Top Winter Destinations in Australia: Where to Go Down Under in Winter

If you live in the northern hemisphere and you want to escape the winter cold, you can always fly to Australia for the winter. Because of the way our planet works, when it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, it’s summer in southern hemisphere where Australia is located. So while you’re shivering up north, Australians are having a fun time under the sun. Why not join them? For your great Australian escape, we’re recommending these top winter destinations in Australia for people living on the northern half of the planet.

Adelaide, South Australia

winter destinations in australia: adelaide
Vineyard in Adelaide Hills | Jo Spargo/Pixabay

Green and sunny Adelaide may feel hot and dry from December to February, but this shouldn’t deter you from exploring the city. Adelaide gets all lit up with Christmas lights in December, and there’s always a Christmas parade going on somewhere. If you’re traveling with your family, make sure you take them to Santa’s Wonderland on the Adelaide Showground or Santa’s Magical Village at Bonython Park to visit Santa Claus and enjoy the amusement rides. Adelaide’s central business district is just a short drive away from the beach, so you can head there to swim, dive, or watch the dolphins whenever you feel like it. Also, considering that Adelaide is a foodie destination, take the time to escape to Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, and the other wine valleys surrounding the city to experience South Australia’s amazing food and wine.

Fraser Coast, Queensland

winter destinations in australia: fraser coast
Beach on Fraser Island | Eloise Robertson/Pixabay

If you feel like exploring the Great Barrier Reef for your winter holiday, you can make Fraser Coast your staging point for your reef exploration. We’ve added Fraser Coast to our list of top winter destinations in Australia for people in the northern hemisphere because of the eco-adventures you can experience there. Aside from diving the Great Barrier Reef, you can also explore Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you love Mary Poppins, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit Maryborough, where Mary Poppins’ creator Pamela Lyndon Travers was born. You can also sail from the shores of Hervey Bay for a close encounter with humpback whales.

Gold Coast, Queensland

winter destinations in australia: gold coast
Gold Coast surfing | Pixabay

If you want to experience Christmas partying at the beach, Queensland’s Gold Coast is where you should be in Australia. From Main Beach to Kirra Beach, the coastline will be packed with Aussies letting loose at their Christmas beach barbecue. You can also spend time in the city visiting its many theme parks, like Sea World, Dreamworld, and Warner Bros. Movie World. If you want to replenish your wardrobe with some vintage or bohemian fashion, you can browse the racks at the Village Markets or Carrara Markets. Make sure to head on to King Opal and pick up a few opals directly from opal miners to take home as a souvenir. Once you get tired of the city, you can make your way to the hinterlands to see Gold Coast’s natural wonders, such as the Natural Bridge Rock in Springbrook National Park, the Queen Mary Falls at the Main Range National Park, and the wild valleys of Lamington National Park.

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria

winter destinations in australia: great ocean road
Twelve Apostles | Julian Hacker/Pixabay

The Great Ocean Road is considered to be one of the best road trip destinations in the world. Hugging the southeastern coast of Victoria with the cities of Torquay and Allansford as its endpoints, driving down the Great Ocean Road will let you see some of the most dramatic sceneries in Australia. The Great Ocean Road is perhaps best known for the Twelve Apostles, the towering stacks of limestone just off the shore of Port Campbell National Park. Only eight apostles remain now, though, the other four having collapsed previously due to erosion. Other sights you must see while driving this great highway are the Great Otway National Park, with its lush forests, fern gullies, and stunning waterfalls; and Bells’ Beach, a famous surfing beach and home to the annual Rip Curl Pro Surf Contest.

Hobart, Tasmania

winter destinations in australia: hobart
Hobart Harbor | Katherine Slade/Pixabay

Tasmania’s capital city is full of fun and pageantry come Christmastime, with the lighting of the tree at Salamanca Square, the annual Myer Hobart Christmas Pageant, and the caroling performances at Salamanca Square, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, and the Elizabeth Mall. Christmas is only the beginning of fun times in Hobart during the season, though. The highlight of the season, which makes Hobart one of the best winter destinations in Australia for denizens of the northern hemisphere, is Taste of Tasmania. Taste of Tasmania is a food and wine event, where you get to sample Tasmania’s delicious local cuisine, wines, and craft beers. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is another much-awaited event in Hobart, which happens every year on December 26.

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

winter destinations in australia: mornington peninsula
Mornington Peninsula Walk | Wikimedia Commons

Mornington Peninsula is right at the backyard of Melbourne, so expect many of the visitors there to be Melbournian Aussies getting some beach time on the weekend. The coastline of Mornington Peninsula is certainly worth lingering at, not just for the swimming and water fun. You can drive along the coastline and see some wonderful rock formations like Dragon Head Rock, London Bridge, and the rocks at Cape Schanck. You can get lost at the Ashcombe Maze. And you can sample the food and wines Victoria is known for. For Christmas, instead of building snowmen, try your hand at building sandcastles on the beach. The Frankton Christmas Festival of Lights, with its bright fairy lights and fireworks, is also worth seeing.

If you’re looking to escape the winter cold of the northern hemisphere, why not fly to the other end of the world by exploring these top winter destinations in Australia? It could be the eye-opening experience you’ve been waiting for.

You are currently viewing Top Winter Destinations in Australia: Where to Go Down Under in Winter
Rainbow sunset over the Australian coast | Cindy Lever/Pixabay


Anna is a wandering writer. If she isn't wandering, she's working on other blogs. And if she's not doing that, either she's reading or she's busy with a crafting project.