The Best Winter Getaways in NSW
The family fun doesn’t have to drop a few degrees just because the temperature does in winter! A cosy winter getaway in NSW can be just what the doctor ordered when the cold weather and dampened moods kick in during the cooler months.
NSW is full of cosy winter getaways to cheer the family up with warm fireplaces, cool attractions and fresh, crisp air.
The Best Winter Getaways in NSW
1. The Fairmont Resort, Blue Mountains
A pleasurable 90-minute drive from Sydney, The Fairmont Resort is one of the most kid-friendly places ever and doesn't skimp on luxury. You might even get lucky enough to catch a bit of snow while you're up there! Nothing could be better than actually enjoying the cold weather with log fires, cosy rooms, fresh mountain air and even the Christmas in July giant tree in the beautiful high-ceilinged foyer.
The Fairmont Resort really does have it all when it comes to children, too. Kidzone has a circus carousel, mini-car rides, a mini train, two HUGE play centres, ball pits, a mirror maze arcade, mini bowling alleys and heated pools. Parents can relax with a spa treatment or warm up in the jacuzzi knowing the kids are having the time of their lives. Sounds dreamy, right?
2. Crowne Plaza, Terrigal
Who says you have to avoid the beach in winter? Crowne Plaza on the NSW Central Coast shines all year round with views of the gorgeous coastline. Kids will love the iconic (heated) pool, table tennis and arcade games in Florida Beach Bar, with easy access to the beach for sandcastle making and, if they dare, a dip in the ocean! During school holidays there are extra activities for kids, including cupcake-making, pizza-making, plaster-painting and more.
Nearby, there is loads more to do with children, like exploring the nearby national parks and seeking out scaly and furry friends at the Australian Reptile Park. It really is one of the best family winter getaways in NSW.
With a 2.5-3 hour drive from Sydney, Bathurst offers a vibrant city centre steeped in history, surrounded by gold-rush villages and stunning natural landscapes for your winter getaway. Some of our family picks include the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, with a HUGE T-Rex skeleton in its centre, as well as Abercrombie House, the luxurious mansion you can explore with peacocks strutting around the grounds. Kids will also love to run amok in the daring Bathurst Adventure Playground! While in the area, check out Ben Hall's Caves, where many a bushranger of times gone by were known to hide out.
If you happen to be there for the Bathurst Winter Festival then you're in luck! Historic buildings will come alive through static and interactive illuminations, breathing life into old buildings every night from sundown. Wander through the Enchanted Forest or rug up in the Winter Playground with the open-air ice rink, giant Ferris wheel and two-storey carousel. Oh and we hear the mulled wine is amazing!
Don't be fooled, there's nothing boring about Canberra! It will be nice and cold down there so it's a fun way to really enjoy the winter months. For kids, it is a HAVEN of fun, indoor activities, and Questacon is a dream come true. Kids will have fun in an earthquake simulator room, as well as the free-fall slides and a volcano section to name a few. The Dinosaur Museum is a must-see for kids with a love of pre-history, and the large replica dinosaurs will have them in absolute awe.
You can get a bit of a history lesson, too, with a trip to Parliament House or the War Memorial. Check out some of Canberra’s awesome playgrounds, including The Pod at the National Arboretum. There’s so much to see and do in Canberra, we guarantee the kids won't have time to be bored on this epic winter family getaway!
The beautiful region of Orange is known as Australia’s 'Colour City'. Just a 3.5-hour drive from Sydney, there is so much going on in Orange. We recommend stopping off along the way at Mayfield Gardens in Oberon to see 5000 acres of nurseries, roaming chickens, a worm farm, a cafe and produce store.
When you get there, the Orange Botanic Gardens house everything native and exotic, so stop by for a picnic and get a taste of the local history at the Orange Regional Museum – there are vintage horse and carts and old cars on display, which are guaranteed to be a hit with kids. Our top pick for families is Heifer Station, a petting zoo, farm and winery rolled into one! Kids will pet alpacas, goats and Shetland ponies and play in a giant sandpit, while you sip on delicious local wines. Sign us up!
