Roaming Down Under

Winter travel in Australia and New Zealand

Some advantages of travelling down under in the winter off-season

Many people find it strange that I prefer to travel, hike and camp in winter, especially when I seek out places colder than where I live, not warmer. Partly it's because I prefer cooler weather, but there are many other clear advantages of travelling down under in the winter off-season. On this page I list some of them.

Firstly, some exclusions. These observations apply to the temperate areas of Australia, plus New Zealand, in places where winter is the off-season. What follows does not apply to the tropics, central deserts and the ski resorts, where winter is popular for climatic reasons. Also, some of the off-season benefits do not apply during the mid-year school holidays in July.

Here then are the advantages of winter travel in Australia and New Zealand, based on my own experiences over many years.

Campervan near Mt Wedge, Tasmania

A half price rental campervan and scenic roads with no traffic contribute to a great road trip

Winter touring in general

Footprints on Misery Beach, Western Australia

Misery Beach, Albany, WA

The natural environment is what really sets Australia and New Zealand apart from other places. I love exploring it by hiking, and sometimes camping, and have enjoyed these winter advantages:

Winter hiking

Sunrise through sea mist, Bruny Island, Tasmania

Sunrise through sea mist on Bruny Island ... and I didn't have to get up early to see it

Winter camping

Not many go snow-camping in this part of the world, which is not surprising given the limited opportunities. But if you do, camping on snow has some advantages:


To be fair, winter travel has aspects that don't suit everybody.

Despite some disadvantages, I hope you can see why exploring New Zealand and the temperate parts of Australia in winter appeals to many people. Next time you see someone working through the warm months then venturing into the great outdoors when the weather turns cold and inclement, just remember we are not mad, just different ... and there is some reasoning behind our choices.