Australia

Winter escapes around Australia to make this your new favourite season

When the cooler weather arrives and you find yourself swapping your singlets for sweaters, it's a sign you're due for a winter escape around Australia.

Instead of hiding away under the blankets at home, take the opportunity to explore Australia’s diverse regions and environments. From a foodie’s paradise hidden in a vineyard to an action-packed ski resort, the hotels on our list offer plenty to see and do during the colder months.

Rug up and explore mist-shrouded valleys at a 7,000-acre luxury lodge, have high tea in a historic hotel or hit the slopes on Australia’s highest mountain. There are options to suit all tastes, so embrace the chilly weather and treat yourself to a winter holiday to banish those seasonal blues.

Rustic retreat between two national parks

At Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, you can soak up Australia’s untamed wilderness from the comfort of your own villa. After a dip in your private pool, cosy up on a plush armchair or draped four-poster bed as flames crackle in your double-sided stone fireplace. Thanks to glass walls, you can watch the day fade over the rugged landscape until the night sky glitters with stars.

The resort’s nestled between two national parks, so it’s ideally placed for outdoor pursuits. After your morning meal, round up the family for a hike through the plains of the Wolgan Valley under the watchful eye of craggy mountains. Youngsters will be thrilled with the Wolgan Rangers program, which offers fun activities such as bush survival, archery and fossil hunting. While the kids are entertained, spoil yourself with a treatment at the One&Only Spa, where organic facials, wraps and massages are inspired by the natural surrounds.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

Top rated
Lithgow
9.5 Excellent (237 reviews)

Relaxing countryside manor for a wintry weekend

An hour’s drive from Brisbane, you’ll find Spicers Hidden Vale hugged by peaceful bushland. Styled like a rural manor, the rustic rooms here incorporate roaring fireplaces, deep comfortable lounges and pretty florals. Book a Luxury Suite to begin each day wrapped in a snug robe, sipping aromatic coffee on your veranda as you look out over the resort’s 12,000 acres.

If you’re after adventure, you can arrange a multi-day trek along the Scenic Rim Trail, bookended by nights at the hotel. For something more low key, drive an hour to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – the first and largest of its kind in the world – where you can feed and hold the furry creatures. Whatever you opt for, make sure to have at least one meal at Homage Restaurant, where you’ll feast on beef fat crumpets with caramelised honey, or charred mango with garden lime.

Hotel Spicers Hidden Vale

Grandchester
9.2 Excellent (173 reviews)

Regal rooms in a historic boutique hotel

Dating back to 1862, Craig’s Royal Hotel is an iconic place to stay no matter the season – though the winter weather adds extra charm. Perfectly positioned on Ballarat’s vibrant Lydiard Street, the hotel’s gold rush-era grandeur and modern amenities cement its status as a high-end boutique hotel.

Each suite is unique, combining the building’s original period features with contemporary elegance. Book into a sumptuous Royal Suite to snuggle down in a four-poster bed surrounded by antique furniture and polished wood. Your glossy white bathroom will beckon you to the deep tub to soak away any cold-weather chills.

After you’ve freshened up, head to the onsite restaurant for a taste of the region’s produce. Under a soaring glass roof, you’ll dine on dishes like Great Ocean Road duck and grilled fish with chilli butter and lime. You can even brush up on your culinary skills at an in-house cooking class with a renowned Melbourne chef.

Craig's Royal

Top rated
Ballarat
9.3 Excellent (711 reviews)

Barossa Valley sanctuary for food and wine lovers

A winter escape to South Australia’s Barossa Valley is all about native bushland, rolling vineyards and The Louise. This hotel takes full advantage of its bountiful environment, providing signature excursions and experiences for its guests. You can explore local farms and cellars and take part in a spot of wine tasting, then dabble in the culinary arts through hands-on workshops in traditional pasta making and gin blending.

When you want to relax for a while, curl up in front of the fire in your luxury suite. Alternatively, you might opt for a session in the onsite gym, or simply unwind in the sauna before a round of outdoor boules. You’ll want to get a good night’s sleep in soft linens so you can be up bright and early for a Breakfast with the Kangaroos experience come daybreak.

The Louise

Top rated
Barossa Valley
9.0 Excellent (108 reviews)

Wilderness hotel in the Tasmanian highlands

Embrace the winter months by escaping to the cosy Cradle Mountain Hotel. Tucked away in the alpine forests of Tasmania’s central highlands, it’s an ideal base for exploring Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Park. After a day of trekking in the crisp mountain air, retreat to the warmth of the hotel for some well deserved comfort. From your brightly lit and inviting room, gaze through double doors to your balcony and take in the southern wilds dusted with snow.

After the sun sets, head out on a guided animal spotting night tour to search for wallabies, wombats, possums and Tasmanian devils. If you’d rather stay indoors where it’s toasty, the hotel’s Wilderness Gallery showcases local art, films, installations and historical exhibitions. You could also indulge in a warming Tassie Whisky Taster at Altitude Lounge Bar, or browse the boutique gift shop for a locally made souvenir of your winter holiday.

Cradle Mountain Hotel

Cradle Mountain
8.3 Very good (1389 reviews)

Winter getaway in Australia's Margaret River region

Take a cool weather break away from the bustling city and skip to Stay Margaret River, just a 3-hour drive from Perth. Best known for its wineries and surf breaks along vast stretches of coastline, the Margaret River region is ideal for anyone seeking a chilled-out winter holiday in Australia. Embark on a tasting tour of independent wineries, breweries and chocolate and cheese factories, or meander through charming shops offering artisanal goods and one-of-a-kind artwork.

At the hotel, you’ll have plenty of space for the family or friends in your apartment-style accommodation. The onsite self-catering centre will come in handy when you want to prepare a meal, and little ones will appreciate the playground and family-friendly activities. Challenge yourselves to games of giant chess or a mini-golf tournament before feasting on freshly grilled barbecue fare by the pool.

Stay Margaret River

Margaret River
8.3 Very good (759 reviews)

Action-packed ski hotel in Thredbo

If you’re dreaming of a winter break with crackling log fires, warming hot chocolate and snow-covered ski slopes, the Thredbo Alpine Hotel is your go-to destination. Situated at the base of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift, this postcard-perfect winter getaway comes with charming chalet-style rooms, warm lighting and comfortable beds draped in soft bedding.

With skiing, snowboarding and hiking tours available during the winter months, it’s easy to see why Thredbo has a reputation as Australia’s premier ski resort. Zoom down the slopes, then refuel on tasty pub meals like cottage pot pie and burgers in the hotel’s bistro. Join a snowshoeing trip across the white landscape, or if you’re feeling energetic, hike to the top of Mt Kosciuszko for exhilarating views from Australia’s highest mountain. If you’re visiting on a weekend, be sure to catch the flare run and fireworks display.

Hotel Rydges Thredbo Alpine

Thredbo
8.2 Very good (563 reviews)

Feature image courtesy of Tolu Bamwo / Nappy.co