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Top Spots to Escape Australian Winter

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If you live in Australia's southern regions, you may be in for some colder temperatures this winter. If you are looking to escape the cold weather, the general rule of thumb is to head north. While southern states like Tasmania and Victoria shiver through the frosty winter, there are still some destinations in Australia that enjoy their peak tourist seasons. VroomVroomVroom has put together a list of the top spots to escape the cold Australian winter so you can still enjoy your road trip adventure.

Cairns, Queensland

The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland

How can you beat the endless sunshine of Tropical North Queensland? Let Cairns be your base for exploring the oldest rainforest in the world and snorkeling at the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. Winter is a popular time to visit the region as temperatures are milder, and it is outside of stinger season so you can fully enjoy the beautiful beaches.

Things to do:

  • If it is beaches you are after, there are many options in Far North Queensland. Tourist favourite Palm Cove Beach is just a 30 minute drive outside of central Cairns, and if you are stopping by Port Douglas don't miss the stunning Four Mile Beach. Visitors can also enjoy cruises around the Cairns waterfront area.
  • For an unforgettable rainforest experience, take the Skyrail from Cairns to Kuranda, enjoying spectacular views over the coast. Explore the 'Village in the Rainforest' to discover unique shops, nature hiking trails, markets and wildlife parks.

How to get here:

If you are coming from Melbourne, the flight duration typically takes around 3 hours and 20 minutes. Upon arrival at Cairns Airport, you can pick up your hire car on site so you can start exploring the city. There are several roadtrip routes you can take from Cairns including Port Douglas and Townsville.

Uluru, Northern Territory

Olgas, Kata Tjuta in Uluru, Northern Territory

There is no better time of the year to explore the cultural heart of Australia as daytime temperatures average a pleasant 20 degrees. As one of the most well-recognised landmarks in the country, the mild winter temperatures and clear weather make this a popular time of the year to visit Uluru.

Things to do:

  • Drive 40 minutes from Uluru to explore the equally fascinating Kata Tjuta. These ancient rock formations are culturally significant to the Anangu people, and visitors can learn the legends about the location.
  • Marvel over the critically-acclaimed Field of Light, which is a massive fantasy garden that features colourful lights illuminating over the desert. You can also enjoy a variety of sunrise and sunset tours in this area.

How to get here:

If you want to escape the cool weather in Sydney, you can take a 3-hour flight to Ayers Rock Airport then rent a car from there. It will take approximately 30 minutes via State Route 4 and Uluru Road to reach Uluru. If you want to go on a road trip, you can head to Alice Springs which is around 6 hours away by car.

Broome, Western Australia

sunset camel ride in cable beach, broome

Winter is an ideal time to visit Broome, as the region is in its dry season. There is plenty to see within and around Broome, and you can take full advantage of relaxing in the warmer weather. See the incredible sunset from Cable Beach and enjoy a sunset camel ride. 

Things to do:

  • During the day you can take a scenic flight over some magnificent Kimberley scenery like Purnululu National Park, and the horizontal waterfalls north of Broome. 
  • Take advantage of the sunny weather and visit a few of Broome's lesser known beaches such as Redell Beach and Town Beach. If you are lucky, you might even spot the dinosaur footprints in the red rocks of Gantheaume Point.

How to get here:

Winters in Perth is relatively cool and wet, but you can escape that climate by taking a plane to Broome which only takes around 2 hour and 35 minutes. You can pick up your car hire at Broome Airport and start exploring the area. If you prefer travelling by car, you can also go on a 14-day road trip from Perth to Broome.

Darwin, Northern Territory

the lagoon at the waterfront in darwin

No matter what kind of holiday you are after, you can probably find it in Darwin. With everything from wildlife encounters to luxury cruises, the possibilities are endless in the Northern Territory's modern capital.

Things to do:

  • For an exciting road-trip, consider hiring a car and exploring the surrounding Kakadu National Park region. With Aboriginal cultural heritage, billabongs, rivers and rock art there is plenty to discover in the park.
  • If you'd rather stay in Darwin, you can experience the city's new waterfront precinct with great dining options and a wave pool for the kids. For the more adventurous you can head to Crocosaurus Cove and see huge saltwater crocodiles up close.

How to get here:

If you want to escape the cold weather and winter rain in Canberra, you can book a flight to Darwin which requires you to have a quick stop in either Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. The travel time is about 6 hours, but the long trip is worth it. From Darwin Airport, you can pick your car rental and enjoy the day trips in Darwin.

Popular self-drive itineraries to escape the cold winter