While most of us think of the snow and skiing as a Winter getaway in Australia, there are plenty of coastal escapes to eat, drink and relax at during these chillier months.
From Darwin sunsets to breakfast by the beach in Noosa, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to coastal dining, accommodation and attractions. Pack your bags and let’s embark on a Winter adventure to remember.
Darwin Coastal Hot Spots:
Darwin’s temperature rarely drops below 30C during Winter, making it an ideal getaway for those of us trying to escape the cold further south. While in the city, head to Hotel Darwin on Mitchell Street for a refreshing beverage and hearty meal at this iconic watering hole, with a history dating back to 1940.
Situated directly across from Parliament House and close to the coastline, the hotel continues a long tradition of providing icy beers with more than 10 labels on tap, as well as favourite cocktails and a wide selection of wines by the glass, alongside live music and a Mod Oz menu of Territorian classics such as crocodile ribs and kangaroo pie.
Nothing epitomises the coast more than a great seafood restaurant and Wharf One Food & Wine on Kitchener Drive offers an all-encompassing culinary experience. No matter the choice, each table offers dazzling water views of the lagoon and harbour to soak up while unwinding in sophisticated surrounds, with an impressively stocked bar tempting those with a thirst for a cheeky cocktail.
A menu of innovative creations reflects seasonal ingredients as well as succulent fresh fish and seafood, as seen in small plates like gin-cured Atlantic salmon, lemon crème fraiche, flying fish roe, nori and fennel. For larger appetites, try a seafood platter to share with bay bugs, prawns, baked oysters, NT barramundi fillet, fish roe, aioli, shoestring fries and a garden salad.
Get Away from Winter at Noosa Heads:
For a stunning holiday away from it all, head to Fairshore Noosa, situated just steps from the pristine white sands of Noosa Heads’ main beach on Hastings Street. Boasting an idyllic Sunshine Coast location on the beachfront, Fairshore offers three styles of two-bedroom apartments, all fully serviced and luxuriously appointed.
Begin with a quick dash down to the beach for swimming, body boarding and sunbaking, while evenings are best spent relaxing on a deck chair by the pool, as waves roll in and the sun sets casting dazzling colours across the night sky. There’s also a gym for fitness fanatics, games room for the kids and barbeque facilities for those who want to cook their own dinner.
Tuna belly gravlax, orange and green tomato salad at Noosa Waterfront Restaurant.
Overlooking the calm canal inlet of Noosa River from Gympie Terrace, Noosa Waterfront Restaurant serves up a touch of elegance in a spacious setting surrounded by lush greenery, or simply soak up the Winter sun by the water while delving into tantalising modern Italian fare, paired with award-winning Australian and imported wines.
From a menu flowing with the seasons, expect tempters like Portuguese sardines, aromatic breadcrumbs, pancetta, yoghurt finger limes and mint; while pasta lovers will salivate over spaghettini with Western Australian lobster, capers, olives, cherry tomatoes and crustacean butter. Satisfy sweet cravings with gelati, hazelnut, coffee, cocoa nib, pistachio, vanilla and hay.
Winter on the Central Coast of NSW:
Escape the Winter chill and embrace the beachside splendour of New South Wales Central Coast at Sandy Cove Apartments on Ozone Street at The Entrance. Conveniently located within close distance to the ocean and town centre, this eight-storey block houses spacious, serviced holiday apartments with a choice of up to four bedroom stays for all group sizes.
From May through to July, the annual whale migration passes through waters off The Entrance, making it an ideal Winter holiday getaway for the family to enjoy. Sandy Cove offers facilities such as a heated in-ground pool, spa and sauna, alongside open-plan apartments furnished with modern comforts for a holiday away from home, including a spa bath, gourmet kitchen and secure parking.
After a day out on the water watching humpback whales and their calves frolicking, head to The Entrance Lake House for Mod Oz fare with flair. Take in uninterrupted views of Tuggerah Lake, from this refurbished restaurant, specialty coffee house, eatery and function venue, featuring worn wood floors, palms and bi-fold windows, offering water vistas from most angles.
Whether stopping by for breakfast, high tea or dining at night from a menu swimming with choices, be enticed by seared scallops, pea puree, pickled shallots and candied hazelnuts; while meat lovers will be satisfied with mains such as glazed beef short ribs, with confit potato, carrots and red wine jus. Deconstructed pavlova and ginger crème brulee are just two of the divine desserts on offer.
Coastal Winter vibes at Verandah Retreat.
Visit Phillip Island this Winter:
Watch the Penguins nightly sunset waddle from the sea to their burrows at Phillip Island, just a two-hour drive from Melbourne. Hamptons-style accommodation, minutes from the beach, awaits at Verandah Retreat on Gordon Street in Cowes – perfect for an idyllic couple’s getaway for a Winter romantic rendezvous, or family groups looking to spend time together.
A garden oasis of climbing bougainvillea makes for lazy days reading a book while sipping a glass of Mornington Peninsula wine, while indoors hardwood floors, plantation shutters and restored furniture create a relaxed, nostalgic vibe to chill out in. Comfortably sleeping six, with a surround sound docking system, DVDs, books and games, Verandah is a blue and white haven that is dressed to impress.
Relax by the pool at Fairshore Noosa.
Escape to Victor Harbour this Winter:
Just an hour’s drive from Adelaide, Victor Harbour is surrounded by beaches, islands, rocky cliffs, giant granite boulders and fertile farmland and offers an amazing range of activities and adventures. No visit to this stunning South Australian seaside locale would be complete without dining at Nino’s of Victor Harbour on Albert Place.
Established in 1974, Nino’s is famed across not only kilometres but also generations as a simple, modern family restaurant catering for all tastes and occasions. Owner/Chef Simon Pitman ensures guests are well fed with meals made fresh to order from pizzas like Nino’s special, with ham, salami, fresh mushrooms, Kalamata olives, capsicum and anchovies; to pasta dishes of spaghetti marinara, with market seafood, tomato, chilli and garlic.
A fiesta of flavours awaits amigos looking to spice up their Winter getaway at Loco Mexican, a vibrant hot spot to see and be seen on Ocean Street in Victor Harbour. Just a couple of blocks from the waterfront on the upstairs level of Harbor Mall, Loco radiates a warm and lively vibe with burnt orange tables adding character, while a window gives a sneak peek into kitchen creations.
As much as possible is prepared in-house, including smoked meats, pickles, spice mixes and sauces to ensure fresh and zesty flavours tingle the tongue - from street food snacks like corn with chipotle, queso and lime, to Atlantic salmon tostadas with guacamole, pico de gallo, chipotle and cholula – or grab some finger-lickin’ braised pork ribs, pickled radish slaw, mojo, lime and pomegranate.
Get Away to Broome this Winter:
After a spectacular Winter sunset camel ride along the white sands of Cable Beach on the Indian Ocean coastline, head back to Kimberley Sands Resort and Spa on Murray Road and say bon appetit to a dinner of quintessential French cuisine at La Perle Restaurant. Named after the iconic pearl acclaimed the world over as a food source and gem, embark on a chauffeured culinary adventure through France.
Begin with an entrée of Abrolhos Islands octopus, roasted eggplant, chickpea mousse and olive crumble, followed by bouillabaisse de Marseille – local fish, mussels, clams, squid and prawns in a fragrant broth, with saffron, garlic croutons and rouille. Frangipane tart, poached apple and burnt apple ice cream makes for an ideal way to finish a memorable meal.