BEST WINTER HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS IN AUSTRALIA
1. Hit the ski fields, NSW & Victoria
If you’re contemplating a ski holiday in Australia, you won’t’ have too much decision angst over where to go. You’ve got two choices: the Snowy Mountains in NSW or the Victorian Alps in Victoria.
Each year, the debate rages as to whether NSW or Victoria has the better snow. Don’t waste your time wondering, or caring, just hit the closet snowy slope you can and enjoy it.
I love the Victorian High Country in the summer; I can only imagine how beautiful it looks after a snow dump.
Falls Creek in Victoria has some of Australia’s steepest expert terrain; Mt Buffalo as some great snowshoeing, cross-country and gentle downhill skiing; Mt Buller has fun toboggan runs; and Mt Hotham is considered the powder capital of Australia.
The Snowy Mountains are the highest Australian mountain range and contain Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko.
Thredbo is possibly the most well-known and loved alpine village with plenty of runs for all skiers; Perisher is one of the most bustling ski resorts in the Snowy Mountains with four main skiing parks; Charlottes Pass receives some of the most consistent snowfalls and caters to all abilities, and Selwyn Snowfields are great for families.
2. Bunya Mountains, Queensland
I bet you never expected a Queensland destination to make this cold winter holiday in Australia list. The Bunya Mountains has enough freeze to snap a twig or two, and on rare occasions, welcomes in a little snowfall.
Settle into your chalet surrounded by curious wallabies and ancient bunya pines, recognisable by their rounded tops and large pineapple-shaped cones with 50-100 edible nuts. The cafe amongst the chalets makes a delicious carrot and bunya nut cake which you can enjoy by the fire at night with a glass of red wine.
During the day, the temperatures are pleasant enough to enjoy the kilometres of Bunya Mountain walking tracks (from 500 metres to 10 kilometres long). The popular 4km return Scenic Circuit Walk, takes you through rainforest, eucalypt forest, past Tim Shea Falls, onto natural grassland balds, giant strangler figs, and to Pine Gorge Lookout offering panoramic views.
Bunya Mountains National Park is situated between Kingaroy and Dalby and is a spectacular wilderness range overlooking the South Burnett region. You can even pop down into the valley for a bit of wine tasting!
3. Blue Mountains, NSW
The Blue Mountains reminds me of the Grand Canyon, one is covered with a lush forest, while the other, its rock faces and ravines are laid bare. Both are places willing to share their secrets – if you just take the time to sit and absorb.
To understand its soul you have to go down.
The Blue Mountains has a depth greater than the sandstone escarpments and infamous Three Sisters. We snapped our I was here photo and then went down, 900 steps into the valley below into a forested fern bower.
We explored an emerald wonderland that belonged to us and the ancient trees. Towering sassafras and coachwood trees blocked off the sunlight, and the ferns stretched across the forest floor. They whispered their stories, and we heard every enchanting word.
There’s no rush to get out early to beat the summer heat. You can linger your early morning gaze over the rainforest covered valleys and hit the trails later in the day. The crisp, cool mountain air perfect for hiking. It’s also possible you may get a slight dusting of snow.
The Blue Mountains offers relaxation, adventure and rejuvenation, unbelievably good local produce, world class cafes, cosy pubs, and fine dining.
4. Barossa Valley, South Australia
The Barossa is known for their shiraz and what goes better with that then a chill to the air, local artisan cheese, and a roaring fire?
There aren’t as many people around and it’s a great time to admire the vines, meet the winemakers, snap up some bargains and be among the first taste some brand new releases.
Pindarie and Kellermeister are the wineries to watch the weather roll across the valley with a bottle of vino and a cheese platter. Pindarie is a working farm so offers kids plenty of space to explore and scramble over haystacks.
Yelland and Pappas tasting room, with their Chesterfields and open fire, will make you feel like sitting in the warm, cosy home of the winemakers, Susan and Michael.
Ever wondered what your birth year tasted like? A trip to Seppeltsfield will give you an insight. You can taste it through a vintage year Tawny Port. Or perhaps, you’re not so vintage?
If you don’t want to be responsible for getting around, or finding the best spots in the Barossa, jump aboard the ‘Hop On & Hop Off’ bus – Barossa Explorer. This 20 seater coach that picks up and drops off around the Barossa at stops including the Barossa Valley Brewery, Langmeil Winery, Maggie Beers Farm Shop and Chateau Tanunda.
5. Hike the Overland Trek in Tasmania
I love the idea of this adventure, but not sure I could follow through with it.
However, if you are daring, fit, and ready to embrace a winter challenge, completing the Overland Track in the Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area may be for you.
During winter the high peaks along the Overland Track receive a generous dusting of snow, turning the Cradle Mountain National Park into a winter wonderland.
Highlights of walking the Overland Track in winter include fewer people, crisp winter air, frozen lakes and frequent snowfalls, which change the vistas of the surrounding landscapes. Walkers will also often meet wombats, echidnas, wallabies and Tasmanian Devils along the way. We saw so many wild Australian animals just walking around Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain. I sure feel cold now! Let’s turn on the heat.
BEST WINTER “SUN” HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS IN AUSTRALIA
Tired of frost on the car window and being wrapped up in a scarf and beanie? Okay, so you’re determined to beat the winter chill, even though it’s a season worth celebrating.
You can still get the warmth you seek while technically still travelling in Australia during the winter!
Winter is the time to explore the Australian top end. The rainy and cyclonic season is over; the warm sticky heat has gone, the stingers have disappeared, and you can enjoy swimming in the ocean. (Perhaps. Be croc aware! Some places are no swimming zones)
Here are a few sun holiday destinations for your winter getaway
6. Broome, Western Australia
The best place in Australia for a warm winter holiday, in our opinion, is Broome.
Y’all know how much we love the vibe of this Outback coastal town. It’s possible the most remote region for your winter getaway, but that is part of its small-town, slow-paced charm.
Broome Town is an eclectic pot of grunge and bohemian with an edge of posh creeping in. You’ll find great shopping, cafes and restaurants, and the nightlife, which was much wilder when Broome was mostly a pearling town.
From sunrise to sunset there is so much to love about a day on Cable Beach. Consistently ranked as one of Australia’s best, it’s 22km wide, flat sweeping beach is perfect for beach cricket, polo, long walks, meditation, building sandcastles, and just chillaxing. It’s also the spot for 5 pm sunset drinks.
And Broome is the gateway to the Kimberly region – one of Australia’s most diverse and stunning natural beauties. Think gorges, waterfalls, beaches, wilderness, stunning vistas, boabs, and rich Aboriginal culture