Best places to spend the autumn downunder

Okay so it’s getting a little chilly now in parts of Australia and New Zealand as winter approaches. But that doesn’t mean you should head home just yet! Here’s a few places that are particularly enjoyable at this time of year.

Cairns, Queensland
Up in the top end of the country, the winter onset is much later. And come June it’s also the official end of the stinger season, those nasty and often fatal jellyfish that roam Australian waters and keep you out of the sea, although do note Cairns has stinger nets anyway. There’s an absolute smorgasbord of choice for VIP accommodation in Cairns and any number of activities you could enjoy also. For example you could scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef, visit the amazing Daintree Rainforest or enjoy the wonders of the Atherton Tablelands. And most importantly you’ll be warm! Even in winter maximum temperatures are up to 25 and 26 degrees.

Hunter Valley, New South Wales

A storm brews over colourful Hunter Valley vines

A storm brews over colourful Hunter Valley vines

Autumn is harvest season in this wine growing region north of Sydney. Not only do the vine leaves turn gorgeous hues of red and orange, making for enjoyable touring and great photography, but it’s also one of the best times to visit for the celebrations going on.  In April there’s the Little Bit of Italy in Broke
festival (10-11) and Hunter Valley Uncorked at Pyrmont Bay Park (18), while May features the Lovedale Long Lunch (15-16). Or check this website for more events. The best place to stay with VIP to access this area is Newcastle, just a 45 minute drive from the region.

Arrowtown (near Queenstown), New Zealand

The quaint village green of Arrowtown

Arrowtown, just 20km from Queenstown, is a Kiwi equivalent to the Hunter Valley in terms of its wine growing features. Similarly the wonderful autumn colours are striking here, particularly when offset against the amazing 18th Century historical buildings in the old gold mining town. The Arrowtown Autumn Festival (April 16-25) features all the wonderful highlights of this season with vintage cars, Highland pipe bands, live music and other performances. At other times enjoy Arrowtown’s quaint streets with churches and heritage buildings, there’s also gold panning to do by the river, lots of fabulous walks and a Lord of the Rings film location. See our previous blog. You could stay in Queenstown with VIP accommodation and day trip to Arrowtown by bus or car and of course utilise the VIP activity options from heli skiing to river rafting and Milford cruises.

The Kimberley, Western Australia

Boab trees typical of the Kimberley region

The Ord Valley Muster (May 14-30) is just one of the reasons to come up this way in autumn. The Kimberley is one of Australia’s remotest and beautiful regions and every May its landscapes, people, culture and heritage are celebrated through a series of events such as music, dance, racing cars, triathlon, markets, rodeo, story telling, mountain biking, concerts and more. You could see almost every aspect of the area at this event. The place to stay is Kununurra where the temperature at this time of year is just about perfect, blue skies and balmy weather.

This is the second in a series of “Best Places” blogs that will feature downunder locations. If you’ve always wondered where the best place was to surf the east coast, go on a camping trip, spend New Year’s Eve and get a job in Australia keep checking back for our “Best Places” series.


Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at


One thought on “Best places to spend the autumn downunder

  1. Pingback: Show me that horizon – from a deserted Malaysian beach… « Vipbackpackers's Blog

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