Australia: Where Summer is Winter!
There’s nothing quite as unique as Australia to visit over summer since winter sets in at this island nation through June, July, and August.
Our Destination Experts have rounded up the best experiences to try in Australia this winter – from a Christmas experience in July to a rare whiskey auction, stargazing in the Outback and the biggest Indian film festival outside the country!
1. An “out of season” Christmas in the Blue Mountains
Winter means Yulefest in the Blue Mountains. Every June, July and August, several venues here offer traditional Christmas style celebrations. While the air is chilly and there is the occasional snowfall, visitors get to experience warm ‘Mountains’ hospitality in this “Winter Wonderland”.
Cosy up beside a log fire with some mulled wine; savour old-world ambiance at The Palais Royale; book a table at the iconic Hydro Majestic Hotel, themed in festive finery; or sample canapés and carols followed by the Gala Yulefest Dinner at The Carrington Hotel.
2. The largest celebration of Indian cinema outside India
This August, join the greatest celebration of Indian Cinema at Melbourne. At the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM), visitors can explore the richness and diversity of contemporary Indian cinema, from Bollywood hits to off-beat art house films.
Celebrate the IFFM’s 10th anniversary along with India’s leading filmmakers and stars. Past attendees include Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal, Vidya Balan and Karan Johar, amongst others.
3. An intoxicating week of whisky love
Tasmanians make some of the best whisky in the world. In August, Tasmanian Whisky Week will celebrate the island’s spirit in a range of different events inside distilleries, bars and restaurants around the state.
Small-batch, award-winning distilleries will open their cellar doors to host tours, offer tastings and a glimpse of unreleased whiskeys. There’s also a rare whisky auction, where exceptional whisky from Hobart, Mainland Australia and from across the globe will be up for grabs!
4. Scenic road trips
Australia’s moderate winter weather makes it ideal for a road trip, this time of the year. Take the iconic Great Ocean Road, one of the most scenic drives in the country, offering a spectacular mix of clifftops, surf beaches and lush rainforest. Highlights include coastal towns and fishing villages, including the popular Port Fairy known for its 19th-century architecture and the world-famous Twelve Apostles.
For warmer climates, head to the beaches of Port Douglas in the tropical far north of Queensland. Take the Captain Cook Highway from Brisbane for a spectacular coastal ride along the seaside rainforest, about 20 hours one way.
5. Starry Outback nights
Australia’s arid Red Centre is a great spot to visit in the winter, with cooler days and chilly nights. Explore the impressive monoliths of Uluru and Kata Tjuta through camel, Segway, motorcycle or helicopter rides.
Hear stories of Aboriginal legends on a stargazing tour at Ayers Rock, with resident astronomers exploring the sky with you. Or see the solar-powered Field of Light installation, with over 50,000 spindles of light creating a fantasy garden spread over more than seven football fields.
*All images shown are for illustration purposes only.