11 Best Winter Experiences to Have in Australia

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Lean into the cold or chase the sun this winter in Australia.

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For some of us, winter can’t come soon enough. No more fans beating above us to ward off the heat at night, no more sweaty commutes, no more grains of sand that accumulate literally everywhere after a summer in Perth.

But for others, the shorter, colder days are not as happy a time. Icy tiles underfoot, getting up and coming home in the dark and no more sun-soaked beach days.

Whether you want to lean in or out of this winter, we’ve got you sorted.

Lean In

See the Southern Lights

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You don’t have to go all the way to Scandinavia to see a dazzling natural light show – there’s one right here in Oz!

Aurora Australis can be most easily seen from Australia’s most southern tip – Tasmania!

These lights are visible in the winter and despite needing very specific conditions to be seen, are well worth the trip to Tassie.

Read more: 10 Reasons Why You Need To Winter In Tasmania

11 Best Winter Experiences to Have in Australia
Source: @jake.bolton.photo

Blue Mountains Christmas in July

If you’ve always wanted a Christmas like the one’s you’ve seen in Hollywood movies, you’re in luck… just as long as you don’t mind celebrating six months early.

The Yulefest is one of the best Christmas in July celebrations in Australia and is in a part of the country that has been known to snow, if not at least get intensely cold.

From themed degustations to Motown concerts, get feasting and grooving this winter (they are at least good for staying warm!)

Kosciuszko National Park

If you want to really buck the trend of many Aussies who go their whole lives without seeing snow – let alone in their own countries – head up to the mountains in regional NSW.

There you will see snow dusted gum trees (it’s a thing) and ski slopes. Slide on a par of skis or rip it up in a snowboard and prove that Europe ain’t all that.

11 Best Winter Experiences to Have in Australia
Source: @tysonmillar

Whale Watching

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the coast should be off the cards.

Besides seeing the power of an ocean storm, there’s one other very cool thing to do in the colder months: witness the whale migration.

You can do this from spots all over Australia, but one closer to home is Albany – a five hour drive south of Perth.

From this southern tip, you can see humpbacks on their annual trip around the coast. Or for something even closer to home, head to the South West and the Leeuwin Lighthouse for 360-degree views of the shimmering sea.

Melbourne shopping spree

Victorians know how to do winter. That is, they get a lot of really cold, really wet weather.

The upside? Their city is built for it.

The frequent trams that take you through the CBD are a great way to get from shop a to shop b. Once you’re there, you can enjoy the simple pleasure of trying on shoes or clothes or jewelry in a warmly lit store while the rain patters down outside.

Yarra Valley wine tour

There are so many good wine regions to visit, and of course Margaret River is one of them. But for something different, and something to tack onto your Melbourne shopping trip, try out the Victorian Yarra Valley.

If you’re less inclined to go to a wine region so close to a bustling city, Tasmania or the Adelaide Hills may be more your pace.

11 Best Winter Experiences to Have in Australia
Source: @yarravalleywine

Traverse the Whisky Trail

And speaking of Tasmania, why not ditch the wine tour and hit something a bit stronger.

After all, nothing warms you up quite as much as a good whisky.

And in Tasmania, they know how to do a good whisky. That’s why they literally have a whisky trail for you to enjoy snuggled up in a venue by a fire, watching the mist come in over the rolling hills.

Lean Out

Visit the Sunshine Coast

They don’t call it the sunny coast for nothing.

Ok so we’re not promising it’s going to be beach weather while you’re there, but it definitely will be warmer than Perth.

And the Queenslanders love their days by the water. Even if this isn’t the sea, you’re sure to find a spot to enjoy in a heated rooftop pool or spa to sink into while the sun sets.

Get toasty in Darwin

This is one of the hottest places you can be in winter – literally.

While the rest of the country dips to temperatures of below 20 degrees (much too cool for us true blue Aussies) Darwin hits its stride in June and July.

This is because the incredibly high humidity experienced during most of the year actually breaks. The winter months in Darwin are ironically referred to as The Dry.

We’re talking above 30 degrees temperatures, with plenty of waterfalls and swimming holes to cool you off.

Bake in Broome

Another place that really will just feel like summer during June, July and August is Broome.

You’ll actually find a lot of people from WA’s South West migrate here during the colder months – these are the sun seekers who really have the right idea.

There’s so much to do in Broome and the Kimberleys, from indigenous tourism to swimming, to helicopter and boating tours – the world is your oyster (did we mention Broome also has amazing oysters?).

11 Best Winter Experiences to Have in Australia
Source: @mybeach_addiction

Soak in the Leeuwin Current

Not quite done with beach weather? No worries, how’s a swim in 29 degree sea water sound?

Too good to be true? Not quite. The Leeuwin current, which sustains the exotic corals of the Ningaloo Reef, really does hit temperatures that rival or even exceed that of the air.

It may not feel like your cup of tea while you’re wrapped up in a jumper on a boat to get to the heart of the current, but dive in and you’ll be provided with exactly what you’ve been craving: those summer vibes.

Feature Image: @charlesdavisphotography

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