In the southern hemisphere the nights and mornings are getting cooler and, if you’re like me, it’s a little tougher getting out of bed! I don’t know about you, but I’m always in search of something warm to do when winter comes around.
So with that in mind here are five really warm places you could spend winter in Australia this year (and in our next blog we’ll do the same for New Zealand):
1. Go troppo – Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin is one of the most laid back capitals in Australia. And given it’s usually pretty humid most of the year, the winter really is the best time to go. Take a few days to see the city and experience the history of the town in the WWII and Cyclone Tracey damage, then head out to national parks such as Litchfield and Kakadu. Kakadu needs little introduction – aboriginal rock art, amazing landscapes, plenty of wildlife (including the croc variety) and terrific waterfalls. Litchfield may be less well known but is equally fantastic. It’s still warm enough to swim at the park’s many waterholes and waterfalls and those that have a healthy respect for crocs will be pleased to note it’s safe for swimming.
2. Rainforest, reef and crocs – Cairns, Queensland
Really the only place to head when it gets cold is north. And where better than the tourist meccah of northern Queensland? While it cools off a bit up here over winter it’s still very pleasant – warm enough to swim, see the reef and head to the famed Daintree rainforest. And we’re told the crocs like the cooler weather so you’re guaranteed to see plenty of them; we just hope that doesn’t put you off!!
3. A landscape feast – Kununurra, Western Australia
If you hurry over to Kununurra now you’ll make the annual Ord Valley Muster (12-22 May, 2011). But if you can’t make it don’t worry the Kimberley is still fantastic beyond the festival. What can you do up here? The question should be what can’t you do. You can go scuba diving with freshwater crocs (we kid you not), get to see a few boab trees or two, see some of the wildest and most beautiful landscapes in Australia, visit a real cattle station or go fishing for barramundi!
4. See the rock – Alice Springs, Northern Territory
The mornings and evenings are a little cool in Australia’s Red Centre but the days are fabulous and there’s something about the bright blue of the winter sky that seems to bring out the colours in the landscape even better at this time of year. That means brilliant blue skies against the red rock of Uluru, Kings Canyon or Kata Tjuta! – perfect for photos. It’s the dry season in the Territory over winter and that means its time for the locals to celebrate so scroll down for a link to some fun NT festivals at this time of year.
5. Flower picking in the Pilbarra, Western Australia
The dry season in Western Australia hosts a literal explosion of wildflowers across the state. These blaze in colour all over the place and the Pilbarra is just one place to see them. Here you’ll spot bluebells, native fuschias, hibiscus, sticky cassia and more. These flowers set off some of the natural beauty of the area even more – there are deep rocky canyons, plunge pools, white beaches, corals gardens and even islands to explore in this part of the country.
Last year we reviewed some great winter festivals in Australia that would also make good traveling trips. Check them out here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org