I live on the Gold Coast in sunny Queensland where they say the weather is beautiful one day and perfect the next! The average Winter temperatures here are between 12.5 to 21.5 degrees C and most of the days are sunny and dry. Plus the sea water temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees C. So people always ask why would we need to escape Winter here on the Gold Coast? Believe it or not once you live here a while you do start to feel the cold and as a result some of us like to escape the cooler temperatures. Particularly for my friends who live in the Southern states I’ve discovered the best Winter holiday escapes in Australia.
You guessed it! You need to travel further north, closer to the Equator to experience warmer temperatures and to be able to partake in Summer activities like swimming and snorkelling. From my experience it is a good idea to look for travel deals that are often offered to these fabulous destinations. We’ve previously obtained a great deal to Port Douglas via Luxury Escapes. Click on the link on the right hand sidebar of this website to browse their latest deals.
We have twice visited Cairns and Port Douglas in Far North Queensland during the Winter months. The gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres. The Great Barrier Reef has to be seen to be believed!
However if you travel further north of Cairns you encounter the world’s largest continuous area of tropical rainforest in Australia, called the Daintree. In some sections the rainforest grows right down to the edge of the ocean and is a must see if you are heading to the far north of Australia.
With average Winter temperatures between 18 to 25 degrees and lower humidity this is the perfect time to visit. Cairns and Port Douglas are probably on the top of everyone’s Winter holiday escape list for these reasons.
Another great holiday destination in the Far North of Australia, is Darwin. It’s located on the Timor Sea and is the largest city in the Northern Territory. Darwin has been more or less rebuilt on two occasions after being bombed by the Japanese during WWII and almost swept away during Cyclone Tracy in 1974. During our visit ten years ago we were captivated by Darwin’s history and modern city with a bevy of markets, choices of eateries and shopping and gorgeous views over the harbour.
A short drive from Darwin, we visited Litchfield National Park where you can experience a refreshing dip in crystal clear waterholes surrounded by tall ‘tombstone-shaped’ termite mounds. Plus we took a boat cruise down the Adelaide River to witness the awesome sight of the jumping giant crocodiles!
Winter is the dry season with lower temperature and less humidity and is the perfect time to explore the more remote areas near Darwin, like Kakadu and Arnhem Land, that can be off-limits during the wet season.
Another fabulous destination in the Far North of Australia, Broome, is the most north westerly town in Western Australia and was one of my favourite stops on our around Australia trip in 2014. It is the last frontier before embarking into the expanse of the Kimberley and where one of the world’s greatest wildernesses meets the Indian Ocean.
The town’s exotic pearling past has left a rich history and a unique multi-cultural mix of people. Broome is surrounded by water, with the extremely popular Cable Beach to the west, and the pristine waters of Roebourne Bay to the east and south. It is also the gateway to the West Kimberley and the virtually unspoilt and untamed Cape Leveque on the Dampier Peninsula.
Like Darwin, it is best visited during the dry season and the cooler months of Winter when the temperatures are generally mild and the humidity is lower.
One of our Winter holiday escapes is believe it or not, just two hours north to the Sunshine Coast. Our daughter lives here in Coolum and we love the change of scenery and maybe a degree or two more warmth during Winter. This stunning coastal city stretches over 55 kilometres of coastline, from Caloundra in the south to Noosa Heads in the north, with 36 stunning sun-soaked beaches and a lush green Hinterland.
From Caloundra to Noosa the coastline is strewn with sandy shores and open ocean, each with their own features and facilities. My favourite places to stay are Noosa, Coolum or Maroochydore. It’s a great place to visit in Winter with lots of hiking or biking opportunities in the Hinterland areas and plenty of delicious local produce to indulge in.
My hometown the Gold Coast is extremely popular with southerners during the Winter months as a place to escape the cold weather. Southerners flock here to play lawn bowls, enjoy the beautiful sunny days that we tend to have during the Winter months and bring the kids during the school holidays to experience the Gold Coast’s exciting Theme Parks.
The Gold Coast’s mild winter temperatures and warm sea water still allows visitors the luxury of taking a swim, surfing or kayaking at our beautiful beaches. In fact it is probably a lot safer to venture out into the sunshine during winter as the UV rating is a lot lower and you don’t sunburn as quickly.
Winter is the best time to try your hand at surfing the magical waves at our surf beaches as the swell decreases and the small waves are ideal for beginners. If you really must you can do this wearing a wetsuit or a long sleeve sunshirt to keep the chill off your body.
I consider winter to be the best time to explore our wonderland of mountains and rainforests in the Gold Coast Hinterland as the temperatures are more comfortable for undertaking physical activities. Whether you do this on foot or under pedal-power is optional, but there are plenty of walking trails that are only a short driving distance away.
So you don’t really need to escape Winter to either Bali or Thailand. Why not holiday in your own country and escape to the Northern parts of Australia? You will be pleasantly surprised on what these places have to offer.
Do you like to take a Winter holiday escape to somewhere warmer?
This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset. The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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merry christmas 2017