When to visit

Since Sydney has such wonderful beaches, the best time to come is between early October and Easter , the official swimming season, when the beaches are patrolled, and outdoor swimming pools reopen.

The sunny springtime months of September and October are when the wild flowers are in bloom, and the smell of blossoms such as jasmine fill the warming city streets, while the bush is alive with critters not yet reduced to summer torpidity. The sweltering hot summer months are mid-December, January and February; Christmas can often see 40AC in the shade, though it's been known to be cool and overcast; average summer temperatures are 25AC. Sydney is subtropical, with high and very oppressive humidity in summer building up to sporadic torrential rain-storms (dubbed "southerly busters" by the locals). This is party time, combining high summer with Christmas and New Year festivities and January's Sydney Festival, culminating in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras street parade in late February/early March.

April , when the Royal Agricultural Show hits town, is anecdotally - and actually - the rainiest month. May is a contrastingly glorious time when you can bet on dry sunny weather and blue skies as Sydney heads for its mild winter months of June, July and August. Don't expect bare trees and grey skies - native trees are evergreen and the skies are usually a less intense blue. Temperatures are rarely less than 10AC, colder during the night, and decidedly chilly the further you go west, with frost on the plains heading to the Blue Mountains - where there are rare light snowfalls.Bring the usual coats, scarves, gloves and woolly hat if you want to go to the mountains in winter; it gets cool at night in summer too. A jumper and jacket should keep you warm enough in the city, where the cafAs continue with their outdoor seating, with braziers to radiate some heat.

Other useful information for tourists (each section contains more specific sub-sections):