While Australia is nothing short of scenic all year round, it can certainly put on quite a glorious display during the Autumn months. Locations that wow us with their ever-changing leaves offer spectacular fiery shades of red, yellow, orange and magenta from March through to May. While it’s almost near impossible to choose a destination in our beautiful country during these months of near-perfect temperatures and post card-like sunsets that won’t impress, we’ve found the locations that are guaranteed to make Autumn your new favourite season.
As the largest town of NSW’s Southern Highlands, Bowral is an absolute beauty during Autumn — and there’s a good reason for that. It’s been reported that in the late 19th century, when Bowral first become a popular weekend and summer escape spot for Sydneysiders, residents of the quaint country town started planting deciduous trees to make the scenery look more British. To admire some of the most beautiful gardens in the area at this charming time of year, check the Southern Highlands open garden guide. And food lovers, no trip to Boral is complete without making a reservation at Biota Dining — an award-winning farm to table food offering with a menu that's as modern as its Scandinavian-inspired decor.
Mornington Peninsula, VIC
Winery regions and Autumn are the perfect pairing of season and setting — and the Mornington Peninsula is no exception. Located to the south of the city of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula defines the term picturesque. The peninsula — which is surrounded by jaw-droppingly beautiful clear aqua waters — is home to over 50 wineries, breezy seaside villages, galleries and bucket list-worthy boutique hotels. If you’re looking to stay the night (or two) you can’t go past the recently opened Smith Hotels property Jackalope Hotel that has been appropriately described as “luxury accommodation reimagined”. Jackalope is home to one of the most impressive hotel pools in the world, a vineyard and two top-notch restaurants. Go for the exceptional design, world-class food and wine, and stay for the pure luxury on offer. And while you’re in the area, don’t miss the unmissable sculpture collection at Point Leo Estate.
Byron Bay, NSW
While Byron Bay might not seem like the most obvious place to visit in Autumn, it’s ideal for the sun lovers who aren’t quite ready for the brisker temperatures to arrive. While it’s summer-like weather, exceptional culinary offering, boutique shopping and hip bar scene lure holiday makers all year round, Autumn is an especially great time to visit the coastal hotspot thanks to Bluesfest — the world-renowned music festival that is held annually in its picturesque surrounds. Beach and music lovers alike, this quintessential holiday destination is your ideal Autumn getaway. Before you go, make sure you read our Byron Bay travel guide to find out how to best spend 24 hours in the popular beachside town.
Hunter Valley, NSW
You can never go wrong with a jaunt to the picturesque Hunter Valley, but it certainly ups its wow-factor during Autumn. Row-after-row of vines take on delightful warm hues while the sun creates fairy floss-like skies over rolling green hills night-after-night. Unrivalled landscapes aside, it’s also the season to celebrate the annual wine harvest which is best done by booking yourself a ticket to the Lovedale Long Lunch (May 18 and 19, 2019) — it’s here you can experience the best wine, food and views the iconic region has to offer. For the music lovers, the Hunter Valley is renowned for hosting some of the world’s biggest acts and this Autumn will see Kylie Minogue and Bryan Adams take centre stage in front of a beautiful vineyard backdrops. And before you head home, ensure you swing by Krinklewood Vineyard — a certified biodynamic and organic vineyard, winery and cellar door that is so pretty it’s impossible to leave without a camera roll full of photos.
High Country, VIC
While Victoria’s High Country is best known for being home to the rugged-meets-breath-taking mountains of the Great Dividing Range, it’s charm is within its gold rush-era towns that nestle within them. It’s alpine setting makes for an inimitable landscape during Autumn and it’s when it’s towns — think Bright, Beechworth, Mount Beauty, Harrietville, Yackandandah, Myrtleford and Rutherglen to name a few — undergo incredible transformations. To prove its dedication to the season, Bright is home to a 10-day festival — aptly dubbed Bright Autumn Festival — to mark this scenic time of year. It’s here locals and visitors congregate to the pretty, tree-filled town to celebrate the wonderful Autumn colours and Autumn produce of the valleys of Victoria’s High Country.