5 great winter events in Australia

Singapore Airlines new A350 Economy Class offers an advanced entertainment system with personal touch-screen monitors, in-seat power supply and USB charging port. — Singapore Airlines

Winter is coming, and it’s one of the most magical seasons in Australia. While temperatures dip low during the wintry months of June to August, you can bank on the festive spirit and hospitable vibe to remain high throughout the big cities.

The cooler climate provides the perfect setting for some of the biggest events in the country. From a grand display of lights to a world-class marathon, Australia’s winter is one that’s filled with wonder and excitement.

We list down some of the best events to check out, as well as great travel options, to help you plan your Australian winter escapade.

Vivid Sydney 2018, New South Wales (May 25 to June 16)

With its grand scale light projections, Vivid Sydney is a festival that lights up the harbour city – literally! See landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge illuminated in the most vivid display of light and colours.

Wander the city streets during clear, temperate evenings to admire the enormous moving projections on buildings around the harbour and across several neighbourhoods such as Chippendale, Central Park and Chatswood.

The centrepiece of the festival would be the light sculptures, multimedia interactive work and building projections. Beyond that, Vivid Sydney also hosts an array of performances from local and international musicians and an ideas exchange forum.

The Vivid Sydney festival is worth checking out.

Each year, these include concerts headlined by international artists (Solange Knowles is on the list!) and a schedule of inspiring talks on wide-ranging topics, such as authenticity, entrepreneurialism and ethics.

Gold Coast Marathon, Queensland (June 30 to July 1)

The beautiful and sunshiny city of Gold Coast screams “fun in the sun”. But winter paves another spectacular way to soak in the city’s laidback vibe – by hitting the pavement and running a marathon.

In its 40th year now, the Gold Coast Marathon has established itself as one of the most prestigious events in the world. The run, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, is the pinnacle of road running events in Australia.

Join the special 40th edition of the Gold Coast Marathon celebrations this year.

Participants can be assured of a scenic run. The marathon’s famous flat-and-fast course is located alongside the city’s renowned surf beaches and stunning broadwater.

An added bonus is the wintry climate, which will provide ideal running conditions featuring low humidity, little wind and mild temperatures.

In fact, the great weather results in 60% of participants achieving personal best times each year.

Sovereign Hills Winter Wonderlights, Victoria (July)

Christmas comes early to Sovereign Hill in July. The annual Winter Wonderlights takes on a carnival-like atmosphere with Christmas festivities and carolling taking place at the open-air museum in Golden Point, a suburb of Ballarat in Victoria.

During the day, Sovereign Hill’s iconic township will evoke a sense of old-world wonder and yuletide feels. Take a stroll down Main Street as snowflakes fall over the Victorian-style buildings with window displays furnished with all kinds of decorations.

Be tempted by the smell of Christmas treats and spices that waft through the air. If you’re up for a challenge, try and catch the Gingerbread Man as he mischievously plots his escape from hungry visitors.

Christmas-themed pantomimes will also be performed.

By night, watch Main Street sparkle as more than 20 buildings light up with large-scale image projections and Christmas animations. Set to Christmas-themed music, this year’s show will be bigger and brighter than ever before, evoking the spirit and enchantment of Christmas.

Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest, Tasmania (July 13 to 15)

The rugged island of Tasmania boasts some of Australia’s most stunning scenery and best food and wine. It’s also one of the best places in the country for a magical winter experience.

The Mid-Winter Fest combines pagan rituals with modern-day revelry to great effect. After the welcome ceremony with fire twirlers, wander among orchards and take part in wassailing, an ancient ritual meant to scare away evil spirits.

Afterwards, feast on some of the region’s most sumptuous produce, including free-range meats and small-batch cider.

Tasmania, home to the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest, boasts some of the country's most stunning scenery and best food and wine.

Wildflower Season, Western Australia (June to November)

Western Australia is home to over 12,000 wildflower species, making it home to one of the most beautiful places to catch gorgeous blooms.

Every year, the flowers create a spectacle of colour and fragrance that must be experienced to be believed, especially when you consider 60% of them are found nowhere else.

You can enjoy the glorious blooms for six months of the year, as the season begins in June in the north, and sweeps down the state to finish with a flurry on the south coast in November.

In September, more than 1,700 species blooms in the Botanic Garden in Kings Park, Perth. Take a free guided walk from the Visitor Information Centre to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Getting there

Singapore Airlines flies to six destinations in Australia via Singapore; Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney, while its regional wing, SilkAir flies to Cairns and Darwin. Both airlines fly more than 100 times weekly to Singapore from Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu).

Enjoy unparalleled travel experience on board Singapore Airlines. Photo: SIA

Maximum inflight comfort is ensured in newly-refurbished Economy Class which offers more space and greater comfort with more legroom and back support, and a six-way adjustable headrest with foldable wings.

With Singapore Airlines’ international culinary panel featuring eight world-renowned chefs, inflight meals can be a delightful experience with an expanded range of food and beverage options available on board.

Enjoy Singapore Airlines’ KrisWorld, which offers more than 1,900 on-demand entertainment options on board to suit the preferences of passengers on an 11.1-inch touch-screen monitor. Customers can also surf the Internet as well as send and receive emails on smart phones and other electronic devices while in the air.

With airfares starting from as low as RM1,588, it’s a smart choice to visit Australia this winter. Check out singaporeair.com/myaus for great fare deals.

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