The Best Winter Getaways in Australia
Winter time can get dull, dismal and bleak as the poor weather makes us spend our days indoors, avoiding the cold and longing for an enticing retreat away. Well, there’s a cure for the seasonal blues – a winter getaway! Our list of winter getaways showcases some of the best locations in Australia – selected for their stunning conditions in the colder months and a multitude of winter activities for visitors. Choose a winter escape most suited to you or venture out and try something different. Whatever you do, don’t let these exceptional locations pass you by this winter.
The Adelaide Hills, SA
The Adelaide Hills pledge a picture-perfect escape filled with wildlife encounters, the opportunity to sample the best produce South Australia has to offer and a multitude of winter activities rich in cultural experiences. Visiting the Mount Lofty Botanical Garden is a must – you haven’t seen South Australia until you’ve witnessed the picturesque Piccadilly Valley. The stunning scenic winter views are like no other and the Lakeside Trail is exquisitely veiled in mist and fog at this time of year. Try out some cool climate premium wines at the Mount Lofty Vineyard, carefully handpicked and pruned. All the sumptuous food you could possibly imagine is available at many of the vibrant eateries – dine on gourmet wood-fired pizzas and perfectly paired organic local wines on a chilly winter’s afternoon. At the Adelaide Hills, you can embrace the winter woollies in serenity and escape the dreary greys of the city, swapping them instead for lush green pastures and bushland. Here, the towns are as charming as those described in picture-books, so make it your priority to check out this serene location this winter!
The Blue Mountains, NSW
There’s no better way to enjoy winter getaways than by celebrating the Winter Solstice. The Blue Mountains host a Winter Magic Festival on the day yearly, delivering fun for the whole family with street-based entertainment and community arts. For those looking for an escape where they can get in touch with nature, descend through the divine Jamieson Valley in a cable car or undertake your own journey via any of the numerous walking tracks on offer. A viewing platform in Katoomba also displays extraordinary views of almost the entire mountain range, alongside the must-see unique rock formation, The Three Sisters. Historic Aboriginal sites invite you to partake in some of Australia’s oldest history, while the Jenolan Caves exhibit spectacular limestone formations. These open caves are amongst the world’s oldest and are considered Australia’s most outstanding. Also appropriate for wet weather conditions, the Scenic Railway gives expansive views of the rainforest and Jamieson Valley in an enclosed, glass-roofed carriage ideal for keeping warm in the wet winter months. Visit the region where feasts and roaring fires are aplenty this winter on your very own expedition to the Blue Mountains.
Western Wilderness, TAS
Tasmania’s Western Wilderness gets its name from the ancient forests, rivers and waterfalls which remain untamed in all their glory. Navigate the wilderness with rafts, kayaks or a leisurely river cruise. For the even more daring and adventurous, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park can be explored on horseback, mountain bike or by foot – whatever takes your fancy. Alternatively, you can sit back and relax on the historic West Coast Wilderness Railway, observing rugged mountain ranges and savouring the charming landscape. Delight your tastebuds with delectable seafood direct from the Strahan foreshore or behold breathtaking mountain peaks, luscious rainforests and astonishing gorges in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Encounter Tasmania’s highest waterfall; the wonder of Montezuma Falls and the prolific leatherwood, myrtle and sassafrass surrounds. This spectacular location truly comes alive in the winter time, so go see it for yourself!
Gold Coast Hinterland, QLD
When it comes to winter holidays, Australia does it right. This next pick is the perfect forest and fireplace luxury escape you’ve been looking for. The Gold Coast hinterland boasts everything from charming mountain villages and artisan galleries to wine tasting tours and distilleries, ensuring you’ll always have something to see and do. The unspoilt Gondwana Rainforest is captivating in its subtropical state, while Mount Tambourine’s underground glowworm tours are a unique activity ideal for all ages. If you’re hoping to evade the hustle and bustle of the busy city, take a 4WD tour to visit lesser-known locations off the beaten track, all the while having an educational adventure at the same time.
The walking and hiking trails in Lamington National Park abound in lavish rainforests, ancient trees, striking waterfalls and meandering creeks. Learn to cook local produce, spot wildlife or pack a picnic lunch and embrace the rolling hills of O’Reilley’s Canungra Valley Vineyards. Visit the hinterland this winter; Gold Coast’s hidden winter treasure.
Falls Creek, VIC
Home of the Australian national cross-country ski team, Falls Creek offers supreme alpine skiing, tobogganing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding conditions, particularly for those seeking a snow-filled getaway without the hassle of travelling overseas. Ideal for all skill types, there are kilometres upon kilometres of courses for beginners all the way through to the most experienced thrill-seekers. You can also try your hand at the newest trend, fat biking: combining mountain biking and snow sports using a specialised bike customised for riding the snowy trails.
Once the sun has gone down, a snow grooming tour allows you to witness the marvel of the sleet in a different light, while weekly on-snow entertainment extravaganzas illuminate the night sky with dazzling firework shows. During the daytime, a Hotham Heli-Link Scenic Tour exhibits the high plains in their winter glory or a scenic chair lift ride is on offer for those more willing to brave the cold. Alternatively, curl up with a hot cup of cocoa and relax with your favourite novel by the fireplace to indulge in cold-weather relaxation indoors. Whatever you choose to do, this fun-filled winter getaway is sure to be jam-packed with liveliness and an abundance of unrealised adventures.