Experts predict this coming winter may be the coldest ever recorded in Australia. The June-July school holidays may be the perfect time to ditch the cold and follow the sun. Here’s where you should go to.

By Sarah Hinder

Not everyone loves to ski. Some of us prefer to stay warm.

This winter is predicted to be the coldest on record. At least in the Southern states. But Australia has great tropical destinations right on our doorstep. So why not escape and explore?

It’s super easy to head to Fiji. The flight time is only around four hours. Fiji is famous for sunny warm beaches and fantastic family resorts. Winter? There’s no winter in Fiji. You’ll come back to Australia with a tan.

Fiji is the ‘soft coral capital of the world’. Venture off shore from the idyllic sandy beaches you can surf, dive and snorkel among abundances of marine life. So why not say ‘Bula’ to Fiji this June or July.

Thailand is another great option for a winter escape.

Stay in a slick Bangkok hotel and shop the thriving markets or head to Phuket for days lazing on the beach. In Koh Samui you will find sandy beaches and warm fish-filled water. Or head to culturally diverse Chiang Mai to wander through more than 300 temples, walking street markets and diverse national parks.

Vanuatu boasts a rugged and beautiful landscape with cascading waterfalls, turquoise lagoons and towering volcanic peaks. And beaches. Plenty of them. Vanuatu is a diver’s paradise. This place is a little bit wild, a little bit low key. You can do nothing in a resort. Or throw yourself into adventure exploring the ocean and jungle.

Of course, you don’t even need to leave Australia to have a great winter break. Head up to Queensland and you can traipse through ancient towering rainforests in the Daintree.

The Great Barrier Reef is stunning in winter. At the end of June/July the whales begin to migrate north and you can snorkel among sea turtles, sharks and clown fish.The water temperature is still in the low 20s. Or you can just spend the day soaking up the sun on any one of Tropical North Queensland’s sensational beaches.

Head to the Northern Territory  to explore steamy Darwin. This city has plenty of year-round waterparks.  You can feed wild fish at the ‘open aquarium’. Or spend days soaking up history in the city’s diverse museums.  For most families, Alice Springs and Uluru are on their wonderlust list. Winter is the best time to explore Uluru as it’s not too hot and the days are dry. Families can  take a quirky camel tour or even skydive around the great monolith. We highly recommend tours that teach the history of the local Anangu people and share their dreamtime stories.

Winter is also a great time to hit the Outback . It’s not too hot. Head to Outback Queensland to discover our dinosaur history at Winton, Hughenden and Richmond. In South Australia you can explore otherworldly landscapes at Coober Pedy, the remote Opal Capital of Australia. Or take to Lake Eyre-Kati Thanda, Australia’s largest lake which bursts into life every ten years.

If you have time, you can always switch the season. On the other side of the globe – it’s still summer. So why not jump on a plane and have a year of summer?

Explore castles in England, taste gelato in Rome or swan along the Sienne in Paris.  In Italy, a sweltering heat rolls across all parts of the country in June and July. Historical buffs will be chuffed in Rome and Naples, while the picturesque Amalfi Coast and Mediterranean island Sicily offer families a quintessential seaside escape.

Summer is terrific to visit the UK for those looking to avoid the rain and cold. Past bustling London is the English countryside, pristine and green. In Wales, traverse crumbling castles and seaside towns. In Ireland, while always windy, see the Cliffs of Moher for unimaginable views. And in Scotland, venture the northern Scottish Isles – here summer is the best time to avoid quite chilly temperatures!

Japan – Summer days are the perfect time to visit Japan’s exciting cities. Bursting with pop culture and quirky amusements, Japan is a terrific destination to take teens. In Tokyo, explore everything pop culture and animation. The city is alive with teenage culture and Harajuku fashion. In Kyoto, explore a plethora of open green spaces. During winter, a snow and ski wonderland, the summer season in northern Sapporo brings a welcome chance to explore its temples, blossoming parks and eclectic underground shopping passageways.