Just because we’ve swapped hot summer days for cool winter weather doesn’t mean you should stay indoors. There is plenty to do and see around Australia with some wonderful winter getaways. Whether it’s adventure, skiing, chasing culinary opportunities or even beach retreats, here are the top escapes this winter.
While a stay in a five-star relaxing retreat may sound idyllic, there’s nothing more exciting than an adventurous escapade. Now don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to discount that relaxation vibe – there are plenty of options that allow you to do both. Adventure holidays can take you to places you never even knew existed; you’ll experience things you never even knew you wanted to do.
Places like Cambodia provide the best of both worlds – relaxation with plenty of adventure. If you’d prefer Indonesia, apart from its reputation for beaches, private villas, shopping and rowdy crowds, Bali has loads to offer for the adventure seekers, including sunrise treks of Mt Batur, a two-hour drive from Seminyak. The trek starts under the cover of darkness and involves a challenging trek to the top of the volcano to watch the spectacular sunrise over Bali. There’s also ATV tours of the mountains and rice fields in the Balinese countryside – scenery that is usually only seen by the locals.
Or how about New Zealand? Just a stone’s throw away from our shores, there’s bungy jumping in Rotorua or flying foxes and helicopter rides in Queenstown.
Escape the winter blues – head to the sand
Who says you need to stay put for the winter? Swap the jumpers and blankets for cocktails, sand, and sea. While one in 10 Australians will head to the slopes, more than a third prefer to chase the summer sun during the winter months.
And you don’t even have to go very far.
Even in the winter, the tropical Cook Islands are the perfect warm escape, with an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. The islands come with incredible views of the South Pacific, you can relax in a hammock or enjoy a cultural outing.
Alternatively, join the masses and head to Thailand. Koh Samui stands out as a mix between beaches, water activities, and culture. But if you just want the sand and umbrellas, it’s the perfect spot too.
For those wanting to stay on home soil, Queensland’s tropical north has the perfect temperature, palm-tree lined beaches, and the Great Barrier Reef is on the doorstep.
If you’re a fresh powder seeking Australian who wants to ski their way through winter, the Southern Hemisphere provides so many choices – local and international.
Of course, there are the local options: the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales or the Alpine National Park in Victoria. The largest ski resort is Perisher but if you’re after world-class ski fields, head to Thredbo.
Or hop over the Tasman Sea and enjoy a weekend in Queenstown, including Mount Ruapehu, Australasia’s longest vertical descent.
Or head to the other side of the world and snowboard, ski or sled the slopes of the Andes Mountains in Chile, and Patagonia in Argentina. In fact, Cerro Catedral is Argentina’s largest ski resort with 2965 acres of terrain.
Keep it short
Sometimes a short escape is all you need to recharge, revitalise, and reenergise. And in winter, there are some delightful little getaways that will help. The added bonus here is that you don’t even have to wait for long weekends or pre-approved leave. Simply hop in the car or on a plane after work on Friday and don’t come back until Sunday night.
The vineyards are a lovely option during the cooler months. Whether it’s the Barossa Valley, Margaret River, the Hunter Valley or the Yarra Valley, rug up and hit the wineries and cheese shops. If you’re after a bit of warmth, head north – Noosa or Byron Bay are beautiful options with plenty to do even though it’s a bit cooler.
There are even weekender options across the pond in New Zealand. Just because it’s overseas doesn’t mean you can’t hop, skip and jump over for a short weekend break. In fact, if you’re on the east coast of Australia, it’s actually quicker to get to New Zealand than to many other places around the country.
Or if you’re keen to stay local, consider the countryside. Road trip through the mountains or rural farmland for some fresh air or hit the main cities for an art and culture experience.
Satisfy your taste buds
Australia is a multicultural bed of culinary options. It’s the benefit of being an island surrounded by so many diverse countries. A melting pot of different cultures, this means there are a multitude of options if you want to base your holiday around food, and let’s face it, who doesn’t love food?
Tasmania is renowned for intimate gourmet escapes with premium dining options of fresh seafood and local seasonal ingredients plus cool climate wines. Head to Cradle Mountain for some wilderness or Tamar Valley for some excellent food and wine.
Margaret River is also famous for superb shellfish and meat, handmade chocolates and delectable truffles.
No matter what kind of holiday you want, there are options – near and far – to satisfy every desire and the experts at Flight Centre Pialba Place are ready to help you plan your ideal getaway.
23 / 05 / 2017