Best Places to Visit in Australia This Winter
May 28, 2015
Australian winters offer some of the best holiday opportunities in the world. With the versatility of cold climates in the south and warm weather in the north, there are endless Aussie possibilities for your upcoming winter escape!
1. The Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Listed as one of National Geographic Traveler’s best trips for 2015, the Mornington Peninsula is a glorious region where scenic beauty and fabulous food and wine roll into one.
- Winter in the Mornington is home to the Winter Wine Festival, the Winter Solstice Festival and the Mornington Jazz Festival. Consider timing your trip to attend one of these!
- Popular winter activities in the region include wining, dining, golfing, shopping, art-exploring and hot-spring dipping. Aim to book in advance where possible.
- You can easily get to the Mornington via car, rail, bus, ferry or organised tour. If travelling by car during times of ice or snow, be careful on the roads and prepare your vehicle/tyres accordingly.
2. Montague Island, New South Wales
Ever wanted to snorkel with seals? On the south coast of NSW, Montague Island is just a short boat trip from beautiful Narooma.
- One of the key highlights of Montague is its colony of around 1,000 Australian and New Zealand fur seals, and a visit here allows you to swim with them!
- Going on a snorkelling tour is the best way to get to Montague Island. Check with chosen your tour company to make sure all gear is provided.
- Consider staying overnight on the island at the Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages. You can book up to 12 months in advance here and a 2½ hour island tour is included.
- On the island, there are also plenty of opportunities for whale watching, bird watching and fishing tours, as well as scenic walking and picnicking.
3. Falls Creek, Victoria
Falls Creek is Victoria’s biggest alpine resort and if you love the thrill of cross-country skiing, this is the place to be! There are opportunities to ski, snowboard and toboggan, and you can take advantage of 65 kilometres of cross-country trails.
- Falls Creek is just over 4 hours’ drive from both Sydney and Melbourne; from other areas, you can fly into Albury and then catch ground transport to the area.
- Best time to visit: June to October – it’s a good idea check the snow forecast in advance.
- Accommodation ranges from luxury resorts to cheaper lodges, so you can choose something to fit your budget.
- Both beginner and advanced ski lessons are available, with classes for kids and adults. A great option if you want to learn or enhance your skiing skills.
4. Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
Can’t wait to escape the cold? Heading to the Northern Territory in winter will put you in the heart of the dry season (May – October), one of the best times to visit the famed Kakadu National Park.
- There are endless things to do in Kakadu, from bush walking and camping to scenic flying, boat cruising and crocodile spotting.
- Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls are two iconic sights here; you can visit these on your own (you’ll need a 4WD) or book yourself on a tour.
- Temperatures during winter range from around 20-30ºC in the top end, but keep in mind that some nights can be cooler and some days can be hotter.
- If you’re combining Kakadu with a visit to Darwin, consider timing your trip to coincide with the Garma Festival (July-August) or the Darwin Festival (August).
5. Hobart, Tasmania
Festivals might be hard to come by in the Aussie winter, but not in Hobart. Two key music events will mark the Tassie winter in 2015 – Dark Mofo and the Festival of Voices.
- Dark Mofo is a celebration of all things Winter Solstice, with cool performances, decadent feasts and amazing fire and light shows. The 2015 winter fest runs from June 12 to 21.
- The Festival of Voices is the ultimate musical experience that transforms Hobart into a ‘Singing City.’ Moving concert performances and educational workshops will run from July 3 to 12, 2015.
Winter is celebrated during the festival with a Candlelight Procession through the city, followed by the lighting of the Festival Bonfire. Don’t miss it!
6. Whitsundays, Queensland
Sounds more like a summer trip, doesn’t it? But the Whitsundays can offer keen travellers the perfect getaway during winter.
- Temperatures in the Whitsundays average around 22-25ºC during winter, meaning you can soak up the Queensland warmth without having to worry about the blistering heat and humidity.
- The warm tropical waters of the Whitsundays stay around 25ºC throughout winter, making it ideal for swimming and other water activities.
- Whale spotting is also common from June onwards, when humpback whales migrate north. The whales often choose to give birth in the shallow waters, so it’s possible you might even see a calf!
- Heading to the Whitsundays in winter also means that you can save on off-peak pricing and avoid the heavy crowds that flood in during the spring and summer.
With winter fast approaching and the great Down Under at your fingertips, there’s only one question: What’s your next winter escape going to be?
Remember that protecting your trip with travel insurance is essential, even when travelling within Australia.
Check out InsureandGo’s Domestic Travel Insurance, which won Gold at the 2014 CANSTAR travel insurance awards.
Photo credits: geralditellys, Ian Armstrong, Lukas Benc, Lost In Australia, Khirol Amir, Jane drumsara
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