Australia: locations you cannot miss this winter

Shake off the winter chills with a getaway that lights you up. Australia is filled with magical experiences in the cooler months, from winter festivals to mulled wine bars, ‘Snow Lanes’ and seasonal food and wine escapades. Did we mention invigorating natural attractions? Here are some of the best ways to enjoy winter in 2023!

Hahndorf – South Australia

A winter Walking Tour is a must when visiting Hahndorf! Image from South Australia Tourism Commission.

Australia’s oldest German settlement, Hahndorf’s charms are on full show during the colder months. Taste cool-season delights at the restaurants, pubs and bakeries on heritage-listed Main Street. Haus and German Spoon serve nourishing German fare and chargrill, and you’ll taste outstanding winter reds at wineries in Hahndorf – check out Landhaus and La Prova

Experience some of Hahndorf’s hidden delights on a walking tour. Alongside the Hahndorf Heritage Walk, you can enjoy a Strudel and Stroll Walking Tour or the Hahndorf After Dark Walking Tour, complete with a meal. It’s also an easy escape to the nearby vineyards of the rolling Adelaide Hills. Why not sip a Pinot Noir by the fire at the annual Winter Reds Festival?

Where to stay

Enjoy winter things to do in Hahndorf by staying in the heart of town. You find charming boutique accommodation at The Studios by Haus, The Manna by Haus or The Lodge by Haus

Mildura – Victoria

Take a cruise on the Murray! Image from Visit Victoria & Roberto Seba.

Situated on the banks of the mighty Murray River, Mildura shines during winter. One of the best things to do in Mildura at night during the cooler season is to enjoy a dinner cruise aboard the 1881 Paddle Vessel Rothbury. Savour a spit roast carvery as this charming vessel cruises upstream in the soft light of the evening. You’ll also find daytime winter cruises

Mildura Arts Centre features a range of exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing works by local and international artists. One of the most popular winter events at the centre is the Mildura Writers Festival, bringing together writers and storytellers. This popular festival also mixes the words with delicious food and wine experiences. 

Where to stay

Experience the winter ambience of this riverboat town by settling in at The Comfort Inn. The Quality Hotel Mildura Grand also offers stylish Mildura accommodation in a historic building.

Launceston – Tasmania

Take a trip on the Gorge Scenic Chairlift. Image from Tourism Australia

Named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, historic Launceston is home to a range of incredible wintertime cuisine experiences as well as breathtaking natural attractions and events. Taste your way into the season at cosy Italian favourite Novaros, or meet local bakers, brewers and foodie artisans at the Harvest Market Launceston.

Winter in Launceston is a spectacular time of year to explore walking trails and tracks. A highlight is the nearby Cataract Gorge trail that winds through the woodlands – check out the nearby Scenic Chairlift. The Tamar Island Wetlands Reserve is home to bird species that thrive year-round. You’ll also step back in time on a Launceston heritage walk

Where to stay

Quality Hotel Colonial Launceston offers unique and comfortable accommodation. Built in 1847, this hotel is the definition of old-world charm and close to the many things to do in Launceston in winter. 

Canberra – ACT

Grandmother and adolescent granddaughter are looking at the paintings in the art gallery.
Museums are a great winter activity. Image from Getty.

Brimming with bars, restaurants and activities indoors and out, you’ll be spoilt for things to do in Canberra in winter. For some festive cheer, check out the winter markets Canberra has in store. At the July in Christmas Markets you’ll discover a ‘Snow Lane’ with fire pits, melted cheese stations and mulled wine bars. You can even share a private igloo with friends!

Winter brings fresh beauty to Canberra’s surrounding countryside – take in the landscape by visiting Mount Ainslie Lookout. It’s also a great time of year to visit the incredible range of museums and galleries on offer. Explore a huge collection at the National Museum of Australia, from natural history to ochre used by Aboriginal artists more than 50,000 years ago. 

Where to stay 

Surrounded by shops, cafes and restaurants, the Quality Hotel Dickson is a great option. It also has an adjoining licensed club, The Dickson Tradies.

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