6. Farm Stays
There’s something about winter and fresh country air that go so well together! Here are awesome farm stays we’ve already checked out and these ones have been given the ellaslist seal of approval:
Bilpin Springs Lodge
Bilpin Country Lodge is a farm stay and B&B is only a short 90-minute journey away past spectacular mountain scenery, sandstone walls and endless green fields. You'll feel immediately at home, greeted by friendly service to show you around the facilities, including a games room, canoeing and hiking. The rooms are warmed with reverse cycle air and heated towel racks, and you'll enjoy a delicious provided breakfast of fresh farm eggs, sausages and local produce. Michael, the owner, will delight the children by introducing them to the resident chooks, pony and alpaca.
What is the icing on the cake of any good farm stay? A fireplace! Read our guide to the best farms stays with fireplaces.
Calmsley Hill City Farm
Calmsley Hill really gets kids involved with the animals and the ins and outs of farm life. You'll see working dog displays, sheep shearing, stock whipping, and even have a go at cow milking! There are some awesome native animals to see such as koalas, wombats, kangaroos and heaps of birds. This is a true 'farmer for the day' experience. Oh, and it's only 40 minutes from Sydney!
Mowbray Park Farm Stay
Operating during NSW school holidays and on weekends, Mowbray Park is a farm stay that's absolutely bursting with things to do and see. They offer day visits and two-night farm stays with either self-catering lodge accommodation or camping, as well as supervised activities each morning and plenty of fun to be had around the farm throughout the afternoon. We're talking activities such as tennis, swimming, canoeing, archery, and table tennis, plus opportunities for bike riding and fishing if you bring your own gear!
Around the farm, kids will delight in activities such as feeding the cattle, collecting eggs, and milking the cows. For kids under eight, pony rides are available—and no matter their age, the whole family is sure to absolutely love the freedom and country air that abounds at Mowbray Park.
Nothing says winter like snow and kids will love an adventure, adrenaline-packed getaway skiing! NSW has some awesome places to take the family skiing and, most importantly, they offer fabulous kids' clubs and lessons! Thredbo is a great option for the FREE Snow Play Area where kids can take a break and chill out. Thredboland has families with kids from 3-6 years covered with fun activities including races with LED flares and plenty happening during the July school holidays!
Oh, and if you're looking for award-winning accommodation in Thredbo? Accommodation doesn't get more award-winning or more wintery than the famous Moonbah Huts. Located in the Moonbah Valley near Jindabyne, Moonbah Huts are unique stone-and-slab huts that look like they've been plucked straight out of a winter wonderland. Trust us, these are the winter cabins of your dreams!
8. Kangaroo Valley
There is so much for families to do in the Kangaroo Valley, a pleasant 2-hour drive from Sydney. If you're visiting on the second Sunday of the month, then sample the best produce the region has to offer at the Farmers' Market, or check out the markets on the fourth Saturday of the month for a more eclectic range of stalls. Take a photo under the Victorian-era style Hampden Bridge and take a kayak or canoeing trip right under it! Little legs will be able to manage the scenic walk to Mannings Lookout, where you'll pass peppermint trees and gums, before getting a view over the whole valley.
Step back in time at the Kangaroo Valley Pioneer Village Museum, where you can wander through Rendell Cottage, an old-fashioned bush school, a once-upon-a-time dairy, and then settle in for a gentle bushwalk or picnic on the grounds. Idyllic, right?
9. Hunter Valley
Who doesn't love the Hunter Valley? There is so much to entertain families during winter in this region. First up, there's the Hunter Valley Zoo, where you can hand-feed llamas, goats and kangaroos, as well as pat koalas and listen to the keeper talk about the friendly little meerkats. Cute!
There's also the much-loved Hunter Valley Gardens, which features Snow Time in the Garden during winter—a true celebration of all things cold and cosy! You can also indulge in a serious sugar rush at the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company, where kids will love seeing jelly bean towers, a chocolate fountain, or other delights being made.
10. Southern Highlands
The gorgeous, quaint, charming and heritage-filled Southern Highlands is less than two hours from Sydney and full of beautiful towns and family-friendly places to check out. Although it's in its prime in September for the amazing Tulip Festival, Bowral never disappoints. Cricket lovers big and small will love the interactive, cutting-edge Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame, as well as the glorious views from Bowral Lookout.
We also love Bundanoon, where there are awesome bushwalks inside the Morton National Park, as well as a brilliant display of glow worms to be ogled over at Glow Worm Glen. If you stop in Berrima, take in some local history at the gorgeous Harper's Mansion.
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