Ducks fly north for the winter, and for good reason … they don’t like the cold! Here are a selection of warm northern and western getaways that will leave the winter blues far behind.
Cable Beach, Broome
“As the winter storms loom, jump on a plane and fly to Broome!” This is about as far north and west as you can go, and still enjoy all the finer aspects of a holiday. The sunsets over Cable Beach are awesome and second to none. Time your visit with a full moon, when the moonbeam on the waves creates a “Stairway to the Moon” effect. For couples, it’s the perfect place to “pop the question”. With direct flights from the eastern capital cities and Perth, Broome also has plenty of accommodation. Spend some time at the local museum and many other places of interest, to learn of the region’s incredible history.
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“You prefer seafood salad to a hot winter roast? Then the place for you is Queensland’s Sunshine Coast!” Fly into Sunshine Coast Airport at Maroochydore, and take it from there: head north to perennially popular Noosa or try Fraser Island for something different, or south to Caloundra and to my personal favourite, Mooloolaba, which offers excellent value for money for couples, families and groups and everything is in walking distance. Rent a car and visit Eumundi markets, and the many quiet little, hideaway beaches such as Coolum and Rainbow. If you want to learn to surf, here’s your chance!
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“If you want to escape the cold, simply head north to the Gold!” Transfers are easily organised from Coolangatta airport to wherever you choose to stay. I can vouch for the Towers of Chevron Renaissance, in the heart of Surfers Paradise, is ideal, or the upmarket Sofitel hotel at Broadbeach. Everywhere is close to the beach, and taxi fares are reasonable. Hire a car and drive through the Gold Coast hinterland.
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“Winter’s approaching, you want something to do? Then fly west to the warm waters of Ningaloo!” Western Australia’s Ningaloo is home to one of the world’s most prized coral reefs, is a premier scuba diving location, and is famous for swimming with giant whale sharks and huge manta rays. Its isolation is an asset, but there are regular flights from Perth to Exmouth, and coach transfer to Ningaloo. You won’t be disappointed.
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“Where to go? Well try this way – up the northern coast to Byron Bay!” The North Coast of NSW is home to a rich choice winter destinations, such as Byron Bay. Try this: Fly direct to Newcastle and drive a rental car up the coast for a week or two. There is an abundance of B&BS and short-stay apartments in Port Stephens, the Barrington Tops National Park, Forster, Port Macquarie, Nambucca Heads, Coffs Harbour and finish off in Byron Bay.
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“Say hoo roo to the cold, and the dew, and head to the Red Centre and Uluru!” This is the heart of our ancient land, and a place to absorb its indigenous history. Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) is easily accessible from Ayers Rock Airport, and has a variety of accommodation choices. By the way, Uluru didn’t rise from the ground, it is the area’s original height; the softer surrounding land has slowly eroded away over the eons. Take a guided day tour to Kings Canyon and Kata Tjuta (formerly the Olgas).
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“Don’t fret about the cold, don’t even fuss, simply fly north Port Douglas!” Cairns airport is the entrance to a world of warmth and wonder. Port Douglas is only 40 minutes’ drive away, and has everything for an enjoyable stay: the reef, the beach, the rainforest. Drive a day inland and up to the remarkably lush Atherton Tablelands. Head across the Daintree River and spend at least one night in the Daintree Rainforest (untouched by any Ice Age, it is the world’s oldest rainforest).
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Don’t sit at home and wallow in winter blues, when a warm spell in paradise is only an easy flight north.
(Featured image: Adam Campbell)