When most people think of Australia, they imagine scorching summers, barren, dry, desert and beach adventures; but the cooler months in Australia are a wonderful time to visit! From the Whitsundays, to Perth, Tasmania, and the Outback, Australia is rife with winter activities and adventures for everyone, way beyond the go-to cities like Melbourne and Sydney.
The winter months are a fantastic time in Australia to go whale watching. Humpbacks and Southern Wright wales migrate down the coast, past Byron Bay, Flinders Bay, and many other locations in almost every state. Harvey Bay in Queensland is the country’s most popular whale watching destination, but you may even be able to catch a glimpse of them from May onwards from the iconic Gap lookout in Sydney.
Tasmania is worth a visit for many reasons, but one of the best by far is the Southern Lights. Although they are a rare sight, their beauty is beyond magical, matching their earthly twin in the north. Temperatures sit at around 12 degrees, but there’s still plenty happening in the tiny state, with winter festivals and fun for everyone.
If you’re looking for a summer beach vacation, or a break from the cooler temperatures, the Whitsundays are perfect. White sands and crystal waters dominate this area, and being in the north, temperatures remain warm enough for soaking up the bright sunny days.
Darwin remains one of the warmest places in the country, even in the coldest months of the year. Here, temperatures average 30 degrees Celsius, perfect for exploring the markets, events and natural wonders that Darwin has to offer. Swim with salt water crocodiles, take a hike, relax in the popular Wave Lagoon, or if you’re lucky, spot baby turtles as they make their way down the beach to the water from their nests.
Uluru/Ayres Rock remains an international icon. The largest rock in the world is much more beautiful than it may seem, with the sun changing the colours of the rock as it shifts across the sky. Not to mention the other beautiful pools, walks and natural wonders that surround the area, especially if you visit just after rainfall.
Days here are still warm in August and September, but if you plan on hiking and camping in the area, make sure to be well prepared, as the nights can drop to very low temperatures.
Ayres Rock is also a great place to learn about Aboriginal culture. Learn about the history of Australia’s first people, their art, culture and stories of the Dreamtime.
Alice Springs, or the Red Centre as it is known, is a one-hour flight from Ayres Rock, or you can take a road trip across the desert for four and a half hours, past the beautiful Kings Canyon.
Alice Springs Desert Park is the perfect place to learn about the flora and fauna in this area of the country, and you can experience the natural magic of the desert for yourself with an adventure through Palm Valley, and the West MacDonnell Ranges.
Amongst the history and environmental education, you can also catch a glimpse of what life in outback Australia is really like, by learning about the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and other rural initiatives; It’s a beautiful place, well worth the travel time!
Food, Wine, and Art
Although it is known for its hot weather, Perth and Western Australia in general is also responsible for some of the best food and wine produced in the country. Perth CBD is rife with hidden bars, restaurants and cafes, perfect for the foodie in all of us. Perth also has a massive creative arts culture, and this year there are loads of cool exhibits, markets, and even an art walk.
If you’re keen to get outside, the weather is great, and you can do everything from swimming with dolphins to hot air ballooning.
Heading down to South Australia, and Adelaide in particular, you’ll find more delicious food, arts and culture. Known as one of the world’s best wine destinations, there are over 200 cellars, and there’s everything from local produce to dessert bars, microbreweries and other delicious delights.