“Australia” and “winter” are two terms that rarely appear together, yet even when the temperature cools, the land down under remains a popular destination for international travelers. Here are 10 reasons why winter is a terrific time to visit Australia, whether you want to escape the cold in the country’s tropical north or embrace the (albeit mild) frost.
Australia should not be confused with Austria regarding ski slopes, but that doesn’t stop Aussies from skiing and snowboarding. Snow bunnies can get their powder fix in New South Wales (NSW) at Perisher and Thredbo and Victoria at Falls Creek, Mount Buller, and Mount Hotham. Also, because Australians love to party, the après-ski culture is as active as any on the planet.
The Australian Outback
Several regions in Australia never get cold, including the Red Centre, thus the middle of the year is excellent for a car journey across the Outback’s Mars-like vistas. The well-trodden path between Adelaide and Uluru across the Flinders Ranges is best tackled in winter when nights are below freezing. Still, days are significantly more pleasant than in summer.
Areas such as the Northern Territory, Western Australia’s Kimberley area, and tropical Far North Queensland are also better enjoyed in the middle of the year, when humidity and heat are less intense. Furthermore, winter is the only time of year when you may swim at these beaches since the stingers (small jellyfish) go away – a dip in summer is about as enjoyable as a nudie runs through a beehive.
Every winter, Sydney’s most famous landmarks are converted into a canvas for Australia and the world’s most brilliant light artists for three weeks. The Harbour City is transformed into a sea of shimmering light works for Vivid Sydney. More than 2 million people attend the world’s largest festival of lights, music, and ideas, which takes place in 60+ places throughout the city.
Winter festivities in Australia aren’t all sparkle and glamour; Alice Springs also has several more earthy festivals. Away from the 40C (104F) summer temperatures, mid-year is already a more favorable time to visit the town. However, in July, there’s the Camel Cup, a horse race without horses, and the Henley-on-Todd Regatta, a boat race without water run in a dry riverbed.
Country of Origin
Meet the greatest athletic rivalry you’ve probably never heard of, sports fanatics. In a three-match series that demands unprecedented public interest, the neighboring eastern states of Queensland and NSW go to war over rugby league supremacy. It’s so important that 2017 final was the most-watched program on Australian television that year.
And you have more than three football games to look forward to. Every winter, footy fever grabs Australia, particularly the Australian Football League (AFL) in Melbourne, when audiences of up to 100,000 pack into the famed Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to indulge in their sporting obsession.
Tens of thousands of humpback whales migrate north each winter to escape Antarctica’s frigid cold, frolicking along the Australian coast between May and November. The entire east coast, particularly Hervey Bay in Queensland, where the Great Barrier Reef shelters newborn calves and the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia and Albany in Western Australia, give excellent view locations.
The Ugg boots
The Ugg boot, designed to be worn in winter, is one of Australia’s most important exports, alongside coal, iron ore, and the Hemsworth brothers. When it’s hot outside, you don’t want to put a sweaty foot into a sheepskin boot, so grab a pair when you need to keep your trotters warm.
During the winter, there’s something special in the air in Australia’s coldest state, providing the ideal circumstances for gorging on all the gourmet cheese, wine, and whisky the Apple Isle offers. Australians and foreign visitors go to the out-there Dark Mofo festival at the world-renowned modern art museum MONA, to catch a sight of the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis), and to partake in the nude solstice swim in the River Derwent.