Last week we did a feature on things to do in Australia in winter and we highlighted five different things to do including relaxing in Noosa, Kakadu National Park, winter festivals, whale watching in Hervey Bay and skiing in the mountains. Today, we have 5 more things to do in Australia in winter: Christmas in July, The Great Barrier Reef, Hobart, Swimming with Whale Sharks, and a Top End Road Trip.

Christmas in July in the Blue Mountains

The Mountain Heritage Snowfall Photo Credit: The Mountain Heritage, Blue Mountains

Meet Santa in the Jenolan Caves Photo Credit:

The Three Sisters and View of the Blue Mountains photo credit:

You may have heard of Christmas in July before but you may not know that it originated from the Blue Mountains of Australia. The Blue Mountains are just west of Sydney and one of the most beautiful winter landscapes in the country. The Christmas in July tradition began back in 1980 when some holiday goers from Ireland remarked how it felt just like Christmas back home. The Christmas feast they ordered that night has become a new tradition in the Blue Mountains called Yulefest. Every winter, visitors can expect Christmas lights, Christmas carols, elaborate dinners, and many more planned traditional holiday happenings. In addition to all that, there is sight-seeing in the scenic Blue Mountains, caves to explore, horseback riding, and nearby winter sports.

Hiring a Car to get to the Blue Mountains

Sydney Car Rental Map Photo Credit:

The Blue Mountains are just west of Sydney. When planning head west to the Blue Mountains Drive, you can hire a car in Sydney at one of many convenient locations. If you flew into Sydney on holiday, you can hire a car right at the Sydney Airport. Other locations in Sydney where you can rent a car at a great price include Sydney east location in Alexandria, or the Sydney southwest location in Ravensby.  Click through any of the links to get a quick and easy rate quote for the best car rental rates in Sydney. Be sure to let your car rental agent know your travel itinerary so that they can ensure you have the best vehicle for your trip, especially if there is a possibility of snowy or icy weather conditions. Our helpful car rental agents can also assist you with local maps, holiday tips and pointers, and travel safety information. While in Sydney, in check out these other holiday ideas from our blog:

Best Scenic Drives in Australia: Greater Blue Mountains

Scenic Drives in the Snowy Mountains

Snow Valley Way: A Delicious Scenic Drive

Things to Do on Holiday in Sydney

Sydney Holiday Ideas for Families with Kids

Free Things to Do in Sydney

A Spectacular New Year’s Eve in Sydney

Places to See in and Around Sydney

5 Day Trips from Sydney

Sydney’s Famous and Secret Beaches

Scenic Drive from Sydney to Melbourne

Experience the Vast Beauty of Wollemi National Park

Royal National Park

Summertime is the Perfect Time for Sydney’s Outdoor Pools

Best Places to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Sydney

The Great Barrier Reef

Whitehaven Beach Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Main Lagoon of Daydream Island’s Living Reef Photo Credit:

Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef Off of Hayman Island Photo Credit:

The Great Barrier Reef spans a very long stretch off the coast of Queensland and there are many cities you can visit with ports to destinations on The Great Barrier Reef. The further north you go on the reef, the warmer and more tropical the weather gets. However, we have chosen to highlight the Whitsunday Islands. The Whitsunday Islands are a protected part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The island chain is located southeast of the reef in the Coral Sea. As you may know, the Great Barrier Reef is home to a thriving list of marine diversity which stretches into the Whitsunday Islands as well. Some of the best snorkelling and SCUBA diving opportunities are in the clear aqua waters surrounding the Whitsundays. The winter months are actually the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands because the visibility is clear and the temperatures don’t get too cold. Average winters are relatively warm and range from 22 to 23 degrees celsius. The water temps remain at about 25 degrees celsius all year long. Winter in the Whitsundays means whale migration season and different whales will be passing through the islands during these months.

Hiring a Car near the Whitsunday Islands

Proserpine Car Hire Map Photo Credit:

Even though you wouldn’t take your car rental to the Whitsunday Islands, it is still great to be able to get around the mainland on your own schedule and see the sights on your own timeline rather than waiting for tour buses or relying on taxis. At Budget Car Hire in Proserpine at the Whitsunday Coast Airport location, we can find the right car for all your holiday travel needs. You can stay on the mainland and hire day cruises or fishing charters, snorkel or dive boats, etc. Or you can choose to stay on one of the islands for the ultimate, intense reef excursion. Here are some other blog posts for holiday ideas near the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef:

Great Barrier Reef 5 Top Port Cities and Things to Do on the Great Barrier Reef

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef with Kids

Excursions for Your Great Barrier Reef Holiday

Great Barrier Reef National Park

Great Barrier Reef Island Getaways

Whitsunday Islands

Winter Holiday in Hobart, Tasmania

Hobart Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Mount Wellington Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania. Tasmania is the island state off the southeast coast of Australia and Hobart is located in the southeast corner of the island. The Derwent River runs right up through the city, making it a city with as much to do in the waterways as there is on land. Hobart has much to offer with something for everyone. It is Australia’s 2nd oldest city, so there is history and culture here in addition to the natural wonders. Since Tasmania is so far south, it gets quite chilly in the winter and parts of Tasmania will even see snowfall. Mt. Wellington is just outside of Hobart and is often covered in snow during the winter months. Another highlight for visitors in Hobart in winter is the southern lights.

