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Panoramic view of Lord Howe Island

As the mercury begins to rise again, the Southern Hemisphere Summer months (December, January, February) bring even more fabulous reasons to start packing your jandals (that’s kiwi for flip-flops) and board shorts to head Down Under.


This time of year is ideal for exploring Australia’s Southern wonders:

Sydney shines in summer with a calendar full of colourful events (from the parade of colour as the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race sets sail to the technicolour New Year’s Eve firework spectacular) and beautiful golden beaches beckon right up and down the coast: from Mollymook to Byron Bay.

Meanwhile Melbourne annually hosts the Australian Open Tennis (14-28 January 2024) and the surrounding regions invite deliciously decadent diversions from wine tasting in the Mornington Peninsula, to dining at some of the nation’s most highly-awarded regional restaurants: the Royal Mail in the Grampians, Brae on the Great Ocean Road (one of Australia’s most spectacularly scenic coastal drives) or the Lakehouse in the pretty spa town of Daylesford)

As the tropical green season sets in Australia’s North, these months are ideal for exploring the Great Barrier Reef’s southern islands: see turtles nesting and hatchlings making their way back out to sea on Heron Island or enjoy a barefoot glamping experience to snorkel the colourful reefs just metres from the sands on the neighbouring Wilson Island.

Alternatively, Lord Howe Island off the coast of New South Wales offers some of the most magnificent opportunities for snorkelling and diving among the world’s southern-most tropical coral reefs. The idyllic World Heritage-listed island also offers some fabulous hikes and beaches, alongside a collection of fabulous places to stay for a truly relaxing off-the-radar escape (a luxury lodge:  Capella Lodge, a boutique retreat: Arajilla Retreat and private villas stay: Island House)

Whilst, ‘island-hopping’ around the Australian coast, it would be remiss not to mention the island-state of Tasmania’s spectacular hiking trails.  A collection of fully guided, accommodated and catered multi-day walks from the coast (Maria Island Walk, the Three Capes Track and Bay of Fires Walk) to the highlands (with the island’s iconic Cradle Mountain Overland Trek) showcase some of nature’s finest creatures and creations: from wombats and wallabies to untouched beaches and dramatic mountain peaks.

South Australia’s Kangaroo Island also invites summer adventures from walking with sea lions that bask on the beaches and kangaroos that bound through the bush to sampling some fabulous island produce: honey, cheeses, gins, wine and seafoods. This summer, visitors to Kangaroo Island also have the opportunity to be among the first to enjoy the luxuries of the newly reopened Southern Ocean Lodge (opened 6 December 2023).

From Perth the ‘world’s sunniest capital city’, visitors can hop across to Rottnest Island to take a selfie with a quokka (whilst also enjoying a delicious seafood cruise experience!) and explore the Margaret River region’s most celebrated wines and sparkling beaches.


Across the Tasman in New Zealand, visitors can expect a similarly laid-back summer vibe and plenty of great reasons to visit.

The North Island’s beautiful Bay of Islands is particularly popular with visitors and locals alike at this time of year, but even here in the peak summer months, we know just where to find a peaceful, private place to enjoy the best of the region doing just as the local’s do: relaxing in a beautiful beachside bach or cruising the stunning island group aboard a crewed and catered luxury vessel like Rua Moana or Ata Rangi.

This time of year is also perfect for getting outdoors and active: tackling one of New Zealand’s greatest short walks: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing that traverses dramatic volcanic peaks and weaves past emerald crater lakes; walking, sailing or kayaking the stunning coves and beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park or swimming with wild seals and dusky dolphins on the Kaikoura Coast.

Set out from the City of Sails (as Auckland is fondly referred to) across the Hauraki Gulf to the local’s favourite weekender destination: Waiheke, Island of Wine. Just half an hour from the city centre, Waiheke feels a million miles from care. Beautiful sandy white coves, backed by rolling vines and wonderful wineries inviting leisurely long lunches.

New Zealand is famous for its world class wines and what better time of year than this to sip a crisp Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough or a buttery Chardonnay in Hawkes Bay whilst enjoying golden summer evenings watching the grapes ripening on the vines.

Head north from Auckland to Te Arai Links this summer to be one of the first to swing a club at the newly opened Tom Doak-designed coastal links North Course: the latest addition to New Zealand’s newest world-class golf resort.

In the nation’s south, renowned as New Zealand’s capital of winter fun, Queenstown offers just as much adventure in the summer months with scenic drives and stunning alpine hikes, bungy jumping, jetboating, mountain biking and more.

And nearby in fabulous Fiordland, cruise the Milford and Dusky Sounds to marvel at their majestic mountain peaks (the clear blue skies of the summer months provide some of the best opportunities to see them in all their glory).

And there’s still so much more to explore! Reach out to the Southern Crossings Travel Designers to start planning your clients’ ideal vacation Down Under, whichever time of year they choose to travel.


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  • Expected Travel Date
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

All details provided by you will be held by Southern Crossings and used in accordance with our privacy policy