15th July, 2011

Five Aussie Winter Holiday Escapes

Winter is the best excuse for a week or a few days away to a sunny, warm location where you can forget about the cold. Australia is filled with great opportunities for winter escapes. Here, we look at the top five Aussie winter holiday escapes that will warm up you and your family.

1. The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most popular destinations local and international visitors, all year round. With a great mix of modern city living and the outdoors, Surfers Paradise maintains its mild temperature in winter, making it one of the best places to escape during the colder seasons. When it comes to Surfers Paradise apartments on the beach are one of the best accommodation choices.

Things to do and places to visit:

  • Theme parks – the Gold Coast is home to Australia’s largest and best theme parks. From Movie World, to Dreamworld and Wet’n’Wild, you and the family can get some serious heart-pumping action on exciting rides.
  • Rainforest – Connect with the natural world in the hinterlands of the Gold Coast. Some of the best bushwalking trails can be found there.
  • Whale Watching – the Gold Coast has whales passing through during all seasons, so tours operate throughout the year.

Surfers Paradise is the focal point and the centre of the Gold Coast. As it is so popular with local and international tourists, you’ll have no problems finding suitable accommodation for you and your family as choice abounds when it comes to Surfers Paradise accommodation.

2. Fraser Island

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. Located around 250 km north of Brisbane, this island is World Heritage listed and filled with peaceful beaches, lakes, creeks and rainforests. As there’s no bridge directly connecting Fraser island with the mainland, visitors usually take a ferry on to the island.

Popular activities include:

  • Diving, swimming, and fishing in its numerous lakes
  • Beach activities, such as surfing and swimming
  • Bushwalking and trekking
  • Birdwatching and whalewatching
  • Four-wheel driving and driving tours

While not as exciting as Surfers Paradise or the Gold Coast, Fraser Island has a distinct and unique beauty.

3. Whitsundays

The Whitsunday Islands are located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, some 900 km north of Brisbane. Choose from any of the very popular islands for your winter escape. The Islands typically see around 700,000 visitors per year, from Australia and abroad, making them one of the most popular places in Queensland to visit after the Gold Coast.

Thing to do and see:

  • General boating, overnight sailing, sail and diving, adventure sailing
  • Eco tours, swimming, snorkelling
  • Helicopter rides
  • Boat cruises
  • There are also plenty of nightclubs and bars around the island resort areas.

4. Cairns

Cairns is a popular entry point for those wanting to visit the Great Barrier Reef and Far North Queensland. Popular in itself for its wonderfully hot weather, Cairns has a charming big town atmosphere.

Things to do:

  • Take a cape trip and visit the Daintree Rainforest
  • Visit the Great Barrier Reef – go snorkelling, diving, and swimming
  • Take a boat cruise
  • Have an adrenaline pumping adventure – bungy jumping, hot ballooning, sky diving, or white water rafting

5. Sunshine Coast

North of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast is another popular destination for tourists seeking the warmer Queensland weather. With great beaches, charming big and small towns, and pocketed with seaside resort places like Noosa, Caloundra, Mooloolabra and Coolum, the Sunshine Coast has a lot of exciting activities and sights for both families and solo travellers.

Things to do and see:

  • Get close to wildlife – Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo is located on the Sunshine Coast
  • UnderWater World Marine Park
  • National Parks – there are more national parks on the Sunshine Coast than any other place in Queensland