Best winter road trips
Break out the winter woollies and embrace the chilly weather.
It’s not often Queenslanders have an opportunity to don scarves, gloves and winter coats, so take advantage of the chill in these winter-worthy locations.
Just three hours from Brisbane, the Bunya Mountains is a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Stay in an alpine-inspired chalet, complete with a fireplace, while wild wallabies hop through your front yard.
Take advantage of almost 40km of rainforest walking tracks ranging from short 10-minute strolls to all-day hikes. Kids will love hand feeding wild Australian King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas at the licenced wildlife interaction area.
Warm up with a whisky tasting at Shackleton’s Whisky Bar, Australia’s highest whisky bar and home to 116 whiskies from around the world. Sip a dram of liquid gold by the indoor or outdoor fireplaces.
There are few places in Queensland where you can experience snow but, if you’re lucky, Stanthorpe is one of them.
The Granite Belt town holds the record for the lowest temperature recorded in Queensland (−10.6°C) and is known to receive sleet and snow during winter. In 2015, Stanthorpe was transformed into a winter wonderland when 8cm of snow fell overnight.
Known as Queensland’s premier wine region, Stanthorpe boasts more than 40 wineries, vineyards and cellar doors. Try some of the region’s exclusive alternative wines, known as Strange Birds, which are so rare their grapes account for less than 1% of the total grapes grown in Australia.
Don’t worry if you don’t experience snowfall, the Snowflakes in Stanthorpe festival will be serving up all the man-made snow you could want with ice-skating, snowball fights and ice sculptures.
Winter marks the start of the Hervey Bay whale watching season. From July to November more than 20,000 Humpback whales make the 10,000km return journey along Australia’s east coast as they migrate from Antarctica to northern Queensland. Book a whale watching cruise to enjoy a close encounter with the marine giants in their natural habitat.
Hervey Bay’s 12km of protected beaches are perfect for relaxing in the warm winter sunshine, exploring rockpools and, if you’re feeling brave, a dip in the calm ocean. Hire a bike to explore 15km of bike paths along the foreshore from Urangan to Point Vernon and watch the residents Ospreys dive and fly overhead.
Tree houses are not just for kids at Mt Tambourine. Stay in one of 10 tree houses at Perthers Rainforest Retreat. Each tree house features a private spa, a gas fireplace and 5m tall glass windows overlooking pristine rainforest.
Hike along one of the many popular rainforest walking tracks before stopping for a coffee at one of more than 60 craft and gift stores, galleries, cafes and restaurants at the Tambourine Mountain Gallery Walk.