Every year, usually some time in the month of May, the Brisbane temperatures drop below 20 degrees. Around that same time every year, I pop on a jumper for the first time in months and declare it’s time to light the fireplace and open a bottle of red wine. It wasn’t always like this. When I first moved to Brisbane I scoffed at the idea of even having a fireplace. Who would need a fireplace? In Brisbane? Pfft......
Once you have lived in Brisbane for a while, however, even a mild drop in the temperature will see me lighting up the fireplace and dreaming of an escape to a warmer climate or, alternatively, somewhere you can experience a ‘real’ winter.
Whether you’re a Heat Seeker or a Chill Chaser, there’s never been a better time to plan your next holiday.
Shake off the winter blues by heading to Darwin, the tropical capital that has no winter. Soak up the scene at the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets (April – October), explore the lively waterfront precinct and indulge in a delicious range of local produce, influenced by its close proximity to Asia and the sea.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a dip with one of Darwin’s famous crocs at Crocosaurus Cove or head to one of the nearby national parks to be amazed by the landscape, wildlife and waterfalls.
What should you do when you want to visit both the South Pacific and Europe? Head to New Caledonia, bien sur.
The French influence is everywhere - in the food, shopping, street names and that certain je ne sais quoi. And yet you are undeniably on a pacific island – the warm sea breezes, beaches framed with palm trees and an abundance of fresh seafood and tropical fruits. C’est la vie!
What you might not know is that New Caledonia is home to the largest marine park on Earth. The Natural Park of the Coral Sea is twice the size of Texas and three times the size of Germany, providing a massive, protected sanctuary for the local marine and bird life.
When you think of California, you think of summer. Sun-kissed skin on golden beaches. Surfers, skaters, and roller bladers. Rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous in cities that you’ve heard about since you were a kid – Los Angleles, San Francisco, San Diego.
Heading inland, you’re in for some more treats. Sipping wine in Napa Valley. Gazing up at giant redwoods. Snow covered mountains, desert dunes and world-class national parks. Diverse, breathtaking and vibrant. In California, anything is possible.
Vanuatu is reopening its borders on 1 July 2022 after more than two years. Be one of the first international tourists to head back to this stunning destination. Within two and a half hours, you could be relaxing under a palm tree chatting with locals and planning some epic adventures around the islands.
Along with beautiful beaches, dense rainforests and picture-perfect waterfalls, you can also turn the heat up a notch with a visit to an active volcano.
Brisbane’s snow bunnies rejoiced when it was announced the New Zealand borders would be reopening. Two years without a trip to Queenstown was too long.
Queenstown’s epic alpine peaks and shimmering lakes create a postcard-perfect winter wonderland that’s hard to beat. There are four ski areas in the region, with runs for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.
If you don’t fancy hurtling down a mountain at breakneck speeds, then there is still plenty to keep you amazed and entertained. Top on my list are soaking in thermal pools, a lake cruise, a scenic flight and the simple pleasure of a perfect mug of hot chocolate. And you mustn’t forget to check out the apres-ski scene as well.
Canada's summer may not sound like the place to go if you are seeking the cold. But let’s face it, with peaks up to 4000m, the Canadian Rockies are always on the chilly side, even in the mild summer months.
Whether you choose to wander around Banff, Jasper or Lake Louise, you’ll see some absolutely unforgettable views. Pack some warm layers and explore on foot – hiking is a wonderful way to take in the extraordinary vistas of snow-capped mountain peaks and stunning blue lakes.
Closer to home, there are some awesome choices when it comes to winter wonderlands. You could go to the Australian Alps for a snow adventure, or spend days sampling the outstanding produce of the Barossa Valley. You could even go camping in Central Australia, where the mild winter days trick you into thinking there will be mild winter nights. There won’t be. But waking up early to see the sunrise behind Uluru is more than worth it.
All of those are amazing destinations and well worth a visit. But you can tick off all of those things in one go by visiting Tasmania.
There’s snowy slopes at Mt Field National Park. Tick
There is an exceptional food scene – fresh produce, top notch restaurants and amazing markets. Tick
And you won’t even mind freezing your butt off in a hut when you wake up to out of this world landscapes like Cradle Mountain. Tick.