Ready to experience the best winter festivals?

While many of us think that winter is a great excuse to snuggle up and stay indoors, Australian winters are actually an ideal time to venture out and visit the country’s many cultural festivals. All over the nation, small communities and large urban centres pull out all the stops to connect with winter travellers from nearby and abroad. So, shake off the 'winter blues' and explore the possibilities with these wondrous winter festivals.

Melbourne winter masterpieces festival
Location: Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria
Who to take: Your best friend
Visit it if: You appreciate the beauty of art
Dates: 16th July- 18th November, 2015

The Melbourne Winter Masterpieces festival unfolds in one of Australia's cosiest and most romantic cities. First established in 2004, the festival is an annual series of major exhibitions that brings exclusive top-tier art collection from around the world to Australia’s cultural hub. This year, ACMI will present the heavily anticipated David Bowie Isexhibition on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Meanwhile, the National Gallery of Victoria will showcase their Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great exhibition. A truly world-class event, Winter Masterpieces will feature the work of Dutch and Flemish Masters such as Rubens, Velázquez, Rembrandt and Van Dyck. Do you really need another excuse to visit this stunning city?

Dark mofo festival 
Location: Berriedale, Hobart, Tasmania
Who to take: Your partner (or culture vulture friend)
Visit it if: You want to soak up a hearty dose of culture
Dates: 12th-22nd June, 2015

This cutting edge winter festival is truly epic public art, music and food festival. Dark Mofo is the winter extravaganza celebrating the much-lauded Museum of Old and New Art. Guests will witness innovative artistic installations pop up throughout the city of Hobart, be enraptured by a suite of international musicians, enjoy a sumptuous five-day Winter feast and marvel at MONA’s enchanting light installation from avant-garde artist Anthony McCall. The unique and compelling festival, Dark Mofo is an experience to remember.

The Canberra region truffle festival
Location: Canberra, ACT
Who to take: A group of food-loving friends
Visit it if: You can’t pass up delicious, exotic cuisine
Dates: Late-July to mid-August, 2015

This one is for the dedicated foodies! If you love truffles and fine dining, then the Canberra Region Truffle Festival should top your list for winter festival fun. With nearly fifty different venues participating in activities right across the ACT, visitors are treated to an eight-week-long spectacle of culinary delights. From taste testing sessions to cooking seminars, The Canberra Region Truffle Festivalis a hog heaven for the truffle hunter in us all!

The Australian festival of chamber music 
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Who to take: Your kids (or older grandkids)
Visit it if: You want to escape to world-class music and warmer weather
Dates: 31st July - 8th August, 2015

Escape the winter altogether by heading to sunny Northern Queensland. The Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) began in 1991 and has quickly become one of the highlights of the national musical calendar. Bringing together a diverse array of acclaimed chamber musicians, the ACFM also offers guests a series of 'concert conversations', glorious galas and special performances. So, there should be nothing stopping you from migrating north this winter to indulge.

The Darwin festival 
Location: Darwin, Northern Territory
Who to take: A group of your best buddies
Dates: 6th August - 23rd August, 2015

Not to be outdone, Australia's central state has proved that it is a vital cultural force within the nation. It is well worth the effort to visit Darwin throughout the ‘cooler’ months as it opens its doors to a host of international artists and performers. Visitors can expect to be treated to splashes of music, theatre, dance, cabaret, outdoor classics, film and even visual arts. Perfect for weather-weary eastern-seaboard dwellers, the Darwin Festivalis winter fun that is both old fashioned and refreshing.

Who doesn’t love the idea of sitting by a fire in Tasmania and indulging in a hot chocolate or red wine this winter?

Image source: The Conversation

If you know of another great winter festival, or if you have a personal insight to share with others, share your thoughts below …