Australia may be famous for its stunning beaches and red-hot summers, but there’s just as much to love about this country during its cooler months.
When the temperatures plummet, our alpine regions are treated to a dumping of fresh, white snow. So get your down jackets ready, because here are some of our favourite things to do during an Aussie winter.
Skiing at Thredbo
Thredbo in New South Wales is one of Australia’s best ski resorts. This alpine village, which lies five and a half hours southwest of Sydney, offers access to an incredible amount of snow terrain, including:
- a variety of powder bowls
- off-piste challenges
- terrain parks catering to all levels and abilities.
Thredbo also boasts purpose-built beginners areas and offers a wide range of lessons to ensure that even those visitors who have never seen snow before will be up skiing or riding in no time at all.
And then there’s the après scene, with the village providing access to numerous restaurants and bars for those obligatory post-shred beers or hot chocolates.
Other ski hills to explore during the winter include:
Snowshoeing and winter hikes
Bushwalking and hiking in Australia’s national parks is a first-rate way to spend a summer’s day, but have you ever considered retracing your steps during the winter? Witnessing Australia’s alpine regions under a dusting of snow is like seeing them for the very first time.
Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain, for example, looks completely different with snow-capped peaks. Wandering the area’s scenic trails at this time of year will offer you a whole new perspective on this iconic destination.
Alternatively, winter is also a great time to strap on some snowshoes and go on an adventure. Mt Kosciuszko is a wonderful place to explore in the winter, with guided tours available to help you navigate Australia’s highest mountain.
No experience is needed to go snowshoeing, and it's therefore a great winter activity for those revellers who don’t particularly enjoy skiing or snowboarding.
Dog Sledding in the Victorian Alps
Need we say more? Gliding through the snow on a sled pulled by huskies is understandably on almost everyone’s bucket list. These hard working dogs are built for colder climates and absolutely love getting out in the mountains during the winter.
Tours operate across the Australian Alps including at:
They’re perfectly designed for families and those of us looking for a truly unique winter experience. These huskies are pros, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the ride. But if you’re up for it, your guide might even let you try your hand at mushing.
Every tour also includes ample cuddle time with the dogs, which really is reason enough to get out there this winter.
Skinny-dipping at Dark MOFO
Every year the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart holds their massive winter festival, Dark MOFO. The festival is a quirky celebration of winter solstice traditions, and incorporates a wide range of food, film and artistic festivities.
However, one of the most exhilarating events on the Dark MOFO calendar is the Nude Solstice Swim. Definitely only for the bravest of heart, the event sees hundreds of people stripping off and plunging into the Derwent River at sunrise to welcome back the light after enduring the longest night of the year.
It is a reservations-required kind of event so if you do feel the urge to take an icy swim this winter, be sure to book in advance.
While we in Australia have grown accustomed to a blazing hot Christmas, those in the northern hemisphere will spend Christmas Day in the snow.
It’s a magical experience for sure but in order to see it with your own eyes, save yourself the international airfare and head to Yulefest in the Blue Mountains instead.
Yulefest is a unique event held during June, July and August that showcases many traditional Christmas festivities including:
- log fires
- mulled wine
- Christmas feasts with all the trimmings.
The Blue Mountains are also graced with the occasional snowfall over this period, so be sure to pack your hiking boots in order to experience this stunning region at its absolute finest.