Ultimate Fun: 23 Thrilling Things to Do During the Australian Winter School Holidays

5 July 2024

Ah, winter school holidays in Australia—that time of year when it’s too icy to pretend you’re keen on a beach day but perfect for packing in as much indoor fun as humanly possible. So, what’s on the docket to keep the kids entertained and maybe even give the adults a thrill?


Top of the list: indoor skydiving at iFLY, because why wouldn’t you want to float effortlessly without the frostbite risk? So, without further ado, we’ll walk you through a slew of terrific activities guaranteed to turn up the heat on your holiday fun—no mittens required!


1.     Indoor Skydiving at iFLY


In terms of exciting things to do in Australia, how about giving flying a go? Grab your chance this winter at iFLY Australia for some incredible indoor skydiving action. Our centres are scattered all over Australia, from sunny Brisbane to picturesque Perth. iFLY offers the heart-pounding rush of freefalling without the need for a plane or those dizzying heights.


Perfect if you’re a thrill-seeker who prefers your adventures without the frostbite. Nervous newbie? Seasoned pro? Whatever your ability, iFLY boasts top-notch instructors to help you nail those airborne moves. So, this winter, ditch the ground, embrace the Aussie winter and glide through the air like a sky-diving veteran.


2.     Head to a Virtual Reality Arcade


Fancy a trip to Mars or a zombie chase without leaving town? Visit a virtual reality arcade and strap in for the adventure. You’ll almost feel like you’re in your own game—except for the risk of real-life zombies. Check out immersive worlds where you can attack zombies, explore alien planets, or walk through ancient events. It’s so realistic, that you’ll feel like you’re right there, ducking lasers or high-fiving Martians. Surely this sounds much better than braving the elements outside?


3.     Chocolate-Making Workshop


What’s not to love about being Willy Wonka for a day? Scoot over to a local chocolate workshop like The Margaret River Chocolate Company and try it out for yourself – a deliciously decadent option among the winter activities in Australia.


Get your hands dirty (and most likely quite chocolatey) learning the tricks of the trade, including stirring, tempering, and tasting all kinds of moreish chocolate creations. You’ll even get to make silky smooth truffles and chocolate bars. How’s that for a treat? And, to top things off, you'll leave with more goodies than you can carry – talk about a sugar high!


4.     Ice Skating at a Local Rink


Slide into the winter spirit at your nearest ice rink. Ice skating is brilliant for a laugh (and possibly a few harmless tumbles), keeping everyone moving and grooving. It's one of the best ways to enjoy your winter school holiday in Australia without actually feeling the season’s chill. Wonderful for families or a fun date, the rink offers a festive feel where you can twirl, glide, or just try to stay upright.


5.     Indoor Climbing Gym


Now’s your chance to scale walls without getting in trouble – try your hand at indoor climbing at a gym. You’ll climb new heights, no matter your skill level. It’s a fab way to get everyone moving, laughing, and maybe even witness Dad take a tumble or two. Brilliant for family bonding or a fun day out with friends, this active adventure involves a lot of laughter and friendly rivalry.


6.     Art and Craft Workshops


Get messy with glitter and glue at an art and craft workshop. Local museums and community centres often run sessions that let your kids’ creativity fly wild. Your little monkeys can create everything from paper mâché sculptures to watercolour paintings – a fab way for children to express themselves artistically. Even better? They’ll come home clutching their colourful treasures, eager to put them on your fridge and walls.


7.     Swim with Whales on the Great Barrier Reef


Nothing quite compares to floating through the balmy, spotless waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Also, it’s blissfully outside stinger season. You’ll also witness a few dwarf minke whales coming up to say g'day! With the winter calm, it’s a prime time to splash around with these gentle giants. Head out from Cairns or Port Douglas and make some massive marine mates!


8.     Submarine Museum Tour


Engross yourself and the kiddos in history with a tour of a submarine museum. It’s not every day you get to glimpse into the periscope and absorb life under the sea. A guided exploration offers a detailed deep dive into naval tradition and the particulars of submarine operations. Kids (and big kids) will rejoice in the courageous tales—after all, who doesn't relish a good submarine story? Plus, it's the closest you'll get to living a pirate's life, matey!


9.     Stargaze at an Outback Sky in the Red Centre


Think of a winter’s night so crisp that the stars light up like a disco. That’s what it’s like under the night-time sky at Australia's Red Centre. From Uluru on a camel to the Field of Light on foot, your days are sorted. But at night? Grab a telescope and join the local astronomy guru for tales taller than the southern skies are wide. And don’t miss the Camel Cup in Alice Springs—it’s a laugh a minute!


10. Cosy up at a Cellar Door Near Adelaide


Chilly mornings in South Australia's wine country are just crying out for you to stay indoors and get familiar with a robust red by a roaring fire. Find yourself a homely cellar door in the rolling hills (we recommend Adelaide Hills) and let the wine do the talking. And for a quirky twist, dive into the winter waters on a Swim with Giant Cuttlefish tour—a chilly but extraordinary adventure.


11. Discover Port Douglas, Queensland


Sunny days and cool nights make Port Douglas a winter wonderland for families. Hug a koala, ride the historic Bally Hooley Steam Train, or wander the vibrant markets. Sundays are for lazy market mornings where local crafts and fresh treats steal the show. Don't skip a visit to the picturesque St Mary’s by The Sea Chapel, it’s a real beaut!


12. Take a Road Trip Through Australia’s Wilderness


Fancy a drive that feels like cruising on Mars? Grab a camper van and head from Darwin to the iconic Uluru. Prefer coastal vistas? The Great Ocean Road awaits, with its dramatic cliffs and remains of the Twelve Apostles. No worries if you're driving on an Indian licence—it's all good here. And if driving isn't your thing, hop on a tour bus and unwind as Australia’s picturesque wonders roll by.


