5 Reasons to put a Winter Getaway on Your Calendar

Posted by Stephanie Mikkelsen on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Winter can get a bad rap. From complaints of the cold, to the darker nights; some travellers might be tempted to hibernate for the winter, waiting until warmer temperatures to book their next weekend away.

The good news is that you don't have to be a snow bunny to delight in a winter getaway. The list of reasons for travelling during winter is likely to be longer than your fuzziest scarf and there are options for every kind of break, no matter if you want to escape to destinations more balmy or if you simply want a change of scenery for the weekend. So pull on your beanie and tightly wrap your woollen coat, because we've whittled down all the perks of cool weather travel into just five reasons as to why you should definitely book that winter getaway. 

It’s an excuse to stay inside

The nursery rhyme might ask for “rain, rain go away, come again another day” but if you’re looking to log some chill out time on your next getaway, the rain could be just what you need. A weekend escape can be associated with an obligation to get out and explore but this can seriously cut in to the time you have to experience the actual property – the house, cottage or cabin that had you clicking the ‘Book Now’ button.

A getaway is about treating yourself and enjoying a home-away-from-home as much as it is discovering places you’ve not yet been. Booking a break during the cooler months provides all the reason you need to act as a hermit for a day or two. Make use of your getaway’s fireplace or Jacuzzi; settle in with a blanket on the couch for a movie marathon; fill a bathtub with suds for a soothing soak, or stay in bed until noon.

Some destinations peak during winter

Much like beaches tend to be at their best during summer, there are some destinations that really strut their stuff in winter. Regions such as the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales or the peaks fringing Victoria’s High Country are no-brainers to visit during winter, especially if you want to get your fix of fresh powdery snow. The Blue Mountains become especially beautiful when its cold, delivering crisp alpine air, opportunities to curl up by roaring fireplaces, and even the occasional snow fall. Or head to Tasmania at the end of August or in September to boost your chances of spotting the Aurora Australis.

Travellers looking to escape the cold weather all together are in luck too, particularly those wanting to migrate north. Winter heralds the beginning of the dry season in NT’s Top End, meaning the humidity drops, rainfall eases and accessibility to national parks becomes easier. Stop off in Darwin for beachside markets and movies under the stars before branching out to explore Kakadu National Park. The park’s famous falls – Jim Jim, Twin Falls and Gunlom Falls – should be on full display. May to September is also one of the best times for visiting Australia’s Red Centre and Uluru. Or you might jump state lines into Western Australia to discover the beauty of the Kimberley and Kununurra.

Off peak means special deals and offers

Travelling outside of a destination’s peak season is an easy way to nab discounted rates, added value extras, cheaper flights, or even a free nights’ accommodation. Peak seasons generally run throughout the summer months for most destinations, especially coastal regions or towns that are popular for school holidays or long weekends. A beachside getaway can be just as beautiful in winter as it is in summer. You may just need to pack a thick wetsuit if you’re planning on going for a dip. Travel midweek during winter and expect to potentially save even more again.

Plus you’ll likely encounter smaller crowds

Doing your hip pocket a favour isn’t the only perk of travelling out-of-season to popular destinations. You’ll likely beat the crowds too and that can equal less wait time for a table at a hotspot restaurant, fewer laps of the block to find a car park along the main street, or immediate service at a cellar door. Having to compete with fewer people also means that the area’s top sights or attractions will be less crowded too. You won’t be clambering with others to take the perfectly framed photo for Instagram, or get the best spot to watch sunrise or sunset.

There is still plenty to do

Two words: winter markets. Sure, it might be chillier getting up for a morning market during winter but there is something a bit magical about nursing a warm drink as you move between a warren of stalls. Winter also sees a number of evening markets pop up; the one at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market plays host to themed nights, specialty food stalls and live entertainment.

The Australia-wide calendar of events and festivals doesn’t grind to a halt in winter either. The lights of Dark Mofo take over Hobart in mid June, or bookmark one of featured events during the city’s Festival of Voices when it kicks off on June 29. Tuck into the Regional Flavours Festival, held in Brisbane’s Southbank Parklands between July 21 and 22. Music lovers can catch a show at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, or get into the festive spirit with the three-month long Yulefest in the Blue Mountains.