement while you are here.
Taking in consideration all of what we’ve just said, you’ll need to choose the time of year that best suits you to visit. Avoiding or embracing Victorian school holidays can also be a determining factor. Or you may plan a country wide adventure so you need to look at the best time of year to visit Australia in general. Check out our previous blog on just that.
No matter what time of year you visit, we’d recommend that you bring a backpack to help you move about town with everything that you’ll need to maximise enjoyment on your holiday. In our opinion, some essentials would be an umbrella, a jacket (increase the thickness depending on the time of year you have chosen) sun-cream and sunglasses.
If you’re heading out of the city, into the countryside or to the beach – especially during the summer months – then the last two items will be of particular importance. It can get damn hot so make sure you are well protected. Also, a large bottle of water can be your best friend while you are travelling around Australia. The water in Melbourne is of high quality so you can fill your bottle up straight from the tap or of course grab one on the go at one of many supermarkets, convenience stores or cafes. Finally, don’t forget to pack your camera and sense of fun and adventure!
We hope this has been helpful in giving you a bit of a steer in planning for your upcoming trip to Melbourne. Please do get in touch with us when you are in our town as we’d love to show you around!