From the snowy south to the balmy north, your options for a winter holiday at home come wrapped in inspirational variety. It’s also the best time to discover some of Australia’s most iconic attractions. Head to Uluru, which is blissfully free of soaring heat and flies and swim peacefully on the Great Barrier Reef, without the summer stingers. Or, check out these top spots.
Mt Hotham offers a winter wonderland
Mt Hotham, Vic
If you can’t wait to stretch your limbs with some serious adventure, Mt Hotham offers a winter wonderland, in Victoria’s lush Alpine country. The ski resort rests dramatically on a mountain ridge, complete with panoramic views, 13 ski lifts, lessons for all ages, Siberian huskie sled rides and plenty of opportunities to build a snowman or two.
You can even drop the kids off at Hotham Daycare, where they’ll receive introductory ski lessons, while you relax at a spa or visit restaurants and bars. A wide range of apartments and lodges, catering for couples up to large groups, are available for cosy winter nights.
Pristine winter conditions in Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park, NT
The dry season runs from April to October each year, making winter an ideal time to visit the astonishing Kakadu National Park.
The dry season runs from April to October each year, making winter an ideal time to visit the astonishing Kakadu National Park. There are seven regions to explore and you’ll be able to see most at this time, unlike the wet season when attractions often close due to flooding.
Invest in comfy walking boots before you go, because this is hiking country. Explore towering sandstone pillars in the East Alligator region, trek through a billabong at Jabiru, see rock art galleries at Nourlangie and swim in the Jim Jim plunge pool, surrounded by red outback rock. To really get into the spirit, stay at a hotel in the shape of a crocodile, at the The Mecure, located in the central Jabiru region.
You don’t have to jet off to Bali or Thailand for a tropical holiday in the middle of winter, as Port Douglas offers the swaying palm trees, mild temps and pristine seas you’re looking for. The former fishing village is an upmarket haven of resorts, boutiques and fine-dining, but it retains the chilled-out vibe that’s perfect for families and campers searching for fun in the sun.
With Four Mile Beach, the reef and rainforests, snorkelling, cruising and hiking are activities high on the agenda. The waterfront markets on Sunday offer a treasure trove of unique handicrafts, tropical fruits and jewellery. Take a drive to Mossman River and swim with freshwater turtles, before exploring the cute, sugar cane town. You’re spoilt for accommodation choices, from oceanfront resorts like Beaches Port Douglas, to camp grounds surrounded by lush, tropical grounds.
So, next time you’re feeling the winter blues, know that it’s the perfect excuse to get out and about to explore!
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.