Ok so we love the endless summer in Singapore, but after a while you start dreaming of putting on boots and jackets – and not being hot! It’s also good to have a change of scenery, and maybe do some different activities like skiing or hiking. Here are some ideas to help you start planning a few cold weather breaks either for a long weekend – there are a few places near Singapore where you can see the mercury (mercifully) fall – or autumn or winter holiday this year or a southern winter holiday in 2024.
#1 Hobart, Australia
Average July temperature: 8°C
At 1,271m, Mount Wellington looms over the city of Hobart and offers extensive views of the area. Locally known as “The Mountain”, the summit is easily reached by car – it’s about 20 minutes from the city centre. At certain points of the year, the mountain is covered by thick snow on top, adding to the experience for a sweltering Singapore-sweller!
#2 Melbourne, Australia
Average July temperature: 10°C
Embark on a road trip along one of Australia’s greatest natural treasures, the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. You’ll be treated to a beautifully scenic coastline that stretches past hulking cliffs, waterfalls, gleaming beaches, the famous 12 Apostles, national parks and the endless ocean. Keep your camera at the ready the whole time: there’s a picture at every turn!
#3 Dunedin, New Zealand
Average July temperature: 8°C
Dunedin is a picturesque town founded in the Victorian era, and glimpses of this past are still evident in its architecture and culture. There’s a large Maori influence, too, which makes it an ideal place to experience the complete range of Kiwi culture. There are plenty of hiking and cycling trails, too – perfect if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. As you pass through the stunning Otago Peninsula, keep an eye out for one the world’s rarest penguins, the Yellow Eyed Penguin.
#4 Mount Fuji, Japan (fly in to Tokyo)
Average July temperature: 4.5°C
No trip to Japan is complete without a visit to the country’s tallest peak, Mount Fuji. You’re welcome to hike this mountain if you’re not satisfied with taking pictures from afar. But don’t be fooled by the well-trodden paths and the elderly Japanese who don’t break a sweat scaling the summit. You should still plan your route and know when and where to stop to acclimatise to the thinning air, regardless if you’re a beginner or a seasoned trekker.
#5 Munnar, India (fly in to Kochi)
Average July temperature: 26°C
Top Station is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal Road, and it offers beautiful panoramic views of Tamil Nadu, its surrounding mountains and lush-green plantations. If you’re sharp enough, you might even catch sight of the rare Neelakurunji (Strobilanthud) flower that blooms only once every 12 years.
#6 Cameron Highlands, Malaysia (fly in to Ipoh)
Average July temperature: 27°C
While you might still need some supplementary air-conditioning, Cameron Highlands is a great summer option, and a favourite retreat of KL dwellers looking to escape the heat. Try your hand at picking your own strawberries, or visit an apiarist to see how local beekeepers produce honey. There are tea plantations here too, so you can wind down with a soothing cuppa.
#7 Sapa, Vietnam (fly in to Hanoi)
Average July temperature: 21°C
Misty Sapa is the perfect mountain-top settlement for escaping the heat of Hanoi or HCMC and discovering the infinite elements of nature. The town is known for its ethnic communities who create traditional wares that are popular among tourists and locals. The biggest attraction, though, are the picturesque rice terraces. Cameras at the ready!
#8 Ella, Sri Lanka (fly in to Colombo)
Average July temperature: 24°C
If you love a good-natured hike, Little Adam’s Peak is a great option. The comfortable nature of this walk – a short and breezy trail through tall trees – has made it one of the most popular things to do in Ella. The view at the top is wondrous, especially the sunset. At 1,141m, Little Adam’s Peak is around half the height of the more famous Adam’s Peak, also in Sri Lanka, from which it takes its name.
#9 Blue Mountain, Australia (fly in to Sydney)
Average July temperature: 5°C
A glow-worm tour in the Blue Mountains is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that gives you the opportunity to walk through an ancient canyon surrounded by thousands of living and glowing lights. You’ll learn interesting facts and stories about these fascinating creatures, and get up close and personal with them.
#10 Craigieburn Valley, New Zealand (fly in to Christchurch)
Average July temperature: 2°C
With plenty of hiking and ski-touring opportunities available, Craigieburn Valley is an ideal place to not only feel the chill but pick up a new skill. While the terrain is more suited for intermediate to advanced level skiers, a determined beginner can learn much in a day. If you’re a thrill seeker, there is the infamous 600m vertical descent of Middle Basin to tackle.