Instead of the usual ski or beach trip in SE Asia, you may want to consider Australia as your destination for the end of the year.

Families, couples and friends may be interested in including some (or all) of the following in their itinerary for winter travel.

New Sydney hotels to experience

Opened just this 30th of June, Spicers Potts Point, is Sydney’s newest hotel to open this Winter. A boutique inner city hotel in the stylish Potts Point, this luxury boutique hotel has art deco design with a mix of modern architecture.

Also new in Sydney, is the Veriu Broadway, which opened in April 2017. This warehouse conversion offers self-contained studio and apartment accommodation with a big focus on local and authentic experiences, from providing local food and drinks to using local artists to create designs for the building.

Spicer’s Potts Point

Full Royal Botanic Garden experience

Not to miss over Winter in Sydney is the CALYX in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney which is running a series of Winter events, including morning yoga classes, live music performances, art workshops, astronomy lessons complemented with mulled wine, and the awe-inspiring All About Flowers exhibition which runs until the end of July.

See fauna native to Australia such as Taz and the platypus

The renowned Devil Ark in the Upper Hunter is now offering accommodation in the Barrington Tops. A stay at this cosy self-contained cottage includes a private guided tour of the Devil Ark, a one of a kind breeding facility for the endangered Tasmanian Devil, as well as a tour to see platypus in the wild.

All the seafood

Port Stephens is celebrating all things seafood with its Love Seafood festival throughout August.  From prawns, fish and oysters to crabs, lobsters and shell-fish tuck into mouth-watering fresh seafood straight from the trawler or at one of the region’s local restaurants or cafes, where seafood is always the hero this August.

Urban Grain bakery treats

Gourmet winter trip for the foodies

For a gourmet winter escape that covers off fresh produce, markets, vineyards and more then make Port Macquarie your next destination.

New foodie experiences include wholegrain artisanal bakery Urban Grain which has opened in the heart of town offering winter warmers such as sourdough, pastries and doughnuts.

Experience the best of hinterland produce at monthly event Sundays at Near River, where a new Farming Chef will be cooking up a feast from the paddock at this pristine farm in Hastings. Join in farming activities and pick your lunch from field grown vegetables

Go rustic with a cottage stay

Book the family in for a luxury stay at the newly opened Yellow Box Cottage, the newest cottage at Elm Cottage in Tumut. Totally wheel-chair accessible, this luxury two bedroom cottage offers fantastic views of the stunning surrounding country side from its private balcony, to the river below and the Snowy Mountains beyond.

Yellow Box Cottage

Raw nature trips on Lord Howe Island

With only 400 visitors allowed on the island at any given time, winter walking on Lord Howe Island will see you traverse untouched beaches, coral platforms, ancient forest and epic peaks. A highlight is the Seven Peaks Walk by Pinetrees, the first NSW walk to join Great Walks of Australia.

Trip back to colonial times

For cosy New England charm, coupled with colonial heritage, delicious food and wine, museums and galleries – think Armidale for your winter break.

Recently opened luxury B&B Loloma is ideal as a home base, just minutes away from the city’s highlights. Spend your days exploring the new UNE Natural History Museum which houses everything from Lightning Ridge dinosaur skeletons to Madagascar and Antarctica collections

Meals in the Fields at Near River Produce in Mid North Coast NSW. Pic: Lindsay Moller Photography

Villas by the bay (with whales!)

Byron Bay delights all year but the cooler months of winter are a great time of year to explore the Northern Rivers’ lush hinterland and whale watch from the Cape Byron walking track.  If you’re looking for new luxury accommodation you’ll be spoiled for choice – Rae’s on Wategos has recently undergone a refurbishment and Elements of Byron is soon to open 99 new villas including two bedroom deluxe beach houses perfect for travelling groups of family and friends

A relaxing cabin in the woods

The Snowy Mountains has a new boutique luxury chalet, The Eastern in Thredbo. Set amongst Australian silver gums on the foothills of Mount Kosciuszko this architecturally designed studio offers a gun barrel view of High Noon. While the new Field House, which comprises  six eco-friendly cabins in Crackenback and is set to open in August.

Book your trip now before that great island gets filled or you miss that flower exhibit this July. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #ILoveSydney, #NewSouthWales and #ILoveNSW.

For more information visit www.sydney.com and www.visitnsw.com