Australia has quite the reputation for its pristine coastline. And perhaps, even more of a reputation for our coffee culture. And while grabbing a latte at our local cafe while strolling down to the closest beach is hard to beat, winter really isn’t the ideal time to take a dip.
So, to help you fill your weekends up with memorable experiences—and not just stay in bed with Netflix—we’ve found 19 activities you can do around Australia during the winter season. Plus, they are also perfect for a weekend away. Grab your scarves and pack your bags, because you’ll be itching to plan a mini-getaway after reading this.
Vivid Sydney: It's safe to day that many Sydney-siders take part in this event. Whether you're after a beautiful (and free) stroll around the harbour, or would like to buy tickets to some of the amazing gigs and talks available, there's something for everyone. But get in quick, the festival ends on June 16.
Bondi Winter Magic: Bondi is undeniably one of the most iconic locations in Australia, and it doesn't have to be just during summer. Whether it's ice-skating right next to the ocean, taking part in yoga by the sea, or discovering local emerging artists, there are a host of events taking part over June and July; and it's a perfect day out, followed by brunch of course.
The School of Life Talks: If you're always looking to get inspired, The School of Life was founded by philosopher Alain de Botton and offers regular talks by leading experts on the topics of career, relationships, and creativity.
Queen Victoria Markets: Melbourne is no stranger to winter. In fact, the city definitely has a unique vibrancy during this season. One famous go-to spot is the Queen Victoria Markets. Open from Tuesday-Sunday, you'll want to bring plenty of cash, with the stalls ranging from fresh food and beverages, to handmade jewels—and everything in between. Hit up the winter night markets for mulled wine and other delicious treats.
Spend the day at cafes: If there's one thing Melbourne is known for, it's the cafes. So it's definitely worth hibernating in a cosy spot and filling up at The Kettle Black, Auction Rooms and Higher Ground while you're there. Tip: You may want to rug up, because there will probably be a queue to get in.
The Australian Ballet: Home to country's most prestigious ballet company, it's definitely worth spending an evening sipping champagne and entering the ethereal world of ballet. With a plethora of shows taking place across the year, you're bound to find a show that tickles your fancy.
South Bank Night Noodle Markets: Taking place between July 19 to July 30, the lantern-lit waterside markets are just the place to sample some of the best noodles you'll ever eat. With over 23 stalls, live music and bars, you'll likely be fighting off a food coma on your way out.
Chambers Flat Strawberry Farm: A perfect day for families, the Chambers Flat farm is known for some of the best strawberries in Australia. It sits just 40 minutes outside of the main hub of Brisbane, so be sure to pack some snacks.
Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar: Not sure about you, but winter has us craving chocolate more than usual. Cowch is the perfect spot to grab a treat (and a cocktail) after a long day of exploring.
Ocean Watch at Southern Ocean Lodge: Offering uninterrupted views of the renowned Kangaroo Island, Southern Ocean Lodge kisses the cliff and makes you feel like you're floating. An experience in itself, you'll barely need to leave with impeccable rooms, tasty menus, a spa and regular events at your convenience. All this aside, they had us at the view.
Barossa Gourmet Weekends: The Barossa region is known for it's wine, and is particularly beautiful in winter. Think rolling hills, fog-covered vineyards, and then there's the wine, of course. Starting August 31, the Barossa Gourmet Weekend hosts intimate lunches, tastings and fire-pit feasts.
Adelaide Hills Country Cottages: A private estate of sorts, this acreage has six self-contained retreats hidden away in secluded settings. Um, heavenly. Soak in the spa, take a stroll through the pine forest, sip wine fireside and call it a day.
Visit the Mona: As one of Australia's most elaborate and renowned galleries, this is not to be missed. Kissing the Derwent River you'll be exposed to an impressive range of old and new art. Plus, word on the street is there are peacocks running around.
Cradle Mountain: One of Tasmania's most popular walks, it's a great way to experience Cradle Mountain's majestic beauty. Whether you choose to take a shorter trail (which will take about 1.5 hours) or a longer one, there's no doubt you'll walk away feeling inspired.
Turtle Tracks: Luckily for us, winter happens to be peak season for turtle nesting. Just picture taking a boat at sunset to Bare Sand Island and watching dozens of turtles (big and small) find home. It's worth noting that you'll need to take a guided tour, as there are strict rules around and within the area.
Dine Next to Uluru: Ever wanted to see Uluru? With the sounds of Silence experience, you can dine in the outback, under the stars, with the sacred icon.
Gravity Discovery Centre: If there's one place to see the stars from, it's this observatory. Offering free night visits from Thursday - Sunday, you're bound to see a view like none other, perfectly bordered by beautiful bush.
Fremantle Markets: For a deep insight into the local craftsmen of Western Australia, over 100 years of culture has given this market a deep heritage, uncommon in many others around the country. Food, fashion, homewares and kids' items are all accounted for. But you'll want to make sure you're hungry, because there's so much food to try.
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