New South Wales

Making The Most Of Winter In New South Wales | Winter Getaways

May 13, 2017

Winter In New South Wales

Guest Post by Olivia Bourke 

Hunter Valley Vineyards
Hunter Valley Vineyards Image credit Thinkrorbot

You don’t need to go overseas, or even outside the state to have a great time. Explore each nook and cranny of your own region before going elsewhere. Take New South Wales for instance, a region with a wide scope of natural attractions and exciting events and hotspots. From the ski fields of Thredbo at Mount Kosciuszko, the shorelines of Batemans Bay, and the iconic Sydney Opera House, to the small rural towns, they are just a couple of hours from Sydney. When it comes time to leaving the city and hitting the road for a short break, Sydneysiders have an abundant amount of decisions and options. What’s more, winter is a brilliant time to get out and investigate the numerous areas that are just a short drive away.

Not only is the region overflowing with attractions and activities – from world-class wine districts to ravishing hinterland towns – New South Wales likewise offers delightful and one of a kind accommodation types that are simply ideal for any sort of getaway. It could be luxury stay with the lover, or budget and comfortable with the family. Though, a winter getaway can go in either of 2 directions; embracing the winter cold, or avoiding it and seeking the warmth of the sun.

Domestic travel is quite underrated, so make sure to include it to your options when deciding to travel; it can really help when considering budget. Here are the top 5 winter getaways in New South Wales for those that want to make the most of winter.



Looking down Karels T-Bar, ThredboKarels T-Bar, Thredbo image credit Alpha

Get Set At Kosciuszko National Park

Winter is here, so for many, might as well embrace it and enjoy what the season has brought along with it. Mount Kosciuszko is a long six and a half hours drive from Sydney, but offers some wonderful views of the white glistening snow, and that is before you even hit the slopes. It is great for those that want to don’t mind road trips with plenty of great stops on the way.

There are 2 main ski fields at Mount Kosciusko, Thredbo and Perisher. Thredbo is a favourite for many, with a range of courses available and vibrant atmosphere and Thredbo events to keep you entertained throughout the season. Perisher is equally popular it is the largest in Australia but can get quite busy at times. Although there are fewer activities here, it is a getaway for the family to relax and enjoy the snow.

You can ski, make snow angels, snowboard, and snowshoe/hike about or simply gaze at the white backdrop from a jacuzzi from one of the many resorts.

Tip: You can rent snow chains for the car in Jindabyne and other towns as well as cheaper Ski Hire and 40% cheaper accommodation. From there, it is about a 30 min. drive to the slopes.

New South Wales
Image Credit: Olivia Bourke

Explore The City Of Wollongong

The next largest city in New South Wales after Sydney is Wollongong. It is only 1 and a half hours’ drive from Sydney, and it presents some genuinely lovely shorelines with some great National Parks. While you won’t be ideally doing much water sports or swimming in winter, there are couple of things that are a bit more sentimental to partake in, such as a long stroll on the sand or to simply explore the many great restaurants on offer. There are also exciting attractions like Illawarra tree top views & canyoning at Macquarie Pass.

Being a bustling metropolitan it poses as a great base to explore. Be sure to check out Nan Tien Temple, which is one of the biggest Buddhist temples in the Southern Hemisphere, or check the sights of Wollongong from one of the Mountain lookouts.

Tip: Why not try something different and catch the train to Wollongong, there are great views of the coast as well as great stops along the way to swim and eat. The train ride is a bit over 1 hour. On Sunday a one-way ticket is just $2.50.

New South Wales
Image Credit: Adam JWC of Nan Tien Temple

Be Captivated By The Light Festival In Sydney

Alternatively, you can’t really go wrong with Sydney, it is always a great fallback with plenty of options to keep you entertained throughout the day and even the night. The city is the delightful setting to the abundantly adored winter celebration of lights, music and ideas festival.

Commencing on the 26th of May till the 17th June for 2017, there will be Vivid showcases of daily light shows that consist of mind-boggling craftsmanship, with the sails of the Sydney Opera House coming to life with intricate designs and patterns. Along the great display there are numerous venues scattered around the area with renowned domestic and international music performers.

Fortunate to attend this festival twice, you would definitely book well ahead of time, as crowds flock the streets and waterfront hotels are the first to go.

Tip: Avoid Fri – Sunday if possible as the streets are just jam-packed. Consider checking out Chatswood as well as they have a smaller less crowded show. Also plan out your route!

Sydney Opera House During Vivid FestivalSydney opera house. Image credit:

Visit The Coastal Town Of Batemans Bay

Batemans Bay is just 4 hours south of Sydney and 2 hours from Wollongong by car. With lovely beaches, great activities and fresh seafood it is the perfect getaway to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Not just that, you can appreciate a marvellous road trip to Batemans Bay, winding along the edge of Australia with numerous extraordinary landmarks on the way.

Visitors can go kayaking, hiking, 4WDing, camp and superb dining. There is also the world-renown Clyde Oysters nearby. These succulent oysters are considered some of the best in the world and they are available directly to the public from the farms. These are just the bare minimum of things to do in the area. Allow a few days to explore and enjoy the region.

Tip: Well swimming is not by any means the only fun thing at a beach; one notable attraction amid winter is the sights of whales migrating across the ocean.

Indulge In The Hunter Valley

Cessnock is the popular area within the Valley and is regarded as the passage to the Hunter Valley district. It overflowing with an endless supply of grapevines and stunning vineyards. It is ideal to visit one of the many wineries, and partake in one of the tastings. Or you can feast at the many gourmet eateries that are on offer. At the same time, you’ll be dealt with ravishing sights of the inland to behold, with clearer skies typically in winter.

This destination is typically popular among couples as it is a great place to relax and retreat to. You could appreciate a sentimental hot air balloon ride over the vineyards or, on the other hand just get comfortable in a cozy and secluded house with beautiful surrounds. Some notable attractions are horse riding, hiking, quad biking and much more.

Tip: Hunter Valley during winter would be much colder than Sydney – So pack warm clothes! if you are planning to do some wine tasting, consider doing a wine tour. There will be Random Breath tests in the area, particularly on weekends.

Author Bio: Recently having moved from the States to Sydney New South Wales, Olivia spends her time exploring the many great hidden gems of New South Wales & Australia. Enjoying the golden sandy beaches, lush forests, and cool climate of the Land down under, she occasionally writes for Great Lost. In hope of motivating and informing others.

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  1. These spots all look fantastic! I’ve been to Sydney, but not anywhere else on this list. I guess I have to come back to Australia again and do all of the spots I missed!

  2. I’ve only done Australia in the summer so would love to experience winter there. Especially if there are places to go snowboarding!

    1. It is amazing how the climate can change depending on the area! Great variety depending on the season – remember, their winter also starts in June. 🙂

  3. I haven’t been to Australia yet, but it’s definitely a country I’d like to explore someday. The Sydney Opera House would be a must when I visit. It’s nice to know there are so many destinations and a wide variety of activities just within New South Wales.

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