Winter school holidays in NSW

From skiing in the Snowy Mountains to whale watching on the coast of NSW, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep the family entertained during the winter school holidays. Visit one of the many zoos and museums, go bushwalking in the national parks or take a family road trip. 



Skiing with the family

The 2023 ski season kicks off on the June long weekend and ThredboPerisher and Charlotte Pass have all seen some record snow falls already. You’ll find the longest runs in Australia, easy slopes for beginners and plenty of fun for the whole family.

Girl enjoying a fun day in the snow at Charlotte Pass in the Snowy Mountains

Charlotte Pass, Snowy Mountains

Whale watching

Every year between May and November, more than 40,000 whales make their way along the NSW coast. There are plenty of coastal vantage points all along the Humpback Highway, or you can hop aboard a cruise to get even closer to these giants of the deep. 

Jervis Bay on the South Coast is a top whale watching spot and you can often spot whales swimming with their newborn calves. Jervis Bay Wild, Dolphin Watch Cruises, and Shellharbour Wild run whale-watching cruises through the waters of the Shoalhaven region. Snorkel or dive alongside them with Dive Jervis Bay.  

In Newcastle, join CoastXP for an exciting tour on a small adventure boat. Or paddle out amongst whales and dolphins with Go Sea Kayak in Byron Bay. 

The spectacular sight of a whale breaching off the NSW coast

Whale Watching, North Coast

Bushwalking & camping

Make the most of crisp, sunny days and explore the great outdoors in NSW. Take the family on a bushwalking adventure in national parks or explore on two wheels along mountain biking trails. Winter is also the perfect time for a stargazing experience in the Warrumbungles. 

Enjoy a winter festival

Snow Time in the Garden festival is held in Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley from 24 June to 23 July 2023. It's the perfect excuse to have some family fun, kids will be able to partake in ice skating, tobogganing, snowman building and a whole lot of other outdoor activities. 

Bathurst Winter Festival from 1 to 16 July 2023 in Bathurst will have a range of entertainment, light shows, rides, ice skating, food events, market stalls, live music and more. 

Mother and son enjoying a day on the ice rink at the Bathurst Winter Festival in Bathurst, Country NSW

Bathurst Winter Festival, Bathurst - Credit: David Roma

The Winter Magic Festival in Katoomba on 23 and 24 June 2023 will light up with local artists, musicians, dancers, drummers, choirs, stalls and more. Everybody is encouraged to dress in costume. 


Zoos & museums

Zoos and wildlife parks are great for young explorers. See alligators, snakes and lizards at the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast, meet koalas at Symbio Wildlife Park in the Illawarra, or take a drive through the habitat of big cats at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

Keep little brains active outside of school hours at a museum. Cricket fans will love the Bradman Museum in Bowral and budding scientists will be amazed at Science Space in Wollongong. Other family favourites include Temora Aviation Museum and the Australian Fossil Museum in Bathurst.


School holiday dates - 2023/2024

Summer Wed 21 December 2022 Thur 26 January 2023
Autumn Mon 10 April 2023 Fri 21 April 2023
Winter Mon 3 July 2023 Fri 14 July 2023
Spring Mon 25 September 2023 Fri 6 October 2023
Summer Wed 20 December 2023 Thur 29 January 2024


School holiday experiences in NSW