13. Witness the Southern Lights in Tasmania


Feeling stumped about things to do in Tasmania in winter? Chasing the Southern Lights is like hunting for a spectral treasure, rare and spellbinding. Tasmania in winter might just reward you with this luminous display, painting the night sky in shades of purple and green. It’s a sight you won’t forget—fingers crossed you’re one of the lucky ones to see nature’s own light show!


14. Be a Part of Vivid Sydney


Every winter, Sydney turns into a playground of fluorescent lights, with buildings painted in exciting tones and streets vibrating with music. Sure, Vivid Sydney is a festival. But it’s also a colossal celebration of light, ideas, and imagination that lights up the city after dark. An art buff? Or just enjoy a good light show? This event is a feast for your senses and your Instagram feed.


15. Meander Through the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk


High-flying explorations not quite your family's style? Keep things down-to-earth with an amble through the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk on the Gold Coast. Stroll through a 1.5-kilometer trail through flourishing greenery. Cross spectacular sky bridges. Marvel at bird's-eye views from the Cedar Creek Viewing Platform. And how about finishing off your 45-minute trip with a pit stop at the eco gallery? Feast your eyes on fascinating insect dioramas and a colossal aquarium. And don’t miss Birdwing Cafe's prize-winning Byron Bay pies (yep, they have gluten-free options!) and grab a keepsake from the gift shop to keep the memories alive.


16. Do a Spot of Dolphin Watching at Glenelg


Nip over to Glenelg where the dolphins are as approachable as the locals. These clever creatures are partial to a good splash-about, and if you’re blessed, they might just show off with a couple of flips and tricks. Why just watch from the shore? Take the plunge and swim alongside them! You’ll become a part of an exclusive, extremely aquatic flash flock. Just a typical winter day down under— getting up close and personal with dolphins surrounded by the picturesque waterways off the coast of Glenelg. What's not to love?


17. Experience Christmas in July


Reckon Christmas only comes once a year? Not in the Blue Mountains! Come July, this place turns into a winter nirvana, complete with crackling log fires, nourishing roast dinners, and even the odd snowflake. It’s nicknamed Yulefest, and it’s pretty much a Christmas party amid the winter school holidays in Australia. Just show up in your favourite festive jumper then warm your cockles with mulled wine, no December required.


18. Hug a Koala and Feed a Kangaroo on Kangaroo Island


Dreamed of getting up close and cosy with some of Australia’s most iconic wild animals? Kangaroo Island offers a one-of-a-kind chance to cuddle up with koalas and hand feed friendly kangaroos all day long. With its pristine landscapes and loveable wildlife, it’s the ideal spot to tick off that bucket list dream of embracing a koala. And why not stay the night? The stars are dazzling, and the morning brings sea lions frolicking at dawn.


19. Learn Skiing at Kosciuszko National Park


Snow bunnies, come together! Hidden in the heart of Australia’s snowy mountains, Kosciuszko National Park is home to the Southern Hemisphere’s skiing mecca – Perisher. Once winter lands (June to October), it transforms into a snow-covered paradise, with runs that’ll make even the most practised skiers’ hearts skip a beat. Never skied before? No problem, it’s just the place to start a love affair with the snow.


20. Hang Out with Penguins on Phillip Island


Why travel to Antarctica when Phillip Island's Penguin Parade brings these loveable little feathered fellas right to you every sunset? Watch as these fascinating creatures waddle from the ocean to their cosy burrows. Upgrade your experience with a Penguins Plus tour or go for the underground view for an even closer look. It's like a tuxedo party where the guests are pint-sized and remarkably cute!


21. Go Dune Bashing in the Simpson Desert


Ready for a wild ride? The Simpson Desert offers an immense playground with over 1,100 soaring sand dunes great for dune bashing. Hold on tight – dune bashing is a great blend of off-road excitement and desert landscape that’ll leave you panting and yearning for more. Be prepared, though – you’ll certainly kick up a lot of sand!


22. Frolic in the Wildflowers in Perth


Set foot inside the botanic heaven in Perth, where over a million square miles teem with bold, eye-catching wildflowers. Prepare to be flabbergasted – the Botanic Garden is a floral dream.


It’s home to more than 12,000 plant species. Your senses will love it. See the bursts of bright colours. Smell the heavenly scents and admire the blooms. And another thing – you can find more than 60% of these beauties right here in Oz. Nature fan? Keen photographer? It’s hard to find a more impressive backdrop for your next escapade.


23. Sit on a Crocodile Cruise in Northern Australia


Brave enough to explore the crocodile-crawling waters of Northern Australia with a magnificent Crocodile Cruise? These waterways teem with life, a thriving metropolis for over 80,000 saltwater crocs.


The cooler temperatures make this a great time to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. It’ll be an incredibly humbling, heart-pounding experience. Ideal if you’re a bit of an adventurer seeking a walk on the wild side!


The Takeaway


So, there you go. A whopping list of awesome things to do in the Australia winter school holidays that'll make you forget all about the beach. From getting a taste of zero-gravity at iFLY Australia to making friends with penguins and kangaroos, there's never a dull moment.

Who knew winter could be this fun? Whether you’re flipping out in a dune buggy or cosying up with a glass of red in Adelaide, each of these Australian winter activities is a reminder that the Aussie winter is as cool as you make it.


So chuck on a beanie, grab the kids (or not), and get stuck into an adventure that’ll make your mates wish they’d tagged along. Here’s to making frosty memories without the frostbite!