Your love life doesn’t have to be as frigid as the weather.

Brrr! Winter has officially struck. The delicious warm weather of Summer is but a faded memory and has been replaced by the cold, dreariness that is Winter. This time of year tends to bring out the lazy, unmotivated, couch sloth in all of us. Hibernating with Netflix and avoiding the cold can easily seem like the only option… but your romantic life doesn’t have to be as frigid as the weather. There are heaps of fun date spots and getaways around the country to warm your cold queer hearts this Winter. Here’s a few of them!

DRINK WINE

Everyone knows that the quickest way to defrost is to pop the cork on a nice bottle of red. Winter is a great time for wannabe sommeliers to check out Australia’s wine regions to admire the vines, ingest the wine, meet winemakers and snap up some bargains. You can generally expect clear blue skies and mild temperatures averaging 18 degrees during the day, with cosy fireplaces and warm winter food to beat the frosty nights. From the Barossa and the Bunya Mountains, to the Hunter Valley, Australia has a long list of stunning spots to share a bottle of vino and a cheese platter with your beloved. If you want to treat yourselves, spend a luxurious weekend at the lush Cabin in the Clouds – a secluded mountaintop retreat in the Hunter Valley. Spend the day swilling grapes before retreating to your cabin for a cosy meal.

Rainbow mountain HIT THE SKI FIELDS

Hitting the slopes when the snow season starts is a bit of a no brainer. If you fancy some skiing, snowboarding or sliding around wildly on a toboggan, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania are the places to get your powder fix. If you’re in Victoria, head to Mt Buller, Mt Stirling, Mt Hotham or Falls Creek. Further south in Tassy are the ski areas of Ben Lomond and Mt Mawson. And if you’re in NSW, check out Perisher, Jindabyne, Alphine Way, and if you feel like hanging out in a castle with a bunch of Queens, check out Thredbo’s “Rainbow Mountain” festival in September. This LGBTIQ snow fest hosted by Heaps Gay is packed with five days of events on and off the slopes.

GO ICE SKATING (BECAUSE WINTER)

It’s a bit corny but what screams Winter date more than ice skating? In theory, a skate date sounds extremely romantic; the two of you, arms linked as you cruise around the icey rink as one. Unless you’re a seasoned skater, the reality is likely to be less cinematic and more Bambi On Ice.  At least if you stack it, you’ll have a story to laugh about over your next date. Get your skates on and head to the pop up outdoor ice rink at Cathedral Square in Sydney. It’s cool… get it?

GO BUSH

Pack your bags and go bush with a trip to Queensland’s Bunya Mountains. Slow down the pace and settle into a chalet surrounded by curious wildlife and ancient bunya pines. During the day, the temperatures are pleasant enough to enjoy the Bunya Mountain walking tracks, which take you through rainforest and eucalypt forest to the Pine Gorge lookout offering panoramic views. Pro tip: there’s a café amongst the chalets that makes a noteworthy carrot and bunya nut cake which you can enjoy by the roaring fire at night with a glass of red. Alternatively, take a trip to the Blue Mountains where the crisp, cool mountain air is perfect for hiking. You may even be lucky even to see a slight dusting of snow on your treks. Spend the night holed up by the fire in a tiny pub together.

SEE SOME ART

Step up your culture game and take your girl on a date to one of the many amazing galleries the country has to offer. If you’re in Sydney, check out White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale, which has one of the world’s largest and most significant collection of Chinese contemporary art. Afterwards, stop in to the gallery’s tranquil Tea House. White Rabbit is also close to the foodie mecca known as Spice Alley, so your post art Winter date will end on a deliciously warm note.

ESCAPE WINTER

If you’re true Winter grinches and you need a break from frosty mornings and runny noses, plot an escape to the warmest places in Australia. Port Douglas is beautiful all year round, but May through to October is when it really shines. The average ocean temperature during winter is 23 degrees, which is perfect for swimming. Alternatively, head over to Broome where you can enjoy an average winter temperature of 30 degrees, while you ride camels along the 22km stretch of Cable Beach and swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef.

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