Five beautiful islands and five winter wonderlands for Aussies travellers this summer

Top image: Tahiti mountain at sunset, bottom image: Finnish Lapland northern lights.

Summer is coming for Australians, and it promises to be a hot one. So if you're keen to visit a tropical island to escape to a winter wonderland this season, it's great to know there are plenty of amazing options to love. After all, paradise can look hot or cold, no matter the season, and travel insurance applies to snow and oceanic adventures alike. 

So if you're keen to relax on a summer island or rug up for a winter wonderland this holiday travel season, here are ten magical vacation ideas for Aussies.

1. Neuschwanstein, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, winter mountains.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany.

When exquisitely dusted with snow, this majestic fairytale castle in the Bavarian alps is the stuff of romance. No wonder it inspired Disney’s iconic Sleeping Beauty castle.

Stroll across Marie’s Bridge (Marienbrücke), tour the gilded, palatial ceremony rooms, then pass through the cave-like Grotto’s misty, artificial waterfall into the observatory for the full experience.

2. Mykonos, Greece

White lane on Mykonos.
Mykonos, Greece.

As one of the Mediterranean’s hottest destinations, Mykonos is unrivalled for beauty and culture. With its stark white architecture, deep blue Aegean waters, and thriving tourist attractions, new memories await around every corner. Beat the crowds by visiting from April to early June or between late September and October. 

Join a party boat, dance at one of the city’s many LGBTQIAP+ friendly clubs, and see if you find the best baklava in town. (Hint: locals reckon it’s at Il Forno di Gerasimo). Alternatively, chill at one of the island’s many peaceful beaches and museums.

3. Lapland, Finland

Northern lights over snowy forest in Lapland, Finland.
Levi, Lapland, Finland.

Known as the “Real North Pole”, Finland’s northernmost tip dwells within the Arctic Circle and breathes genuine winter magic. 

Whether it’s catching sight of the luminous Northern Lights, spending the night in an igloo, or snuggling in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, you’re bound to create a few special memories.

4. Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean

Palm tree on a beach in the Cocos Keeling Islands.
Cocos Keeling Islands, Australia.

Located off the coast of Western Australia, on the sapphire-blue Indian ocean, this idyllic atoll of untouched islands offers one of the best summer getaways. 

Canoe to uninhabited islands, snorkel the reefs, or try your luck with fishing or kitesurfing. Get amongst the vibrant culture of the Cocos Malay people before wandering down to the sunset beach for an evening sky you won’t forget.

5. Trakošćan Castle, Croatia

Snowy lane leading up to a Croatian Trakoscan castle, surrounded by pine forest.
Trakošćan Castle, Croatia.

Located in the snowy north of Croatia, this mediaeval castle evokes haunting autumnal and winter atmospheres upon its lonely hill overlooking a lake.

Wander the free parklands or dine in the castle's luxury halls before heading to the baroque city of Varazdin for antique cobblestone streets, red-roofed palaces, and local culture.

6. The Maldives, Pacific Ocean

Jetty and bungalow by a beach with palm trees in the Maldives.
The Maldives.

Winner of the World’s Leading Destination award for three years, the Maldives boasts pristine beaches and heavenly island getaways for all travellers. 

Stay in a resort for a luxury experience, or escape the crowds by booking your own little beach hut. Play traditional beach games with the locals and kit yourself out with authentic souvenirs. Dive among the wonderfully preserved, colourful coral reefs to see some Pacific legends up close.

7. Zürich, Switzerland

Snowy night Zuerich, Switzerland.
Zürich, Switzerland.

Sometimes Anglicised as “Zuerich”, this ancient Swiss city traces its snowy origins as far back as Roman times. 

Visit the Christmas markets and sled down snowy slopes, or explore the gothic streets while weaving in and out of luxury souvenir shops. Feeling brave? Challenge the local youth to a snowball fight (though prepare for a swift and decisive defeat).

8. Tahiti, Pacific Ocean

Half blue evening half sunny sunset mountain and jetty of bungalows in Tahiti.
Bora Bora, Tahiti, French Polynesia.

A vacation classic, Tahiti still reigns as a gorgeous summer escape. 

If the ocean calls you, gear up for sailing, canoeing, blue dives, paragliding, or world-best surfing. Swing your legs off the veranda of an overwater bungalow, learn about the rich local Tahitian culture and their voyager Ma’ohi ancestors, and shop genuine Polynesian goods at the annual festivals and markets.

9. Shirakawa-gō, Japan

A-frame huts in Shirakawa, Japan. Snowy.
Shirakawa-gō, Japan.

Gingerbread traditional houses layered with snow: what more could you want? This remote, mountainous Japanese village embraces some pretty special traditions, most iconically the A-frame, thatch-roof gasshō-zukuri cottages which dot the valley.

Wander the scenic landscape alongside the River Shō, dine on local Japanese delicacies, or marvel at the winter light-ups on the weekend.

10. Seychelles, Africa

Rock formation on sunset Seychelles beach.
Argent Beach, Seychelles.

Welcoming to the laid back and adventurous alike, there’s nothing quite like Seychelles's pristine, sea-scattered beauty.

Behold the mighty waterfalls, interact with unique African flora and fauna, and fly high with epic sky-diving. Trek up the jungles for breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean while dining on fine, fresh seafood. Curry and prawns are Christmastime favourites!

Compare international travel insurance policies for your next journey abroad.

Compare travel insurance policies

Mozo may receive payment if you click to the website of one of the products below. Mozo does not compare the entire market.
Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
Last updated 25 July 2024 Important disclosures
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    International Travel Insurance
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    $5,000 limit per policy with option to increase limit

    Get protection in a few simple steps with Freely travel insurance all in the palm of your hand. Freely Travel offers 24/7 emergency and medical support, 24/7 customer service. Plus, you can tailor your policy so you only pay for what you need, and adapt your cover in near real time. Add-ons such as car rental excess, snow sports or other activities also available. Receive 10% off your travel insurance policy with promo code: MOZO10. T&Cs apply, go to site for full detail.

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    No
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Unlimited

    Enjoy unlimited medical cover and 24/7 emergency assistance services when you travel. Get unlimited cover for cancellation fees and prepaid travel expenses. Cover for luggage and travel documents. $5,000,000 personal liability cover.

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Choose $10,000 to Unlimited

    Backed by the NIB, one of Australia’s largest travel insurance providers, Travel Insurance Saver brings you peace of mind on your travels. Compare three tiers of insurance cover, featuring benefits like 24 hour emergency assistance, emergency medical cover, luggage cover, cancellation cover and more.

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    International Comprehensive Single
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Choose $2,500 to Unlimited

    Enjoy the security of single trip cover on your next holiday with Southern Cross Travel Insurance. Get 24 hour emergency assistance, cover for cancelling or changing your journey before you leave, protection for lost, stolen or damaged goods as well as cover to replace lost or stolen cash, banks or travel documents. Be in to win 1 of 5 $1,000 cash prizes! T&Cs Apply. Offer ends 30 September 2023.

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Top
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Unlimited

    Be covered for international overseas and medical expenses. Emergency medical assistance 24 hours/365 days a year. Cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits. Cover for luggage and personal money. Dependents covered free of charge (conditions apply). Limited COVID cover available. Cancellation cover for COVID claims limited to $3,500.

    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.