Kepler Track fjord, New Zealand. Photo Samuel Bordo.
New Zealand is heading into mid-winter at this time so less than perfect but still fine for walking, the country’s most popular activity. For example the South Island’s Kepler Track is a very well-built 60 km (37 miles) circular trail passing through the spectacular scenery of Fiordland National Park.
Southern Australia is generally in great shape in their summertime i.e. US winter, with Sydney and Melbourne buzzing with energy and things to do. However, the east coast is suffering an unusual number of massive forest fires and it’s not going to get any better as summer kicks in.
On the Gold Coast early summer temperatures head into the 30Cs with occasional rain, albeit short and exciting tropical storms rather than north European drizzle. Surfer’s Paradise becomes very loud, pricey and overcrowded during the Christmas holidays. Far north Australia is best avoided at this time due to extreme heat, drought and forest fires.
Northern Australia is terrific from May to October, meaning mainly the activities resort of Cairns, the sadly bleached Great Barrier Reef zone and Darwin, but weather in the south – Sydney, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road etc – will be cool and probably damp.