There are a lot of misconceptions about Australia during the winter, the main one being that winter doesn’t really exist. While some of Australia does enjoy very warm weather all year-round, there are parts of Australia that do get cold. The winter months officially begin in June and end in August in the southern hemisphere, and depending on which Australian state you live in, the cool weather could last a little longer or shorter. With temperatures ranging from 24-12 degrees during the day and dipping to between 8-6 degrees at night, it is certainly not comparable to the UK; well known for damp, grey winters, or Norway where the sun is only out for a couple of hours each day, but it is still helpful to be prepared for a shift in the season.
Some Australians welcome the winter as a nice change from the brutal heat of the summer. As most of the houses are built for the warmer weather, designed to keep you cool, it can often be very cold inside. So if this is your first winter, your fourth winter, or you are so done with the Aussie heat you are excited by the cool change, we have some tips on how to help you survive the Aussie winter.
- Embrace it!
It’s true what they say, if you can’t beat em – join em! Embrace the cold and head to the snow. Australia has some great ski resorts including Thredbo only 5-6 hours from Sydney, Perisher only 5.5 hours from Sydney, and Mount Buller, only 3 hours from Melbourne. Take some friends and see stunning mountains, hit the slopes or have a drink in one of the many great restaurants that dot the ski fields. A snow trip is a trip you are sure to remember.
- Make your home cosy
If you can’t embrace it, no one will blame you for wanting to stay inside and never coming out. As mentioned, Australian homes are mostly built for the heat so it can be very cold inside in the winter. To avoid high electricity bills from running a heater all day, try switching your interior up with a few nice rugs to cover cold floors and get plenty of blankets and throw rugs to wrap around yourself. A hot water bottle or heat pack is good for during the day if you are sitting down studying or relaxing, it’s at that time when you are not moving your body a lot that you will feel the cold the most. Tip: To save even more money, fill up a sock (a relatively clean one) with uncooked rice and heat up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. It’s as good as a heat pack!
- Keep on moving
Speaking of being immobile, the best way to combat the winter blues is to get your body moving through some physical exercise. If strenuous activity isn’t your thing you could try following a yoga class on YouTube, go for a walk around the block or start an indoor sport. Getting up early in the morning when it’s cold out isn’t easy, but your body and mind will thank you in the long run.
- Eat right
The colder weather is a common appetite booster, with hot soups, stews, curries, and pies often on the Aussie menu. It can be easy to over-do it and pack in the carbs in winter, but it’s best to try and maintain a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables all year long. Try making a vegetable soup yourself with fresh produce from the market – you can even make it in bulk and freeze some for easy lunch and dinners on the go. Other healthy options are ramen, roasted vegetable salads, couscous or minced chilli. Adding a little spice into your diet helps get your blood flowing and warms you up from the inside. Also: hot chocolate. It’s not that healthy, but when else do you get to enjoy this delicious dessert but in winter!
- Layer up
The sun is still shining for a lot of the winter months in Australia with most states experiencing very little rainfall. There is plenty of opportunities for you to still catch some much needed Vitamin D. However, you will notice a big difference in temperature when you’re in the sun to when you are in the shade. The sun is still warm enough in Queensland in July to make you sweat! Layers are a must, pack your scarf, rug up in your warmest jumper, but be prepared to shed those outer layers when you are in the sun.
- Keep your immune system up
The last thing you need in winter is a cold or flu to drag you down. While this may be inevitable, there are some things you can do to make sure your body is in tip top shape and you maintain a high immunity.
- Consume plenty of Vitamin C. You can take Vitamin C in supplement form but you can also incorporate it into your diet through citrus fruits. Try adding a splash of lemon to some hot water each morning.
- Get adequate sleep. Yes, believe it or not sleeping can actually improve your immune system. While you sleep your body is producing proteins that help fight off infection. Sleep deprivation decreases the production of these proteins, leaving your body weak to fight off infection.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise isn’t only good to keep your body warm and your mind strong, it also helps protect against a variety of diseases.
With these 6 tips, you are sure to survive the Aussie winter. While not as harsh as many other countries, being prepared for the cool change can help you get the most out of your winter, while protecting your mind and body from illnesses that come along with the cooler months.