Blue skies ahead: Five homegrown places to chase the sun this winter

Winter is just around the corner, making now a great time for those in the southern states to chase the sun.

Sight-seeing or relaxing might be on the holiday agenda, just as long as the weather is warm and the grey skies are left behind.

And while the rising cost of living has put international getaways out of reach for some travellers, there are plenty of places in our own backyard to escape to.

Get your T-shirts and sunscreen ready, and take a look at these Australian winter warmers.

Cairns brings the balmy temperatures. 

Cairns, Queensland

“This sizzling hot city is a coastal gem that has far more to offer than just a sunbed to top up your tan,” said Toni Ambler, managing director of Contiki and Luxury Gold.

Home to the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest, Cairns is the ideal place to thaw out. The maximum temperatures throughout June, July and August hover about 26 degrees Celsius.

And there’s plenty to do – whether it is chilling by a resort pool or exploring the natural surrounds.

“Cairns boasts everything from a buzzing nightlife scene to dreamy and iconic nature spots, adventure-filled activities and … the most iconic reef system in the entire world,” Ms Ambler said.

cyclone vernon darwin

The Top End has much to offer tourists.

Darwin, Northern Territory

Winter never really arrives in Darwin with balmy temperatures between 31 and 32 degrees between June and August.

Travellers love the relaxed atmosphere in the Top End, but are also spoiled for choice when it comes to activities, said Melissa Devlin, iTravel Penshurst director.

“There’s definitely lots of activities for families – the crocodiles are always popular with little kids, Litchfield National Park is always great to go and visit for the scenery and wildlife, and then Katherine Gorge with the scenery and cruise through the river,” she said.


The gorgeous scenery of the Kimberley region is not to be missed.

The Kimberley, Western Australia

Nothing else compares to the rugged beauty of the Kimberley with its gorges, wildlife and freshwater swimming holes.

Winter weather averages around 30 degrees, making it the perfect time to take it all in, said Brett Mitchell, Intrepid Travel’s managing director Australia New Zealand.

“Winter is the best time to visit Western Australia’s Kimberley region as its warm daytime temperatures are perfect for enjoying the outdoors,” he said.

Many travellers opt to explore by day and camp under the stars by night to see the Kimberley shine all day round.

Cable Beach

Sandy white Cable Beach, Broome.

Broome, Western Australia

There’s so much to enjoy in Broome, it’s hard to know where to begin. But let’s start with the sunny temperatures of around 30 degrees during winter, which is the dry season.

Between mid-June and mid-August is a popular time to visit Broome as the roads and attractions are usually open.

“Broome is where the red earth meets the ocean,” Ms Devlin said.

“It also has historic elements because they have dinosaur archaeological sites, it has an open-air theatre, there’s a couple of microbreweries that do mango beers and that sort of thing. The fishing is great and the beaches are absolutely stunning.”

Port Douglas

The beaches of Port Douglas provide a welcome and warm winter escape.

Port Douglas, Queensland

A popular winter getaway, Port Douglas is home to gorgeous beaches, luxury resorts and a laidback town of hip shops, cafes and bars.

Holidaymakers can either sit back and soak in the sun and sand, or use Port Douglas as a base to visit the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree National Park or natural attractions further afield.

“You can go up into Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation, all of that area is fabulous,” Ms Devlin said.

The temperature ranges are perfect – ranging between 25 and 27 degrees during June and August – with low rainfall.

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