Chill out! 10 wonderful winter experiences
Winter in Australia. Whether it means cosy escapes, chasing the sun, or something altogether different, it’s a time of great excitement.
Don’t agree? Well, this collection of inspiring winter experiences might just change your mind.
It’s time to step outside…
1. Join a husky sled tour
Various locations, VIC
Take snow-filled adventures to the next level with an enthralling husky sled tour at a renowned Victorian ski field. This is the stuff of movies: whizzing around your mountainous surrounds aboard a husky-pulled sleigh, taking in endless frames of gorgeous white-powdered scenery.
The action-packed excitement of dogsledding can be experienced at Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, and Mt Baw Baw. Please note: You’re bound to fall in love with these cute canines and may try to take one home.
2. Sip on delicious reds at a cosy winery
Adelaide Hills wine region, SA
Sampling hearty, bold red wines from the intimate surrounds of an inviting cellar door during winter is extremely alluring. Conceivably, this experience could be enjoyed at a wealth of wineries across Australia, but we’re focusing on the delightful Adelaide Hills region.
Here a cluster of first-rate wineries in and around Hahndorf shine in the cooler months – including Nepenthe and The Lane Vineyard – and all only a 30min drive from Adelaide’s CBD. However, we’re singling out Shaw + Smith for its prized cellar-door experience featuring a dedicated tasting room complete with wine flights, cheese pairings, and scenic views over frost-covered vines.
3. Warm up with winning whisky
Various locations, TAS
The Apple Isle is renowned for producing top-shelf whisky, and winter is the time to best appreciate it. Warm your insides with tastings at an impressive assortment of distilleries and understand first hand why this reputation is only growing. You’ll find distilleries and their friendly, passionate staff clustered in and around Hobart, near Ulverstone, on the east coast, and in the Tamar Valley among other locations.
Better yet, Tasmania comes alive in winter with a feast of fabulous festivals. Try the likes of Festival of Voices (various locations), Chocolate Winterfest (Latrobe), or the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival, south of Hobart.
Book now: A BIG4 park in Tasmania.
4. Visit a restaurant on wheels
Admittedly, this activity is enjoyable year-round but there’s something extra special, magical even, about dining in style aboard the iconic Colonial Tramcar Restaurant in winter. Settle in to an indulgent, seasonal menu as you click-clack around the streets of Melbourne’s heart. You’ll soon forget the city’s chill in your warm, pleasant surrounds while absorbing the colour, romanticism, and vibrancy of this famous city.
5. Swim with whale sharks
Near Exmouth, WA
Surreal is an overused, oft-misplaced word. Yet the experience of swimming with whale sharks in their natural habitat is best summed up with such an adjective. This is an activity of bucket-list proportions; a breath-stealing moment in time. Witnessing up close the sheer size and grace of these gigantic creatures will dazzle you like never before.
Typically, whale sharks are drawn to WA’s pristine Ningaloo Reef from March until the end of July, although sightings often occur beyond this period. This mesmerising location forms part of the wider World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Marine Park.
Book now: RAC Exmouth Cape Holiday Park.
6. Go to the footy
Footy and winter go hand in hand. Whether it’s rugby league or union or Aussie rules, join the masses and get along to the footy this winter. There’s nothing like being among the action – immersing yourself in a buzzing atmosphere and revelling in the passion and soul of die-hard fans. Whatever your code, footy provides the perfect excuse for a road trip in support of your team.
7. Try whale watching
You think Australia can be cold in winter, well try Antarctica. Because of this extreme chill, various whale species choose the warmer waters of Australia – relatively speaking – as their annual holiday destination. Actually, they come here for breeding purposes but whatevs. And no matter the reason, all this means that prime whale-watching opportunities abound. If you’ve never seen a whale up close, prepare to be wowed.
Where to go: Australia’s whale-watching hotspots.
8. Soak in glorious hot springs
Mornington Peninsula, VIC
Ahhh. Nothing warms the heart and soothes the soul like bathing in hot springs in winter. Peninsula Hot Springs is among the leading options thanks to its fine collection of thermal mineral pools set among nature’s beauty: the hilltop pool offers gorgeous panoramic views.
Alternatively, try Hastings Thermal Springs, a 90min drive south of Hobart, or the attention-dodging Kimberley Warm Springs an hour west of Launceston.
9. Give glamping a go
As with several items on this list, glamping is not restricted to the cooler months – it’s just that it’s dreamier in winter. The opportunity to enjoy a cosy night under a star-cloaked sky complete with creature comforts is a special experience. It’s romantic. And if you’re yet to embrace this growing trend, now is the time.
10. Forget that it’s winter
If you live in the southern parts of Australia, then head north during these cooler months. Chances are you won’t even recognise winter as you know it. NT and northern WA are reliably warm by comparison as is much of QLD. Tourists hotspots like Cairns and Townsville in northern QLD are often soaked in sunshine during winter with temperatures in the 20s, making them the ideal cure for beating the winter blues.
Do you have a favourite winter experience or destination? We’d love to hear about it, so please leave a comment below.
Isn’t it time you enjoyed a winter escape? Book your next BIG4 break now.