Slide on the gum boots, slip on your coats, take a breath of fresh crisp air… and wave hello to Winter!
In Winter, waterfalls are FIERCE, puddles are BIG, sunny days are made for walking, and nighttime adventures become possible for the smallest of explorers.
In Winter, mushrooms bloom, whales migrate to our shores and our parks are alive with golden flowers.
It’s time to explore, let’s go!
Five Minute Read
Make Winter Wonderful - 12 Fun Ideas
1. Chasing Waterfalls
Curtains of water crash down rocky slopes, and the roar of a HUGE waterfall is something you never forget. So, when it won’t stop raining, it’s time to plan your winter waterfall trip.
Head East to visit Sherbrooke and Olinda Falls in the Dandenong Ranges, or Steavenson Falls in Marysville.
Or go North and West to see Mason Falls in Kinglake, Trentham Falls near Daylesford, Buckley Falls in Geelong, and Erskine Falls in the Otways.
2. Join the Mushroom Hunt
Moist soil and shady forests can only mean one thing, mushrooms will be popping up everywhere! From tiny yellow fungi to incredible red fairy-tale toadstools, there are some amazing mushrooms to discover.
Mushroom hot spots are around Mt Macedon and Sherbrooke Forests. However, you will find them EVERYWHERE.
IMPORTANT: NEVER eat mushrooms in the wild unless you’re with a trained guide, as they’re likely to be poisonous.
3. Into the Night Garden
There’s something magical happening in some of our gardens and parks over Winter. When the sun goes down, the gardens come alive with sculptures, music and immersive light displays.
Visit Lightscape at Royal Botanic Gardens, Moama Lights near Echuca and Borealis on the Lake in Daylesford.
You will need to book tickets and they do sell out, so get in quick.
There’s also the wonderful Sovereign Hill Winter Wonderlights in Ballarat.
4. *SPLASH* Puddle Trails!
Rainy days are made for puddles and muddy trails. With the right gear you can walk straight off that dry boring path and head down that wet muddy trail, and before you know it, you’re off on an adventure!
Head to your local park where the water collects. The parks around rivers are always a popular spot.
Always keep an eye out for flooding and stay safe around water.
5: Snow Days
Snow is simply magical. It’s the softest, coldest and most amazing ‘play space’ you will ever find.
Build a snow creature, have a snow fight, toboggin down gentle slopes, become a snow angel, learn to ski… kids (and adults), can play for hours in the snow.
Make sure you have the right gear to keep everyone warm and dry (visit op shops, ask friends or hire equipment) and decide where you will go.
Head East to Mount Donna Buang near Warburton (it’s free), or Lake Mountain (our closest family friendly snow resort) near Marysville.
Or you can go North to Mount Buller, Falls Creek and Mount Hotham.
6. Watch For Whales
From May to September Humpback Whales and Southern Right Whales migrate from Antarctica to our warmer shores for mating and breeding. This is also the time that seal pups start to venture into the water and learn to swim!
So grab your binoculars, head to the coast and get ready for some whale, dolphin or seal pub spotting. There are also boat tours you can go on.
Well known whale watching destinations are Phillip Island, Warnambool (Logan’s Beach), Portland, Port Fairy (Griffith’s Island) and Wilsons Promontory.
There have also been some whale sightings near Cape Schanck, Point Nepean on the Mornington Peninsula or Queenscliff and Point Landsdale on the Bellarine Peninsula.
7. Winter River Walks
There’s something twinkly and special about Winter walks. The mushrooms, the flowing rivers, and how amazing you feel after that long walk.
Even better, there’s no crowds, no snakes (they’re hibernating), and no humidity. Just crisp beautiful air and different wildlife to find.
The rare Swift Parrot flies all the way from Tasmania every year to feast on our Yellow Gum flowers, and our parks light up with early wildflowers and golden wattles.
Some great winter river walks around Melbourne include Brimbank Park in Keilor, Wilson’s Reserve in Ivanhoe, Pound Bend Reserve in Warrandyte, and Birdsland Reserve in Belgrave Heights.
8. The Great River Race!
There’s always time for a river race! Head to your local stream or child friendly river and have a river boat race.
Build a mini boat from the natural materials you can find around such as loose leaves, sticks, bark (not rubbish) and start racing!
Some great river runs around Melbourne with easy access include Brimbank Park, Merri Creek and Darebin Creek.
The rivers around Warburton and Badger Weir are also great spots as well.
9. Fruit Picking
Did you know that you can still go fruit picking in Winter? Apples, kiwi fruit, mandarins, oranges, strawberry guava and more! Some places even have tractor rides.
You can visit Rayner’s Orchard near Yarra Valley all year round.
Why save the beach for Summer? Rug up, pull on your gumboots and waterproof pants and get ready to scramble over rocks, play in the sand, peer into magical beach puddles and see what different creatures are hiding in our rocky shores.
11. Toasting Marshmallows and Winter Camping
Camping over Winter?!?! Imagine being all rugged up and gathered around a crackling fire, toasting marshmallows, and sharing stories under the starry night sky.
There will always be more camping spots available over Winter, so you can even watch for a sunny weekend and book the night before!
Popular family camping spots are Gariwerd (The Grampians), Great Ocean Road or Wilsons Promontory.
12. Explore all year with Gumnut Trails!
From beautiful hidden gems to river trails, to soaring gorges and untouched bushlands; our Outdoor Adventure Guides will help get you outside and exploring in the cold Winter months.