As the days get longer and the nights grow milder, December in Australia and New Zealand means the start of barbies on the beach, comfortable temperatures, and of course, the hectic build-up to Christmas.
That's why we've compiled some of the best destinations on the eastern side of the Southern Hemisphere to have a warm holiday celebration. With the cities totally chockers, escape to one of these fantastic, rural locations and have yourself a ripper this December!
1. Wollemi National Park, New South Wales
Just a couple of hours northwest of Sydney, the World Heritage-listed Wollemi National Park boasts an abundance of scenic trails in a dramatic setting, along with heaps of rivers for unforgettable arvos of kayaking and swimming.
At this unique site, you shouldn't miss the chance to complete the iconic walk from Thredbo to the summit of Australia's highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, where the panoramic views from the top are simply breathtaking.
2. The Blue Mountains, New South Wales
With 1 million hectares of majestic forests, epic canyons, and sparkling waterfalls, it's no wonder that over 4 million people flock to this pristine landscape each year. Scenic World at Katoomba is a must with its Scenic Skyway gondola that traverses the Jamison Valley—offering spectacular vistas of the Katoomba Falls, Three Sisters, and Mount Solitary.
After a day of adventures, you can retreat to your own unique getaway and enjoy the vast views of eucalyptus trees seemingly stretching on forever, cold one in hand.
3. Namadgi National Park, New South Wales
Located just 45 minutes drive from Canberra, Namadgi National Park offers a rural haven away from the crammed streets of the city in December. As aboriginal people were living in the area during the last ice age 21,000 years ago, there are an abundance of fascinating sites just waiting to be discovered.
If you're looking for a relaxed holiday full of scenic drives, history, and bushwalking, you'll have found your perfect getaway in the grassy valleys, wetlands, and boundless eucalyptus forests of this gorgeous National Park.
4. Bruny Island, Tasmania
Home of the stunning South Bruny National Park, this one-of-a-kind island offers an unbeatable wilderness retreat. With fur seals, fairy penguins, and white wallabies calling this region home, animal lovers will be in their element.
Visiting in December means that the penguin breeding season will be in full swing, offering you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these slippery characters plod ashore at the picturesque seaside town of Penguin or at Point Sorell.
1. Waiuku near Auckland, North Island
Only an hour from Auckland, the winding Awhitu Peninsular and the iconic black sands of Kariotahi Beach in Waiuku offer a great weekend getaway with sublime coastal views. You can set off on the waters and take the opportunity to kayak and enjoy a magical sunset on the water in the Waiuku Estuary—all before returning to your secluded getaway for an evening of relaxation.
2. Lake Wakatipu, South Island
As the third largest lake in New Zealand, the lightning bolt shaped waters of Lake Wakatipu boast incredible levels of purity and cleanliness, making this an ideal spot for water sports and cruises while surrounded by epic scenery. If you're looking to get your blood pumping, head over to the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, the historic birthplace of bungee, and make the leap of faith from the height of a 10-story building!
3. Lake Wanaka, South Island
Situated in the spectacular alps on the South Island of New Zealand, the pristine lakes and mountains in Wanaka, along with its proximity to Mt. Aspiring National Park, make it a premier site for outdoor activities. Roys Peak is not to be missed, as you'll be in awe at the magnificent views of Wanaka, the lake below, and the humbling peaks of the Southern Alps.
This December, immerse yourself in this incredible world of glaciers, majestic mountains, and deep alpine lakes from this equally as stunning bell tent rental.
4. Waipara Wine Region, South Island
Renowned as New Zealand's premier wine-producing region, the sprawling vineyards, award-winning wineries, and awe-inspiring scenic walkways of the the Waipara Valley make it an idyllic escape for lovers of Pinot Noir and outdoor adventure alike.
Just 45 minutes north of Christchurch, get away from the concrete jungle this December, and surrounded yourself with the stunning panoramic vistas from this accommodation in North Canterbury.
What else makes your glamping wish list this December? Check out what made ours here!