Winter wines, cosy campfires and starlit skies: Why we’re heading south this winter

Home >Explore >Winter wines, cosy campfires and starlit skies: Why we’re heading south this winter

Sure, we love sunshine-filled summers in the stunning South West… But once the mercury drops, we’re enticed to the region by a whole different kind of magic…

From sipping full-bodied reds by the fire and feasting on spectacular local produce, to exploring lush, green forests on misty mornings – winter in Australia’s South West is packed with wonder, wilderness and, of course, plenty of wine.

Get inspired by Australia’s South West’s new Winter Down South video, and a beginner’s guide to the regions, below:

Bunbury Geographe

Bunbury Geographe ticks all the boxes for your next winter escape – in fact, there’s so much to explore we hardly know where to start! Soak up the refreshing westerly winds along the  Capel coast before making some new friends at the Dolphin Discovery Centre. Located within the Koombana Bay Foreshore precinct it’s just a hop, skip and a jump across the bridge to Koolambidi Woola, an epic new youth precinct for kids to skate, parkour and even work on their mini golf swing!

Wander Collie’s tall timber forests or zoom through their world-class mountain biking trails. Or head indoors to catch some of the vibrant local art at one of the many art galleries dotted throughout the region… That is, if you’re not indulging in sumptuous, award-winning local cheese in Harvey, or visiting some friendly faces in Gnomesville!

Bunbury Things to do winter

Margaret River

Margaret River is famous around the globe for its world-renowned surf breaks and breathtaking beaches, but the region is undoubtedly best known for its top-class drops. Hop your way from cellar door to cellar door, picking up a selection perfect to sip on by a crackling fire – or discover some of Margs’ cosiest cafes to curl up in with a coffee.

You can still get outdoors even if the weather is a bit wet and wild, with the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge home to over 100 stunning limestone caves, formed over 1 million years ago. The Ngilgi, Lake, Mammoth and Jewel caves are all ready to explore via guided or self-guided tours through their shimmering passageways and crystal-filled underground cathedrals.

Jewel Cave

Southern Forests and Valleys

Filled with lush forests, winding rivers and charming country towns, it makes sense that the Southern Forests and Valleys are a must-visit on winter journeys south. In fact, Bridgetown has even earned the moniker “Fridgetown” as the unofficial winter capital of Western Australia! The annual Fridgetown Fest runs from June through August, showcasing local businesses and transforming the town into a twinkling winter wonderland. 

And what screams winter more than treating yourself to a truffle-laden feast in Manjimup, the biggest producer of black Perigord truffles in the southern hemisphere? The annual Truffle Kerfuffle is one of the most indulgent weekends of the year, as celebrity chefs and truffle-lovers alike descend on Manjimup for three days of delicious revelry. Eager to get a jump start? Plenty of farms offer hunt-your-own truffle experiences through their picturesque winter orchards. 

If the kids’ enthusiasm for truffles doesn’t quite match yours, you can set them loose at the Manjimup Heritage Park – with 12 hectares of natural bushlands, walk trails, museums, and heritage displays, as well as a massive 17 metre viewing platform and gigantic slide to keep them busy!

Manjimup Truffles

Great Southern

With wild ocean waters and rugged peninsulas the only thing between you and Antarctica, the Great Southern’s coastline truly makes you feel like you’re at the end of the earth.

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Perched high atop granite outcrops and limestone cliffs, the Fitzgerald River National Park is the perfect place to spot southern right whales frolicking in the protected bay or glimpse an early display of striking wildflowers.

Want to take things to new heights? Bluff Knoll is a must-conquer for any nature-lover. The highest point in the Stirling Ranges, it’s a spectacular hike made even more grand by the possibility of winter snowfall at its peak – a truly rare and magical South West sight!

Bluff Knoll

Ready to discover more magical winter experiences in Australia’s South West? Head to to plan your next cosy getaway.

This article is sponsored by Australia’s South West and endorsed by us. Please see our Editorial Policy for more info.