New South Wales

Winter getaways in NSW: embrace the crisp air and cosy vibes

Winters in Australia are the new season to look forward–especially when you can run at sunup along an empty beach or stroll through untouched national parks with a cooling breeze on your face.

Take a deep breath of crisp mountain air from atop a fresh ski slope, your hotel in your sights with a crackling fire ready for your arrival. Warm with a hot chocolate from your armchair view over snow-dusted pine trees, or wake up to winter waves crashing and birds singing their morning songs. For winter getaways in NSW, you’ll find the diverse state is rich in experiences from the exciting to the cuddle-worthy.

Hop in the car or jump on a plane to spend a weekend away with friends in the snowy mountains, by the beach or just tucked away at a resort for a round of golf or day at the spa. Whether you’re in a chateau near Newcastle, an oceanside retreat in Byron Bay or a ski chalet in snowy Thredbo, you’ll be welcoming the cooler days for a getaway in NSW that you’ll be jumping to repeat next year.

Indulge in water, walks and wind-downs on the coast

Right between Sydney and Newcastle, the Pullman Magenta Shores Resort is a five-star spot easily reachable for winter escapes in NSW. On arrival, take your family on the short walk from the lobby to the beach to feel the white sand between your toes. For your first evening, walk down to nearby town The Entrance for epic winter sunsets over Tuggerah Lake while Pacific waves crash on the beach on the opposite side.

On quiet afternoons, let the kids splash in the heated lagoon pool while you settle in for a gourmet meal at the hotel’s Barretts Restaurant. Dine on local seared king trout washed down with a tart Aperol Spritz as you chat the central coast day away with your loved ones.

The next morning, slip out to your furnished terrace, warm cup of tea in hand, and watch the sun gently spread its warming rays across the green golf course. Rouse the kids from their slumbers in their own room if you’ve booked a two- or three-bedroom villa, then head out for a day of hiking in Wyrrabalong National Park. Listen for the cackle of kookaburras and watch the trees sway in the coastal breeze.

Pullman Magenta Shores Resort

Top rated
The Entrance
8.9 Excellent (2153 reviews)

Make the most of your winter getaway in NSW's Hunter Valley

After a quick two-hour drive from Sydney, you’ll come upon the sweeping greens at Chateau Elan ready to welcome you to a winter weekend of pampering. This modern retreat is just 45 minutes from Newcastle airport, too, so even interstate guests will have their feet up under a woolly throw in no time.

Shed your coat at the door of your ultra-luxe spa suite and peek out floor-to-ceiling windows for the chance to see rambunctious kangaroos bounding on the lawn. Run the hot water in your private spa and let the bubbles rise to comical levels before plunging in. As you take in the view of the lush golf course through your window, you’ll feel all your winter woes disappearing down the sudsy drain.

After a feast of succulent Jacks Creek Angus beef or Nelson Bay oysters at Legends Grill, venture out for an idyllic drive through the hilly Hunter Valley. You’ll cruise past rows and rows of grapevines, so take your time tasting exclusive wines like De Bortoli’s 2017 Vivo Moscato. At the smaller, cosier Whispering Brook Winery, soak in the sights while sipping on a bright 2018 Semillon. You can update the friendly staff back at the chateau about your day’s wanderings before strolling out to the greens for a round of golf in the cool air. Alternatively, slip out to the spa for a soothing massage in the lavish Reflection Room.

Chateau Elan At The Vintage

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (2152 reviews)

Head to the mountains at NSW's Lake Jindabyne


Pack up the car full of friends and family, and after a few hours’ drive, you’ll start your winter escape at NSW’s secluded Lake Jindabyne Hotel. Spend your first day surveying the ski slopes, or just don your snuggly clothes for a laugh and a chat on the hotel’s expansive patio. You’ll have the lake shimmering before you in the winter sun, and frothy beers from Snowy Mountains Brewery just steps away for when you fancy a brew with the mountains behind.

The Hotel Bistro is a cheery spot for dining on juicy burgers topped with beetroot and cheese, or a succulent Scotch fillet served with mashed potatoes and freshly steamed vegetables. After dinner, pile any kids with you into rooms stacked with bunk beds while you claim the spacious double.

