Travelling to Australia During Winter
7 June 2013
If you’re travelling to Australia between the months of June and August, make sure you pack clothes for every season, because winter down under can be whatever climate you want it to be.
If you’re coming from part of the world where December and January are the cold months of the year, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover you can enjoy a traditional northern hemisphere winter in Australia in June. While it doesn’t get quite as cold here as the northern hemisphere, our southern states do drop to single digit temperatures and there’s usually plenty of snow on our mountains and highland areas.
Traditional winter attractions in Australia can include:
- Skiing in the snow fields (Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania all have magnificent alpine regions)
- Enjoying a white Christmas in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales (Yulefest is a traditional Christmas celebration from June to August)
- Snuggling up in front of a roaring fire in Canberra (their annual Fireside Festival is a celebration of hearty winter food, wine and entertainment)
- Celebrating the winter solstice in beautiful Tasmania (Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park offer some of the world’s most stunning wilderness walking trails).
If you’d rather not be reminded of winter at home, you can leave the cold behind altogether and enjoy a temperate winter in Australia. In Western Australia for instance, winter means wildflowers in all their stunning majesty. All the way from the Pilbara in the far north, down to Kalbarri, Perth, Margaret River and Albany, thousands of native wildflowers come into bloom across Western Australia at this time of year.
Or if whale watching’s more your idea of a winter pursuit, head for the east coast of Australia to see the magnificent humpbacks journeying north on their migration to warmer waters. The best place to see them is in Queensland’s Hervey Bay, where female humpback whales often have their calves, but plenty of sightings and close up encounters can also be enjoyed anywhere from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.
If your idea of winter is sunshine and balmy breezes, you can have that too in Australia. The northern parts of the country in Queensland and the Northern Territory enjoy a winter that’s, well … not really winter at all.
While these northern states swelter in the summer heat from November to March, their winter temperatures are relatively mild by comparison with their southern neighbours and consequently, they offer a balmy tropical playground for visitors.
Swimming, snorkelling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef are idyllic pursuits at this time of year, as is a trip to Kakadu National Park for crocodile watching, barramundi fishing or discovering the fascinating culture of Australia’s original inhabitants.
So when you pack your bags for a visit down under in winter, make sure you bring something to wear for all four seasons of the year, because Australia is the only country in the world where you can be throwing snowballs in the morning and lazing under a tropical sun that afternoon.