Australia
“I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and pouring rains,” goes a traditional Australian tune. It’s true: This is a land of extremes. But play it right and Australia will provide ample opportunities for perfect surfing or skiing or traipsing around the many stunning national parks. Winter is June to August, when most of Australia hits a low season. This is the time to ski in the Kosciusko National Park or on Victoria’s Mount Hotham. It’s also the best time to visit northern Australia. Between May and September the Northern Territory, northwestern Australia, and Queensland offer ideal weather. In summer, these areas swelter, either too humid or too hot, inciting some travelers to make a U-turn to more friendly climes down south. From September to May, southern Australia is at its peak. Every other traveler looking for antipodean escapades arrives at this time of year, but there’s plenty of land to go around. December to February have most Sydneysiders and Melbournians pumping up the air-conditioning, while braver tourists define new tan lines on Bondi and Manly beaches.