With our pristine beaches and sunny skies, Australia is arguably best known for its summers. However, while we may like to joke that Australia only has one hot, sweaty season, our vast country does experience its fair share of winter wonderland weather.
Winter in Australia can see chilly temperatures, storms, thick fog, and even snowfalls in the southern regions of the country, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).1
With the right destination, exploring such a climate can be magical, which is why we’ve compiled our top five winter holiday destinations in Australia for you to consider for your next winter getaway.
Falls Creek, Victoria
Perfect for adventure-seekers
The Falls Creek Alpine Resort is the winter holiday destination for those wanting the full winter sports experience, complete with snow.
Falls Creek is home to 450 hectares of terrain perfect for skiing.2 There are 90 runs ranging from beginner (green) difficulty to advanced (black), with a majority being intermediate (blue). The Falls Creek Snowsports School also offers lessons for skiers and snowboarders of all levels of experience.
Falls Creek’s range of snow-related activities also include:3
- Fat biking;
- Snow biking; and
- Snow tubing.
Falls Creek sees the lowest average temperature plummet to -2.8°C during the winter season, which generally lasts from June to October. 4 The average annual snowfall in Falls Creek is four metres, with the peak season in July and August usually receiving the highest snowfall, making it one of our top picks for the winter holidays in Australia.
Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Perfect for nature-lovers
The Blue Mountains lie within easy driving distance of Sydney and are home to some of Australia’s more spectacular natural sights, which can be viewed in all their glory from the many lookouts and trails dotted throughout the region.5
The Blue Mountains’ extensive list of natural attractions includes the Jenolan Caves, a limestone cave system that can be explored through guided tours. A restaurant and overnight accommodation are available at the nearby Jenolan Caves House.
Perhaps the most famous landmark found in the Blue Mountains is the Three Sisters rock formation, near Katoomba in the Jamison Valley. The Sisters are best viewed from the Echo Point lookout, where you also get a view of the beautiful Jamison Valley.
The Winter Magic Festival and Mayfield Garden Winter Festival are just some of the events you can get up to over the chilly season down in the Blue Mountains, and you can find these events and more on the Destination NSW website. Winter in the Blue Mountains sees average temperatures fall to the single digits, so be sure to rug up when visiting!6
Perfect for those wanting old-fashioned charm
Montville is a small, peaceful town in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, about an hour’s drive from Brisbane.7 Montville is famed for its extraordinary views of the Sunshine Coast and the surrounding hinterland, featuring rolling green hills and lush rainforests.
The town’s main street is filled with small shops, cafes, and art galleries, and there are also several wineries nearby. Once you’d had your fill of the quaint village shops, there are many nature walks, trails and experiences available for you to reconnect with the environment.
Montville is an ideal winter holiday destination in Australia for those who’d still like a winter getaway without the freezing temperatures. The average minimum temperature during the winter months doesn’t descend into the single digits, but generally hovers around 10°C, while the maximum average is in the low 20’s8 – perfect for curling up in front of a log fire in your cottage accommodation.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
Perfect for romantics
Famous around the world for its wine, the Barossa Valley is located less than hour’s drive away from Adelaide.9 The Barossa is probably already on the destination lists of wine-lovers around Australia as it’s home to more than 80 cellar doors, but it also has plenty to offer besides a robust Shiraz. After a day of wine sampling, you can find some of the best restaurants the Barossa has to offer along the 10 kilometre-long Seppeltsfield Road.
The Barossa’s tourist attractions extend beyond its world-famous wineries to include10:
- the Barossa Farmers Market;
- Eden Valley Lookout;
- Barossa Goldfield Trail;
- Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park; and
- The Whispering Wall, which is actually the retaining wall of the Barossa Reservoir but has unique acoustic effects.
With the Barossa Valley’s average winter temperature dropping as low as 5°C11, there’s no place better to enjoy a nice glass of red on a chilly winter’s night.
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania
Perfect for outdoors-y types
For those who’d rather enjoy the winter weather from the outdoors, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is the place for you.
The National Park is abundant in rainforests, grasslands, mountains (including Cradle Mountain itself) and glacial lakes.12 In addition to the spectacular scenery, the Park is also home to a vast array of native wildlife like Tasmanian devils, platypuses and echidnas.
The Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park also hosts the Overland Track, the gruelling yet rewarding six-day hike that starts at Cradle Mountain and ends at Lake St Clair which, according to Tourism Tasmania, is also Australia’s deepest lake.
With the lowest average June-August temperatures reaching into the negatives13, winter in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is as authentic as it gets.
Before you head off on your winter holiday…
Have you considered travel insurance? You might not think you need it, but even domestic travel can sometimes go wrong; your luggage might be damaged in transit, or your flight could be cancelled.
Domestic travel insurance is a good idea if you’d prefer your winter holidays to go without a hitch, and if you’re heading to the ski fields of New South Wales or Victoria then it might also be worth looking into adventure travel insurance, just in case!
 Bureau of Meteorology – ‘Winter weather: what you need to know’, published June 2018. Sourced March 2019.
 Falls Creek Resort Management – Skiing and snowboarding. Published on fallscreek.com.au. Sourced April 2019.
 Falls Creek Resort Management – Winter activity search. Published on fallscreek.com.au. Sourced April 2019.
 Falls Creek Resort Management – Mountain dates and statistics. Published on fallscreek.com.au. Sourced April 2019.
 Destination NSW – Blue Mountains. Sourced April 2019.
 Bureau of Meteorology – Climate statistics for Australian locations: Monthly climate statistics: Springwood (Valley Heights). Sourced April 2019.
 Montville Guide – Montville information. Sourced April 2019.
 Bureau of Meteorology – Climate statistics for Australian locations: Monthly climate statistics: Nambour Daff – Hillside. Sourced April 2019
 South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), the Government of South Australia, ‘Barossa’, Sourced 1 April 2019, https://southaustralia.com/places-to-go/barossa
 South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), the Government of South Australia, ‘Tourist attractions in the Barossa’, Sourced 1 April 2019, https://southaustralia.com/places-to-go/barossa/things-to-do/attractions/
 Bureau of Meteorology – Climate statistics for Australian locations: Monthly climate statistics: Rosedale (Turtlefield Research Centre). Sourced April 2019.
 Tourism Tasmania – Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Sourced March 2019.
 Bureau of Meteorology – Climate statistics for Australian locations: Monthly climate statistics: Lake St Clair National Park. Sourced March 2019.