So scarlet it was maroon: five places to watch Australia’s autumn leaves turn | Tourism (Australia)

Autumn is arguably the most beguiling time of year. It’s not too hot, not too cold, and regional towns are basked in alluring shades of auburn, burgundy and orange.

But to experience the season in all its glory, you have to know where to go.

Autumn colours are more pronounced in cooler locations. Milder temperatures, cold nights and higher rainfall are the necessary conditions for the deciduous trees that make the most stunning displays: elms, poplars and maples are the most commonly seen in Australia’s tree-lined avenues.

When autumn comes, and the days are shorter and cooler, deciduous trees steel themselves for the winter, breaking down the chlorophyll in their leaves and sending the nutrients down to the roots to be stored for spring growth.

As the chlorophyll breaks down and the greens start to disappear, these trees become cloaked in bright, sunshine hues, attracting tourists from near and far. Here are five spots to catch a glimpse of the best autumn colours before winter proper sets in.

Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains, NSW

Sinclair Crescent’s tunnel of trees pops with colour during autumn. Photograph: John White Photos/Getty Images

They may be called the Blue Mountains, but during autumn the trees glitter like gold. While there are many towns in the mountains putting on a display, the village of Wentworth Falls is particularly beautiful.

Set your self up next to the Wentworth Falls Lake, which provides an idyllic backdrop for an afternoon picnic and some fresh mountain air, and enjoy the flaming-red maple trees and cascading leaves through the Sinclair Crescent tunnel of trees.

Grant Crescent, Canberra, ACT

Canberra is known for its lush autumns streetscapes. Photograph: AAP

It’s dubbed Canberra’s prettiest street, and for good reason. While the capital city is renowned for its lush autumn streetscapes, Grant Crescent is top of the list for those seeking a decent spot for a quick snap for social media. Grab yourself a coffee and take a leisurely drive or stroll through the avenue of towering American elm trees as you admire the vivid display.

Macedon, Macedon Ranges, Victoria

Macedon’s Avenue of Honour is lined with 154 pin oak trees. Photograph: Gavin Guan/Getty Images

While Victoria is home to several towns boasting abundant autumn foliage, Macedon is often the first port of call for travellers from Melbourne. Located at the foot of Mount Macedon, just 50 minutes from the Melbourne CBD, the town’s Avenue of Honour is lined with 154 pin oak trees with branches stretching across the road to make a leafy cathedral.

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Mount Macedon is also home to a number of open gardens, including Forest Glade, where maples, birches and beeches abound.

Toowoomba, Queensland

Autumn leaves cloak Toowoomba’s Japanese gardens in shades of yellow and red. Photograph: travellinglight/Alamy

Queensland may be the sunshine state, but the regional city of Toowoomba, two hours inland of Brisbane, has a cooler climate. Known as the Garden City, Toowoomba sits high on the edge of a plateau, creating the necessary conditions to put on a vivid show in autumn and even boasts its own autumn leaf trail.

Toowoomba also has Japanese gardens, bushlands, forest walks and parklands.

Walhalla, Gippsland, Victoria

Victoria’s Walhalla is home to just 20 residents and myriad deciduous trees which put on a display every autumn. Photograph: BeyondImages/Getty Images

Once one of Victoria’s richest towns, the historic village of Walhalla is known for its heritage charm. Once home to 4,000 people seeking their fortune in the gold rush, there are now just 20 permanent residents.

Just 2.5 hours from Melbourne, the village is heavily planted with deciduous trees which put on a display every autumn. For the best, visit the town’s landmark rotunda, and revel in the natural surroundings and sweeping hills.

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