“Australia” and “winter” are two words you usually don’t see in the same sentence, but when the weather cools down, the land down under remains just as hot a destination for international visitors.
From island beaches to Outback swimming holes, here are the 5 best spots to escape winter's chilly grip this year –– at least for a bit.
Magnetic Island, Queensland
Yes, Queensland has a lot of islands to choose from, all of which are pretty stellar in winter. It’s impossible to narrow down the list to just one place, but we think Magnetic Island is in the running for sure.
Just off the coast of Townsville, and accessible by ferry, it’s a small slice of paradise ringed by 23 white-sand bays filled with marine life. The island itself is rugged and hilly, making it a great place for anyone who loves hiking. Or just park yourself up at the beach with a good book and a strong cocktail and enjoy the warm winter sunshine.
Magnetic Island is home to the most koalas in northern Australia, so keep your eyes in the trees and see if you can spot one!
Tiwi Islands, Northern Territories
The Tiwi Islands are a short hour-long boat trip from Darwin, and a great place to unplug and unwind.
You can fish, hike, swim, cycle, and explore to your heart’s content, but you’ll probably be just as happy to sit back and simply marvel at the beauty of northern Australia.
In winter they experience the same temperatures as Darwin – about 30ºC during the day and 20ºC overnight. As amazing as it gets!
Cape Tribulation, Queensland
Cape Tribulation is a special spot: it's where the world's oldest rainforest meets the world's largest coral reef.
Yes, we're talking about the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef. Winter temperatures here hover in the low-to-mid 20s, and it's a lot less humid than in summer.
Explore the rainforest however you like: trek through ancient ferns and lush vines, zipline through the emerald canopy, discover animals and plants seen nowhere else on Earth, or just soak up the good vibes of the place.
Then you can head out to the reef, to swim, dive, and snorkel to your heart's content.
Broome, Western Australia
One of the best places in Australia for a warm winter holiday is Broome.
Broome Town is an eclectic pot of grunge and bohemian with an edge of posh creeping in. You’ll find great shopping, cafes and restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
From sunrise to sunset there is so much to love about a day on Cable Beach. Consistently ranked as one of Australia’s best, it’s 22km wide, flat sweeping beach is perfect for beach cricket, polo, long walks, meditation, building sandcastles, and just chillaxing. It’s also the spot for 5 pm sunset drinks.
And Broome is the gateway to the Kimberly region – one of Australia’s most diverse and stunning natural beauties. Think gorges, waterfalls, beaches, wilderness, stunning vistas, boabs, and rich Aboriginal culture.
Port Douglas, Queensland
It’s hard to beat Port Douglas as a warm winter, tropical destination in Australia.
The coastal town has a chilled-out vibe inviting you to do nothing but relax, dine out, take long walks on Four Mile Beach, enjoy sunset wines on the marina, and perhaps do a bit of shopping.
Port Douglas is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Mossman Gorge, and the iconic 140 million-year-old Daintree Rainforest.
A short walk through Mossman Gorge takes you to the Mossman River, and a swimming hole – the water here is said to be the second purest in the world.