Winter is officially here, but not all of us are happy about it. If you’re one of the one-in-three Aussies who want to escape the chill with a sunny getaway, you need to know where to get the most bang (and sunshine) for your holiday buck. So we’ve done the maths and figured it out! Here are our top 10 winter-warmer getaways for 2018.

1. Cairns, Queensland

Cairns is the quintessential Aussie holiday spot, and many of us flock there for both adventure and relaxation. Winter just happens to be the best time to visit, as travellers can expect clear skies and average high temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius – perfect for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and the nearby Daintree Rainforest. With an average winter rate of $161 per night, there are fantastic accommodation options to suit all travellers and budgets.

2. Hoi An, Vietnam

The delightful town of Hoi An should be part of any Vietnam holiday itinerary – and more and more Aussies are catching on. With its beautiful beaches and the World Heritage-listed Ancient Town, Hoi An is a melting pot of history and culture, as well as one of the most affordable destinations to visit this winter. Don’t miss the iconic Japanese Bridge, and be sure to visit a local tailor or join a cooking class.

3. Krabi, Thailand

Krabi is one of Thailand’s most scenic and relaxing destinations. In winter the average high temperature is 31 degrees Celsius, so you’ll have no choice but to sail off and visit all of the Krabi coast’s many gorgeous islands. There’s also no shortage of great hotels, with an average nightly rate of just $91. From stunning beach resorts to budget-friendly stays close to the town centre, there are plenty to choose from.

No sign of winter in Krabi, Thailand

4. Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang is a fantastic coastal hotspot that’s becoming more and more popular with Aussie travellers. It boasts warm temperatures all year round, but Aussie winter is one of the best times to visit, with an average high temperature of 33 degrees Celsius and just three days of expected rainfall (which means more time to enjoy the sunshine). There are many great-value resorts along the coast, with the average nightly rate for this winter just $138. Nha Trang is a top pick for families with kids, thanks to Vinpearl Land waterpark, which is home to the biggest wave pool in Southeast Asia. Even getting there is an adventure – Vinpearl Land is located on Hon Tre Island, which is accessible via the world’s longest over-the-sea cable car.

5. Bowen, Queensland

Bowen’s prime location on Queensland’s north coast gives its visitors not one but eight beautiful beaches to choose from, as well as easy access to the Whitsundays. With an average winter accommodation rate of $140 per night, it’s a great-value coastal getaway for when you truly need to unwind. While you could easily spend your whole break lounging on the beach, make sure you at least take time to get a snap with the iconic Big Mango.

6. Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, is a colourful hotspot that’s quickly becoming a must-visit destination, with searches on Wotif up a whopping 80% compared to last year. Spend your days exploring stunning gardens and galleries or sampling the many local cafes and tea houses. Aussie winter is a fantastic time to visit – with an average high of 30 degrees Celsius, Colombo is a top choice for travellers who like it hot. If you want to cool down, head to Galle Face Green – a five-hectare ocean-side urban park– for a refreshing sea breeze.

City meets culture in Colombo, Sri Lanka

7. Monkey Mia, Western Australia

Located on Australia’s Coral Coast, and famous for its friendly wild dolphins, Monkey Mia is a holiday destination like no other. With blue skies and sunshine almost every day of the year, it’s an ideal winter destination, perfect for a leisurely Aussie getaway or an outback adventure. While accommodation in Monkey Mia is limited, the nearby town of Denham has a great range to choose from, including self-contained apartments and bed-and-breakfasts, with an average winter rate of $199 per night.

8. Pattaya, Thailand

An exciting nightlife scene, easy-going beach culture, and endless range of water activities all combine to make Pattaya a fantastic winter getaway destination. With an average high temperature of 32 degrees Celsius, you’ll have all the sunshine you need to visit Pattaya’s many excellent beaches. Pattaya is also just a two-hour drive from Bangkok, making it easy to get to. Spend a couple of nights in the capital as well for two holidays in one!

9. Marcoola, Queensland

Located on the Sunshine Coast, Marcoola is the perfect home base for exploring the region’s pristine beaches, beautiful national parks, and laid back towns. And Aussie travellers have figured it out, with searches on Wotif up a massive 115% compared to last year. Marcoola is smack-bang between Caloundra and Noosa, placing visitors right at the heart of the Sunshine Coast’s long strip of sunny white shores. While the average winter temperature is cooler than some of the other destinations on this list, Marcoola makes up for it with minimal predicted rainfall and an average winter accommodation rate of $154 per night.

10. Townsville, Queensland

Townsville is a great winter holiday destination, with something for everyone. From the beaches to the rainforests, from the islands to the Great Barrier Reef, your days will be jam-packed with activities. And with fantastic restaurants and a thriving nightlife, your evenings will be just as enjoyable. Plus, with an average winter accommodation rate of just $145 a night, Townsville is the most affordable Aussie destination on the Wotif Winter Heat Index.

Take in the sunrise from Castle Hill, Townsville

Behind the stats
The 2018 Wotif Winter Heat Index examines the affordability of, and interest in, destinations on, along with their average temperatures and expected rainfalls. Destinations received ratings for each category and the top performers were used to create the Wotif Winter Heat Index.

Affordability: Price estimates are based on the average daily rate for 3 – 5 star and self-rated accommodation demand on from June 2017 to August 2017. Prices are in Australian dollars and are not necessarily the rates displayed on the site. Rates are subject to accommodation selections made.
Year-on-year interest: Based on accommodation searches made on from 1 January 2018 to 16 April 2018, for travel dates including 4 July 2018 to 18 July 2018 compared to searches from 1 January 2017 to 6 April 2017 for travel dates 25 June 2017 to 9 July 2017.
Temperature and rainfall: Based on the average monthly high temperature and the average monthly rainfall for each destination in June, July and August 2017 from

Our research: The background research referenced in this post came from the Wotif’s Wot’s Your Journey Report. The Leading Edge were engaged by Wotif to conduct research into understanding Australian travellers. The study was conducted across August to September 2017 and consisted of two components; 1. Online Community of 40 Australian travellers, 2. Online Survey completed by a nationally representative sample of 1,036 Australians travellers (who had all travelled and stayed in paid accommodation in the last two years on leisure holidays). The survey was conducted online among members of a permission-based panel, between 23 – 29 August 2017. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Data was weighted to National Representative proportions to reflect the age, gender, and residential location of Australian travellers.

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