10 travel destinations to escape the Melbourne winter

Gold Coast

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted March 27, 2023

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you have to be as well. Shake off the winter blues with a trip to one of these stunning locations around the globe. 

During winter the thought of rain, hail and cold for days on end can bring on feelings of doom and gloom. A trip away may be just what you need to feel revitalised.

Whether it’s surfing on the beaches of Hawaii, going on a tour of the senses in Japan, a budget-friendly getaway to the Goldfields of Victoria or a sunshine escape to the Gold Coast, there’s a holiday for all budgets and travellers looking to take a break from Melbourne’s winter months. 

RACV Members save on a range of hotels, tours, cruises and packages to suit every traveller through RACV Travel and Experiences.

Best destinations to visit during Melbourne's winter

Victorian destinations

With the kids: Ballarat

Budget friendly and not too far from home, Ballarat really comes alive in the wintertime, providing delightful experiences for adults and children alike. 

Located just a 20-minute drive from the RACV Goldfields Resort, experience the Winter Wonderland at Sovereign Hill, get into medieval activities at Kryal Castle, or take in the rich history and culture at local art galleries. 

Romantic getaway: The Yarra Valley

You don’t have to travel far for it to be considered a holiday. With winery tours, hot air balloon rides, chocolate tastings, spa treatments, galleries and artisan shops galore, heading just an hour out of the Melbourne to the green Yarra Valley is the perfect city escape.  

Spend your evenings enjoy mulled wine by the fire with a hearty meal at Banyalla, which showcases local produce with mountain views before resting your head at the RACV Healesville Country Club & Resort.

Activities galore: Phillip Island

While many may think of Phillip Island as a beachy destination for summer, there is plenty to do in this area on Victoria’s southern coast come wintertime. For instance, this is the best time to go whale watching off the coast of Phillip Island, where you can expect to spot around 200 whales on a daily cruise.

The famed Little Penguins continue to visit at this time of year too, and may have started laying their eggs. Watching the Little Penguins waddle home at sunset will warm your heart. 

Indoor entertainment and activities, such as bowling, mini-golf, museums, and go-karting, are also available on Phillip Island for a winter getaway filled with adventure and fun times.


Take the kids to explore the history of Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. Image: Supplied.
The Yarra Valley is a foodie's paradise. Image: Visit Victoria.
See the Little Penguins up close at Phillip Island. Image: Visit Victoria.

Australian destinations

For culture and cold lovers: Hobart

While some may shy away from the crisper air, for many, winter is the time to enjoy mulled wine, cosy knits, and meals by the fire. If this is more your jam, consider an adventure-packed getaway just across the Bass Strait to Tasmania.

Bring the car on the Spirit of Tasmania and take in the wintertime sights at your own pace – MONA Tasmania, the Salamanca Markets, and the city's famed gin distilleries are all must-visits while in Hobart. 

Rest your head in the centre of town at the RACV Hobart Hotel, which is perfectly nestled among Hobart's biggest attractions and experiences.

For sun seekers: Noosa and Gold Coast

Those on the other side of the coin are looking to escape the harsh Melbourne cold in  search for an endless summer. Whether you’re solo, a couple or travelling with the family, Queensland has a myriad of options for all types of travellers and budgets. 

In Noosa, you should still expect sunny skies and relaxed vibes between June and August, perfect for catching some waves and a bit of Vitamin D, plus the chance to spot whales and dolphins. RACV Noosa Resort is the ultimate base to explore the wider Sunshine Coast, too.

Further south, on the Gold Coast, we’ve rounded up a range of activities and day trips to do. Plus, those who book in to the RACV Royal Pines Resort can indulge in the newly refurbished rooms and facilities, and of course, the chance to play on a championship-level golf course.

For an unforgettable getaway: Uluru and the Top End

Looking for a winter escape that you'll never forget?  

The UNESCO World Heritage listed site of Uluru is over 600 million years old, and can be explored on a First Nations walking tour, a camel ride, segway tour or even a scenic helicopter ride.  

A cruise through the Kimberley and the Top End is perfect for those looking for a holiday that is truly extraordinary. The luxury vessel travels from Darwin through Broome and the Kimberley region, taking in the incredible culture, natural beauty, and of course, phenomenal hot and humid weather of Australia’s Top End.


Enjoy a cosy wine is the perfect ending to a day in Hobart. Image: Supplied.
Head north for sunny skies on Noosa Main Beach. Image: Supplied.
Explore the natural wonders of Uluru right here in Australia. Image: Tourism NT.

International destinations

For those chasing the sun: Hawaii

Aloha! Who hasn’t dreamed of experiencing the magic of Hawaii? Picture yourself surfing on Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach, sunset cruising in Maui, dancing at a lū'au' on the Big Island or hiking the stunning rainforests of Kauai. 

Whether you want a holiday full of activities, shopping, entertainment, nature treks or simply cocktails by the beach with your significant other, there’s something for everyone in this sun-soaked destination that dreams are made of. 

For travel explorers: London

London Calling! While not exactly known for its sunny skies, London is the perfect gateway to exploring sunny continental Europe, with seaside destinations in Italy, Croatia, Greece and the south of France just a short flight or train ride away. 

That said, London will still occupy a lot of your time, with so much to do you’ll be working hard to fit it all in. The history, the shopping, the shows, the music, the art, and museums – consider London the intro to your fabulous European summer. 

For culture lovers: Japan

The Land of the Rising Sun has become hot commodity in recent years, with its contrasts between old and new providing endless amounts of intrigue and attraction for Australian travellers.

Over the Japanese summer, visit the coastlines of Okinawa, sit outdoors and enjoy the famed okonomiyaki dish in Osaka, head to an outdoor onsen, enjoy the Hokokuji Temple in the bamboo forests of Kyoto and shop ‘til you drop in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Tropical paradise close to home: Bali

International doesn’t always need to mean a long flight. At just under six hours from Melbourne, tropical Bali has remained a popular travel hotspot for a reason. The Indonesian province is a tourist’s paradise, where a holiday really is what you make it. 

Thrill seekers may enjoy a round of white-water rafting or quad biking outside of Kuta, while those looking for a bit or rest and relaxation will enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Ubud. With glorious weather, budget-friendly food and drinks, and accommodation and activities for all ages, it's always the right time to go to Bali. 


There's not many sights that beat the beauty of Honolulu's Waikiki Beach. Image: Supplied.
There's plenty of iconic sights to visit in London. Image: Supplied.
Are the busy street of Tokyo calling? Image: Supplied.
Glide along the lazy river at Waterbom Park, Bali. Image: Supplied.
Cruises are swimming back to our shores. Image: Supplied.
London calling! See the famous London Tower Bridge, built in 1886 with panoramic views around the city. Image: Getty.