Hiring a Car in Hobart, Tasmania

City of Hobart Car Hire Map Photo Credit:

Hobart is in the southwest corner of Tasmania, Australia’s island state. Since Hobart  is a hub city in Tasmania, there are two car rental locations in Hobart. You can hire a car in the city of Hobart  or at the Hobart International Airport.  If you plan to visit any destinations in Tasmania outside of Hobart, talk to your car rental agent about the type of vehicle you should hire out. Much of Tasmania is rugged terrain so you might need a 4WD vehicle. Also, when you let your agent know where you are going they can provide you with maps, local tips, and driving instructions. While in Hobart, check out these other blog post for tips on what to do on holiday there:

Things to Do in Hobart, Tasmania

Tasmania’s East Coast Road Trip

Tasmania’s Tasman National Park

5 Places to Visit in Tasmania

The River Run Road Trip across Tasmania

Strangest Places to Visit in Tasmania

The Taste of Tasmania

Bay of Fires Lodge Walk

The Freycinet Experience Walk

The Maria Island Walk

The South Coast Track

The Tarkine Rainforest Walk

Swimming with the Whale Sharks in Ningaloo Reef

Whale shark in Ningaloo Reef Photo Credit:

Swimming with Whale Sharks Photo Credit:

Ningaloo Reef Beach Photo Credit:

If you are up for an entirely different kind of whale watching, then head to Ningaloo Bay off the coast of Exmouth where you will find the world’s largest fringing reef and from April to July, the largest fish in the sea, whale sharks. You can swim right alongside these gentle giants. It’s definitely the event of a lifetime and an extraordinary experience that you will never forget.

Hiring a Car to Get to Ningaloo Reef

Western Australia Car Hire Locations Photo Credit:

If you are planning to go whale watching in Exmouth or the northern coast of Western Australia, you have two locations where you can hire a truck or 4WD vehicle. You can hire a car near Ningaloo at Budget Exmouth  or you can hire a vehicle at the Exmouth Airport. You can also  hire a car at the Broome Airport, or rent a car and the Broome Downtown location  if you are starting your trip from Broome and making your way down to Exmouth.  Most of this region can only be accessed with a four wheel drive vehicle, so be sure to have the proper vehicle and emergency supplies when driving through this area. Keep in mind that since this is remote and rugged terrain, safety guidelines must be taken very seriously. Check with your car rental agent to get important guidelines, safety information, and driving maps. Click on any of the links to quickly and easily get a car hire rate quote. Here are some other adventurous ideas in Western Australia from our blog:

The Savannah Way Part One: Daintree Rainforest to Karumba, Queensland

The Savannah Way Part Two: Normanton to Katherine

The Savannah Way Part Three: Katherine to Broome

The Gibb River Road Part One

The Gibb River Road Part Two

Most Picturesque Spots in the Kimberley

8 National Parks in the Kimberley

Mitchell River National Park

Rivers of the Kimberley in Western Australia

Shark Bay

Kalbarri National Park

Broome Western Australia

Swimming Experience of a Lifetime at Ningaloo Reef

Coral Coast Road Trip

Glamping in Western Australia

Karijini National Park

Western Australia’s Warlu Way Part One

Western Australia’s Warlu Way Part Two

Top End Road Trip

Nature’s Way Road Trip  Photo Credit:

Nature’s Way Road Trip Photo Credit:

Edith Falls in Nitmiluk National Park Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The Nature’s Way Road Trip is one of the best ways to get a whole tour of the Top End of the Northern Territory. It is best to visit the Top End during the winter because that is the dry season. Since the northern part of Australia is tropical, don’t expect winter weather here, even during the winter, it is hot and humid. This road trip takes you from Darwin through three of the national parks (Kakadu, Nitmiluk, and Litchfield), Aboriginal lands, and the highlight is the dramatic and spectacular scenery that Mother Nature has carved into the Earth here. The Top End is remote, so you won’t see any crowds here. It is the perfect place for a tranquil getaway to commune with nature.

Hiring a Car in Darwin

Darwin Car Hire Map Photo Credit:

When you want to get to the remote far north of the Northern Territory, you can hire a car in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory. There are two car rental options in Darwin. Either hire a vehicle at the Darwin Airport or rent a 4WD in Darwin City. All of this remote and rugged terrain driving means taking precautions and being prepared. Always keep updated maps with you along with plenty of emergency supplies, petrol, and drinking water. Let someone know where you will be, when you will return, and what your exact itinerary is. Consult with our friendly and knowledgeable representatives and they will help you find the right vehicle for your needs and offer up safety tips and local travel ideas. While travelling through Australia’s Top End, check out these other blog posts about this region:

Australia’s Largest National Park Kakadu National Park

Rivers of Kakadu National Park

National Parks and Reserves in the Northern Territory Near Darwin

Outdoor Destinations in Northern Territory near Katherine

Things to Do Near Darwin

Nitmiluk National Park Carved by Nature

Experience a Remote Holiday at Bullo River Station

Journey to Judbarra / Gregory National Park

Top End Swimming Holes

Garig Gunak Barlu National Park

Road Trip Adventures in the Northern Territory:

The Savannah Way Part One: Daintree Rainforest to Karumba, Queensland

The Savannah Way Part Two: Normanton to Katherine

The Savannah Way Part Three: Katherine to Broome

The Gibb River Road Part One

The Gibb River Road Part Two