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Australia in February

Last Month of Summer

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Participants at the Mardi Gras parade

Participants at the Mardi Gras parade

Courtesy City of Sydney

February is the last month of the Australian summer. Expect generally warm weather in most of Australia tapering to cool as autumn approaches.

At the Top End, February is the middle of the Wet season, so expect rains and some flooding in the Northern Territory, particularly in parts of Kakadu National Park where some roads become rivers.

In Sydney in 2011, the first week of February saw temperatures reach unusual highs. Far north Queensland was hit by a category 5 cyclone, Yasi, causing extreme devastation in Mission Beach, Cardwell, Tully and Innisfail. In Victoria there were reports of flooding. Areas near Perth in Western Australia were hit by bushfires.

Major events

The major Australian event which used to fill almost the whole of February is the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with its glittering nighttime Mardi Gras parade from Hyde Park through Oxford St to Moore Park.

In 2013, the Sydney Mardi Gras takes place from February 8 to March 3 with the Mardi Gras parade on March 2 with the Mardi Gras Party following the parade.

The Chinese new year usually occurs in February. In Sydney there is an annual Chinese New Year Festival. Celebrations are held in other major cities with street and lantern parades. Dragon boat races are held at Sydney's Darling Harbour and in some other cities.

The 2013 Chinese new year, the Year of the Snake, is marked by the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival from February 8 to 24.

There is no Australian public holiday in February.

And, yes, February 14 is St Valentine's Day but, alas, no public holiday.

Beachtime

February is still very much beachtime in Australia. Check out the Sydney and Melbourne beaches. Maybe you'd like to visit Jervis Bay with its white-sand beaches.

Be safe on Australian beaches.

Along the north Queensland coast past Great Keppel Island, be wary of the poisonous box jellyfish, including the deadly Irukandji jellyfish. February is within the jellyfish season of October/November to April/May.

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