Australia is one of the most unique winter destinations. From city to city, outback to hinterland, the cooler season can almost be disguised as an endless summer. With the Australian school holidays on the cusp, we spoke with the outdoor adventure experts at OZtrail to get their top 20 must dos across the country.
- Snorkel the Whitsundays, QLD
For an endless summer experience, pack your snorkels and glide through the waters of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, the Whitsundays.
- Watch whales breach off Moreton island, QLD
Spot majestic whales enjoying the warmer waters off Moreton Island from land, sea and sky. Tangalooma Island Resort offers the opportunity to view these energetic creatures from multiple viewpoints; a 40-foot-catamaran whale watching cruise, a 4WD to Cape Moreton or a helicopter joy ride around the island. Pack a poncho because you may get a splash!
- Road trip the Great Outback, NSW
Red dirt and wide open spaces is all that comes to mind when referencing the Australian outback. With boundless locations perfect for camping, set your compass for Gundabooka National Park. Also known as Stone Country, it offers a fantastic outdoor experience. Bring your tent and hunker down beneath Mount Gundabooka.
- Take in the sunrise and sunset at North Head, NSW
Australian winters are known for creating the most dreamy sunrises and sunsets. A must do location for one of these spectacular natural shows is from North Head, east of Manly. Get there early and set up your foldable chair on the cusp of the sea cliffs and taken in the golden hue over the ocean.
- Shred the ski slopes at Falls Creek Alpine Resort, VIC
Only four and a half hours from Melbourne, find yourself sweeping the snowfields at Falls Creek. After taking part in the Thriving Ski School, families can take to the slopes and enjoy the white backdrop. Pop your belongings in a money belt to avoid having to carry anything on the snow.
- Kayak alongside dolphins in the Mandurah Canal, VIC
Perth is surrounded by vast and narrow waters for kayaking. One of the most reputable is Mandurah Canal and not for its cruisy waters… Locals and tourist kayakers alike will often have the opportunity to meet and paddle alongside dolphins along the way.
- Experience the Ultimate Treetop Adventure, QLD
Fasten your harness, you are in for a wild ride. Pack a day pack and take the family to Currumbin Wild Life Sanctuary for the thrill of Queensland’s first and largest Treetop adventure. With five big courses, families can zip line over crocodiles, kangaroos and dingoes.
- Drive the Great Ocean Road, VIC
A journey named after its experience, the Great Ocean Road is a must do road trip for every family. The drive includes spectacular views such as the 12 Apostles, London Arch and Loch Ard Gorge to name a few. Add an awning to your vehicle to ensure you have shade anywhere you travel and stop.
- Marvel at the Phillip Island Penguin Parade, VIC
Set up a beach chair at the world famous Penguin Parade on Phillip Island and watch hundreds of little penguins emerge from the surf and return to their burrows.
- Discover North Stradbroke Island, QLD
Take your family on a camping staycation to North Stradbroke Island and let nature be your playground. With your tent as your basecamp, explore the island’s trails, meet tropical fish and native wildlife face-to-face and end the day with dinner on the beach. Bring along a picnic rug and enjoy fish and chips as the sun sets.
- Sleep under the Stars at Uluru, NT
Graze out onto the desert base beside Australia’s red centre, Uluru. Whether you pitch a tent or set up a swag under the stars, this country backdrop will be incomparable. By day you can experience cultural walking tours or native wildlife experiences on a 4WD tour.
- Take 1000 steps on the Kokoda Walk, VIC
Inside the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges is a memorial for the Australian Soldiers following World War II. It is the perfect opportunity for the family to learn about history and experience it at the same time. The five kilometre walk can be steep so bringing along a trekking pole may be useful.
- Experience the Outback and West Coast of Eyre Peninsula, SA
As one of Australia’s most reputable contrasting landscapes, it is a must-do camping experience for every family. Hit the road with a 4WD to Lincoln National Park. There you’ll find an incredible formation of sand dunes, perfect for extending an awning and setting up for the day.
- Rock Climb Mount Arapiles at the Grampians, VIC
The Grampians are the perfect location for something adventurous to do as a family. This is an easy introduction to rock climbing without the fear of being too high. Parents, bring a small and simple durable day bag so that you can store all the key essentials for your climbing adventure.
- Hop aboard the Ghan, NT
Take in the breathtaking scenery from Australia’s northern most point down on one of the country’s most iconic journeys aboard the great southern rail, The Ghan. The 2,979km experience culminates in adventure, taking you into the great of the red centre and stopping along the way to explore rich wonders like Katherine, Alice Springs (where you can ride camel back!) and Coober Pedy.
- Mountain bike Victoria’s high country, VIC
Known as the Dirty Dozen trails, this Alpine trail is an adrenaline family’s Holy Grail. The winter months is the ideal time to ride up to the granite boulders and descend to Beechworth for bakery delights. In addition to a hydration pack, bringing along some insect repellent always helps along the way.
- 4WD Gibb River Road, WA
This 660 kilometre trek is worth the journey. From spectacular gorges, deep red plains and bush as far as the eye can see, Gibb Road is a 4WD tour for the ages.
- Hike the rugged trails of Cradle Mountain, TAS
Known as the rugged jewel of Lake St Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain was made to be trekked. From rich and diverse grassland, and fringed with glacial lakes, there are two-hour walks for every experience and desire. For the competitive hiker, use a trekking pole and spend the day making your way up Cradle Mountain’s summit.
- Go fishing in Margaret River, WA
Catching a West Australia Dhufish is a highly sort after prize. Whether you’re opting for a fishing charter or would like to try making it on your own with a dinghy, there’s plenty of exceptional fishing in Margaret River. Make sure to pack a canteen or esky with enough drinking water while searching for herring, whiting or squid.
- Swim in the Buley Rockhole, NT
One of the many advantages of the Northern Territory is its ability to produce the perfect swimming weather all year-round. Slip on some neoprene shoes and wade through the pools at Buley Rockhole, a refreshing hidden gem surrounded by scenic bush.
Not sure what to do these school holidays? Ask the outdoor adventure experts at OZtrail.com.au for tips and adventures across Australia’s great outback, hinterland and beaches.