These months fall in the dry season in our tropical north. You can ski and snowboard down Victoria’s powdered slopes or snorkel and dive the balmy waters of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. Four wheel drive South Australia’s Simpson Desert or head to the Blue Mountains for Christmas festivities.
Welcome to winter in Australia lasts from June to August for most of the country.
Our winter brings you...
Skiing & Snowboarding in Victoria
Can't picture snow-capped mountains in Australia? During winter in Victoria, you'll find hundreds of ski-runs across ten great alpine locations. They're all just a day trip north from Melbourne and some, like Mt Donna Buang and Mt Baw Baw, can even be done in a day if you get up early. Downhill ski at Mt Buller or cross-country ski the powdered trails at Falls Creek. Snowboard Mt Hotham's half pipes and terrain parks or hurtle down the boutique slopes of Mt Buffalo. Trek in snow-shoes from Mt Baw Baw to Mt St Gwinear and toboggan or sled at pretty Lake Mountain.
North Queensland's Winter Sun
Want to make your friends jealous this winter? Tell them you're going to North Queensland, and casually mention the balmy weather, palm trees and swimmable seas. Snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef, set sail in the Whitsundays and trek back in time in the primeval Daintree Rainforest. Drive the Savannah Way to the remote Gulf Savannah. This tropical paradise is truly at its best from June to September, when the temperature averages 25 degrees Celsius and the turquoise waters are stinger free.
Blue Mountains Yulefest
In the Blue Mountains you don't have to wait until December for Christmas cheer. Every year from June to August, thousands of people flock here for Yulefest - roaring fires, roast dinners, sing-alongs and the occasional snowfall. Enjoy a sumptuous Christmas feast at the grand old Katoomba guesthouse where Yulefest began. Sing carols around the piano in Leura, meet Santa in front of a roaring fire in Mount Victoria or have a romantic candlelit dinner in Blackheath.
South Australia's Desert Adventure
Want a challenge this winter? Four wheel driving the South Australian section of the vast, timeless Simpson Desert could be the adventure you're seeking. Drive from Adelaide along the Stuart Highway, then take the Oodnadatta Track to tiny Oodnadatta. From the Northern Territory, you can four wheel drive to Mt Dare or Poeppel Corner, also an entry point from Queensland.
Tasmania’s Winter Secrets
The air may be crisp, but in Tasmania, winter definitely doesn't put a freeze on activities. Celebrate the solstice in Hobart or ski in Ben Lomond National Park. Trek the snow-coated highlands of Cradle Mountain or snuggle fireside in a lodge in Wineglass Bay. Whatever you do, don't miss this special window on Tasmania's rugged natural beauty.
Western Australia's wildflowers
Forget drab days and bleak landscapes. Winter in Western Australia breaks all the stereotypes. From June until September, more than 12,000 wildflower species explode across the state. Follow their vivid trail to Ningaloo Reef, where you can swim with whale sharks and snorkel over tropical fish and coral. Capture their life-affirming colour in rugged Kalbarri National Park, near Geraldton, or in sculpted Kings Park in Perth. Let them lead you to the waves, caves and wineries of Margaret River. Walk with them through soaring karri forests on the Bibbulmun Track or take in their dazzling diversity from Albany. Do wildflower day walks, join longer tours or celebrate the blooms with the locals at any of the many festivals.
Diving in Australia
Completely surrounded by water and rich in islands and reefs, Australia is a diver's dream. Our waters shelter a treasure trove of marine life, with more than 4000 species of fish and the world's highest diversity of sea grass. Swim with the giant, gentle whale shark on Ningaloo Reef or with sea-lions and dolphins on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. Learn to dive on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef - the world's largest living organism. Or snorkel in sheltered and scenic Clovelly in Sydney. Discover kelp-encrusted submarines off the Mornington Peninsula or a maze of underwater caves along Tasmania's east coast. Our temperate waters are calling, so come dive in.
Trace the trail of pioneer John McDouall Stuart as you travel from Adelaide to Darwin on the Explorers Highway. Explore the cellar doors and vine-lined chateaus of the Barossa Valley and rugged Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound. Stay underground in the opal capital of Cooper Pedy and the outback town of Alice Springs. Walk around Uluṟu with an Aboriginal guide and to the rim of Kings Canyon. See ancient Aboriginal rock art in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park and swim in the crystal-clear pools of Litchfield National Park. Your adventure continues in the parklands, outdoor markets and festivals and historical attractions of tropical Darwin.
Whale watching in Australia
Each winter, watch humpback whales gliding north past Byron Bay and Hervey Bay. Marvel at their complex acrobatic communication and listen to the males' haunting underwater song on a hydrophone. Watch the slow, graceful southern right whales sail up the Western Australian coastline from Geographe Bay, Dunsborough and Albany. Or spot these endangered creatures - once hunted almost to extinction - from the Head of Bight whale sanctuary or Victor Harbor in South Australia. See them mate and calve in the nursery waters of Warrnambool or arrive from Antarctic waters with humpback whales in Tasmania's picturesque Great Oyster Bay. From late April, southern right whales journey to temperate breeding waters off Southern Australia and Victoria. Meanwhile the energetic humpback whales continue north to warmer waters along the west and east coasts. Which means between May and November, you can spot whales from many scenic spots along Australia's coastline.
Festival fun in the dry season
For most of the world, winter means layering up and heading indoors. Not in Australia's Northern Territory, when the dry season from May to October is the perfect time to get outside and celebrate. Rock out under the stars at Darwin's Bass in the Grass music festival. Cheer for your favourite camel at the riotous Imparja Camel Cup in Alice Springs. Discover the ancient rhythms of Aboriginal culture at Arnhem Land's world-renown Garma Festival . The Territory's warm winter days and cool nights host a whirlwind of celebrations, from the quirky to the sacred.
Gibb River Road
Tackle one of Australia's greatest four-wheel-drive adventures on this 660-kilometre journey through the vast Kimberley. See freshwater crocodiles in the Windjana Gorge National Park and swim, bushwalk and camp at Lennard and Bell Gorges. Take a scenic flight over Mitchell Falls and the vast Mitchell Plateau. Stay on the one million acre El Questro Wilderness Park. From here you can go horse trekking, get up close to Kimberley wildlife and boat down Chamberlain Gorge past towering escarpments and Wandjina rock art. You could even take in the sights on a mountain bike for the Brisbane to Broome Charity Bike Ride. However you take on this outback challenge, remember it's one that needs planning.
The Warmth of Canberra's Fireside
Warm your heart and fill your stomach next to a roaring fire this winter. That’s the seductive call of the Fireside Festival, held each August in Canberra and neighbouring villages such as Yass, Hall, Murrumbateman and Gundaroo. Their month-long program of food, wine and entertainment is guaranteed to lift your spirits alongside some chill-combating flames.