WA Winter Gems You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
With two climates to choose from, Western Australia does winter cool and crisp or warm and wonderful.
Time for some myth-busting: the assumption that the Western Australian winter involves a momentary dip in temperature and a couple of extra clouds is just plain wrong! In southern WA, winter can get downright chilly… OK, not freezing, but cold enough to make you want to retreat to an open fire with a good bottle of Margaret River Cabernet.
Meanwhile, in northern WA, the humidity thins away and the winter sun shines with gorgeous clarity – the perfect time to explore the Coral Coast and the North West.
Winter in Perth
With just over two million people, Perth and the neighbouring port city of Fremantle have an improbable number of cosy, winter-warmer bars and pubs, plus a host of winter events.
Lasso some friends and get social at The Cabin in Mt Hawthorn, which does a convincing impersonation of a stylish aprés-ski lounge (chesterfields, exposed bricks, open fire). Or tuck into a cheese platter at the welcoming Mrs Brown Bar in North Fremantle, popular with the local muso set.
Rug Up, Wind Down and Reconnect Down South
Wheeling into the South West, explore the boutique wineries and craft breweries around Margaret River and beyond. Get some crisp air into your lungs at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse – standing resolutely on mainland Australia’s most south-westerly point, this amazing structure built in 1895 oversees the collision of the Indian and Southern Oceans. If you’ve been wanting to disconnect from daily stresses and reset your soul, Cape Leeuwin is for you! You might even spy some Humpback or Southern Right whales wandering past on their winter migration.
Further east near Nornalup, continue your natural reconnect with a misty winter wander through the Valley of The Giants – a towering forest of 400-year-old Tingle trees, interlinked by a canopy boardwalk 40 metres in the air.
Thirsty yet? With the perfect percentage of ‘hippie’ and now getting some time in the spotlight courtesy of Simon Baker’s adaptation of the Tim Winton novel Breath, little Denmark just might be Australia’s most underrated coastal town. The ideal winter retreat, it’s divinely positioned in the Great Southern wine region. Hook up with Denmark Wine Lovers Tours for a tasting experience, or head to Boston Brewery for hand-crafted local beers.
The heart-warming North West
Moving into the North West where in Broome and the Kimberley the mercury hovers around 30°C in winter, a season when the town shifts into top gear. Good news for you: all the restaurants, bars and resorts are open! Don’t miss a balmy movie at Sun Pictures, the world’s oldest outdoor cinema (1916).
Away from the fray, there are some sassy beach ‘glamping’ options around Broome – romantic luxe safari tents just made for a winter escape with the one you love. Try the Billi resort on for size.
For an amazing Kimberley indigenous cultural experience, head south of Broome to the Bidyadanga Community Art Centre and engage with the Karajarri artists in WA’s largest remote Aboriginal community.
Interested in more memorable experiences? Check out these top ten experience lists from around Western Australia.