10 places to go in Australia in winter in 2021

Whether you're after city, beach or nature, look no further than a domestic holiday for your next winter getaway.

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With one-of-a-kind festivals like Vivid Sydney and Hobart’s Dark Mofo, the arrival of the ski season, and favourable weather in the tropical north of the country, winter in Australia is a great time to explore. So, consider staying here this year and see what the country has to offer.

Best places to go in Australia in winter

  • Snowy Mountains
  • Uluru
  • Hamilton Island/Whitsunday Islands
  • Sydney
  • Top End
  • Tasmania
  • Kununurra and the Kimberley
  • The Blue Mountains
  • Lord Howe Island
  • Canberra

Perisher.SnowyMoutnainsSquare

Snowy Mountains

Nothing quite says winter like snow and the Snowy Mountains. Skiing, snowboarding, even making snowmen are all possible in these New South Wales peaks.


Why you should go in winter

  • Experience a white Christmas... in July at Thredbo, where you can watch the big guy in the red suit carve his way down the slopes.
  • They're the closest place for Australians to go skiing or snowboarding without having to board a plane to New Zealand or further.

What the weather is like: Expect snow, with temperatures around freezing.

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TravelNT.FieldOfLightUluruImage: TravelNT

Uluru

The red centre has one of the most extreme climates in Australia. The summer months bring scorching heat, but in winter you can comfortably enjoy everything the region has to offer.

Why you should go in winter

  • Check out the Uluru Field of Light installation, where artist Bruce Munro has planted more than 50,000 lights in the desert. You can see the display by self-guided tours, on camelback or via helicopter tour.
  • Uluru Camel Racing Club's Camel Cup will kick off the 2021 event at the Uluru Camel Farm with boot scooting and entertainment on Friday night, before the big Camel Cup Calcutta race on Saturday.

What the weather is like: Clear skies and temperatures between 16-29 degrees during the day, dropping to single digits overnight.

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HamiltonIsland.RaceWeek

Hamilton Island and the Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsundays are one of the best Australian winter escapes. Ride out the winter months in a tropical paradise.

Why you should go in winter

  • Watch the flurry of yachts set sail around the Whitsunday Islands during the Hamilton Island Race Week (21-28 August), a must for boating enthusiasts.
  • Stinger season ends in May, so feel free to dive into the turquoise waters, explore the colourful underwater reefs, or just enjoy the stunning Whitehaven Beach without slipping into a stinger suit first.

What the weather is like: Winter is the dry season, and temperatures hover around 25 degrees.

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VividSydney.Bridge

Sydney

If you've got a week or two to pack in some fun then Sydney has you covered. Jam-packed with things to do year-round, the winter months are no exception.

Why you should go in winter

  • Sydney really comes alive during the annual Vivid Sydney festival (6-28 August) where brilliant light displays illuminate the city, including colourful projections on the Opera House, fairy lights adorning Sydney Harbour ferries and much more.
  • The festival Sydney Solstice (8-20 June) debuts in 2021 promising to bring life to the cold winter nights. From the CBD to Oxford Street and out to Newtown over 200 experiences including food and drinks, stargazing, dance performances and art installations take over the night. There will even be an ice skating rink in Darling Harbour.

What the weather is like: Expect temperatures around 20 degrees, and less rainfall than during the summer months.

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TourismAustralia.Kakadu

Image: Tourism Australia

Top End

If you're looking for a warm winter getaway look no further than a trip to the Top End of Australia.

Why you should go in winter

  • Darwin’s Mindil Beach Sunset Markets run 4pm-9pm every Thursday and Sunday night throughout the winter months. Dine on a huge range of cuisines from Thai and Sri Lankan to Brazilian and Greek, or shop at market stalls for fashion, jewellery and local craft.
  • Join in the fun of Australia's hottest winter arts festival, the Darwin Festival (5-22 August). From comedy, cabaret, circus, dance, opera and more, the festival has it all.
  • Being the dry season, most of the attractions at Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks will be open as there should be minimal flooding.

What the weather is like: Minimal rain and temperatures around between 20 and 33 degrees.

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DarkMofo

Image: @dark_mofo

Tasmania

If you're looking for places to visit in June, Tasmania should definitely be on your list.

Why you should go in winter

  • With a combination of free and paid events, including music, art, film and light, Dark Mofo (16-22 June) is a festival organised by MONA to celebrate the dark.
  • Tasmania is one of the best places in the country to view Aurora Australis, or the southern lights, and they tend to shine the brightest toward the end of winter and into September.

What the weather is like: It's the wettest and coldest season in Tasmania, with temperatures reaching a maximum of about 12 degrees.

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TourismAustralia.BungleBungles

Image: Tourism Australia

Kununurra and the Kimberley

If you're planning a winter vacation in Australia but don't want to commit to venturing out in the cold, head for the Kimberely.

Why you should go in winter

  • Adventure seekers can join the Lake Argyle Adventure Race, combing a variety of running, cycling, paddling and swimming events.
  • With more comfortable weather, it's a good time to visit the Bungle Bungles National Park, which is about 200 kilometres away.

What the weather is like: It's the dry season, so expect sunny skies with temperatures around 33 degrees.

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BlueMountains.ShutterstockSquare

Blue Mountains

Nobody does winter in Australia like the Blue Mountains.

Why you should go in winter

  • Experience Christmas in July… and June, and August with Yulefest. Select hotels, restaurants and other venues will put on "Christmas" specials including traditional dinners.

What the weather is like: Depending on where you are in the Blue Mountains, daily winter highs hover between 5 and 16 degrees, with temperatures dipping below freezing overnight. That means there's the chance of seeing a light dusting of snow on the ground come morning.

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TourismAustralia.LordHoweIsland

Image: Tourism Australia

Lord Howe Island

With sub-tropical forests, clean sandy beaches and clear waters, Lord Howe Island is one of the best places to visit in New South Wales during winter.

Why you should go in winter

  • Winter is the most affordable time to go to Lord Howe Island, with weeklong packages available for less than $1,000 per person and the luxurious Capella Lodge offers stay-and-save offers.
  • Looking like no less than paradise on earth, Lord Howe Island topped Australian Traveller’s list of the top 100 things to do before you die.

What the weather is like: Pleasant weather, around 23 degrees during the day.

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TourismAustralia.Canberra

Image: Tourism Australia

Canberra

Australia's capital city might not be the first thing you think of when planning a winter holiday but Canberra is a hidden gem for winter travel.

Why you should go in winter

  • Join gourmet degustation dinners, cooking classes, truffle hunts and more during the 12-week Canberra and Capital Region Truffle Festival.
  • Escape the cold and visit the capital's museums and galleries including the National Gallery of Australia, Questacon and the National Science and Technology Centre.
  • Try open-air ice skating in the middle of the city at Garema Place and watch professional skaters.
  • It’s on the way to the snow from Sydney and is the perfect pit-stop place for a quick overnight stop or as part of a road trip.

What the weather is like: Crisp days with blue skies, with temperatures around 12 degrees.

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