For Thailand, the months of May and June mark the beginning of a long rainy season, but for countries in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Australia and New Zealand, the mid-year month sherald the start of winter. While temperatures in many cities drop to single figures, however, this does not bring a halt to outdoor activities. On the contrary, Southern cities charm visitors with just as many
sporting events and other activities in winter as they do in other seasons.
Sydney, the largest city in Australia and a shoppers’ paradise, is famous for its wonderful natural and cultural attractions, including magnificent beaches, world-renowned restaurants and vibrant nightlife. But since 2009, it is the 23-day festival of light,
music and ideas that makes Sydney even livelier. Attracting more than 2 million visitors, Vivid Sydney is Australia’s greatest annual event,
bringing together art, technology and commerce. The whole city turns into a fantasyland as the laser lightshows and 3D projections play over Sydney’s architecture. This year the event will be held between 26 May and 17 June in many key locations around the city,
such as the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Walsh Bay.
The Great Ocean Road
The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road in Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, is one of Australia’s many diverse natural attractions and a highlight of one of the world’s most spectacular drives. The breathtaking view of cliffs and limestone formations
is absolutely wonderful. In fact, there were only ever nine ‘apostles’ – limestone sea stacks –, but the biblical name has stuck,
despite the collapse of one stack in 2005. The bases of the remaining pillars continue to be eroded at a rate of 2 cm per year
by the harsh weather conditions. The Twelve Apostles is just a few hours’ drive from Melbourne.
Situated in the southwest of the country, the capital of Western Australia offers plenty of fascinating attractions and activities
for holiday makers, such as Cottesloe Beach, a popular beach for swimmers with fantastic sunset. Inland, Swan Valley and
the Darling Range - Western Australia’s oldest wine growing region - entices with its many famous restaurants.
For nature lovers there is Kings Park, a public park with a botanical garden containing over 2,000 plant species indigenous to
Western Australia. Perth’s residents and visitors alike enjoy the unforgettable walk on a 222-metre long glass and steel bridge through
a canopy of tall eucalypts. For those fascinated by the underwater world, there is diving with sharks at the Aquarium of Western Australia, and for art aficionados there are the exhibitions of indigenous art at the century-old Art Gallery of Western Australia,
which are sure to impress.
Located in the North Island, Auckland is both New Zealand’s largest metropolitan area and also the major economic and financial
centre of the country. With its many quays and harbours, Auckland is named ‘The City of Sails’. May and June mark the beginning of winter in New Zealand, but the weather here is fairly mild, with an average temperature of 15 c. There’s plenty to do around the city, whether it be visiting the black sand beaches, sampling superb wines, watching penguins, observing the underwater world at Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World, or just enjoying the vista of Auckland from Sky Tower.
For the more adventurous, there is SkyJump, a bunjee jump that reaches a speed of 85 km an hour, and SkyWalk,
a narrow walkway (without a handrail!) at Sky Tower, both 192 metres above the city!
On New Zealand’s South Island and close to Antarctica, Milford Sound in winter is much cooler than at other times of the year.
Snow covers the mountains, transforming the landscape: Fjordland becomes extraordinarily beautiful on clear days against the backdrop
of snow peaks. Being less crowded in winter, this is the perfect time to indulge in the peace of nature and appreciate the local wildlife,
such as penguins and other native birds, dolphins and seals in their natural habitats.
Enjoy a winter break in Australia and New Zealand with THAI flights between Bangkok and Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Auckland. Book now at thaiairways.com