You’ll wake in your lakeside room to reflections of clouds on the water, a tranquil scene for your first morning coffee as you plan a foreshore hike around the lake. You’re not far from more adventurous options, too, with ski fields at Thredbo and Perisher to really make the most of your winter break.

Hotel Lake Jindabyne

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (1666 reviews)

Pamper yourself with a winter getaway in NSW at Byron Bay


You’ll get a glimpse of summer when you book a trip to The Summerhills Retreat in the sun-dappled beach town of Byron Bay. If you’ve ever dreamt of staying in secluded cabins in NSW, this is the place–check-in to your rural abode and head straight to the terrace for a late lunch grilled on the barbecue.

In the morning, let the winter sun mixed with an ocean breeze stir you from sleep in your cushy king-size bed, then really wake up with a brisk dunk in the blue saltwater pool. You can even request a food hamper to be waiting for you when you return to your room for a light brekkie. Saunter between your sand-tile ensuite and sunlit balcony to breathe in panoramic views of the beach or verdant vegetation while you get ready for the day.

Make the short trip into the main town of Byron Bay and find a comfy spot at Beach, a well-loved café on Clarkes Beach. You’ll get your caffeine fix with a Byron Bay Coffee Company organic Beach blend–you might even be tempted towards a second breakfast of eggplant, spiced pumpkin and tahini yoghurt. Stuffed and satiated, head back to your home-away-from-home for a luxurious in-room massage or a bubbling spa bath to cap off the morning, then welcome the afternoon with a long walk along nearby sandy shores.

SummerHills Retreat Byron Bay

Top rated
Byron Bay
9.3 Excellent (101 reviews)

Hit the slopes for a winter getaway in snowy Thredbo


Load up the winter jackets, skis, snowboards and compatriots–a snowy adventure awaits at Hotel Rydges Thredbo Alpine. After a morning of wandering the ski fields and zooming down the slopes, you’ll be eager to hop into the always-hot, always-steamy outdoor pool and Jacuzzi spa back at the hotel. Let the jets soothe your muscles as you fill your lungs with alpine air, the craggy peaks and snowy vistas serving as your backdrop. When you’ve had your fill of bubbles, head inside to the bar for a warming cup of hot chocolate.

After drying off in your private ensuite, meet up with your group for a shared meal at on-site Cascades Restaurant. Charcuterie cheese boards come with gooey, creamy cheeses and savoury meat cuts, so you can share salty nibbles as you laugh the night away and recount your efforts on the slopes.

Being one of Australia’s most popular ski fields, Thredbo has a buzzing nightlife as well as winter sports. Down your drinks and sashay out for a round on the town before retiring to your ultra-cosy wood-panelled room for a sound night’s sleep of snow-dusted dreams.

Hotel Rydges Thredbo Alpine

7.3(47 reviews)

Escape to the country for your NSW winter getaway


From its perch in the scenic NSW Northern Tablelands, the Quality Hotel Powerhouse in Armidale is the ideal jumping-off point for hiking the nearby national parks and exploring modern dining options around the region. Armidale and the rolling tablelands were the inspiration for Australian poet Judith Wright, so you’re in for an escape worthy of poetic praise here.

You’ll be super cosy on cool winter mornings when you wake to under-floor heating in your Superior Queen Room. A steaming cappuccino made in-room will banish any remaining chill and revive your senses as you slip into a plush bathrobe for a steamy shower in your marble ensuite.

When you’re squeaky clean, head to on-site Azka Restaurant for a brekkie of poached eggs and broiled cherry tomatoes before hopping in the car to explore Waterfall Way. Spurred on by the majestic surrounds, hike a hilly trail in Cunnawarra National Park while birds sing their melodies above you.

On your return to the hotel, settle into a comfortable chair at the Wine & Tapas Bar. Order little plates of sticky pork ribs and fresh, salty oysters washed down with glasses of cold Tempronillo rosé to top off a productive day.

Rydges Armidale

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (1323 reviews)

Feature image courtesy of © Stavros Marmaras / Fotolia