The word ‘hygge’ (pronounced HOO-guh) doesn’t translate perfectly into English. It means something similar to ‘cosiness’, being as snug as a bug in a rug. It means polishing off a packet of Tim-Tams with a piping hot cuppa. It means slipping into your uggs and binge-watching 14 episodes of Friends with no regrets. And now that the weather’s cooling down, it means taking a hygge-heavy getaway somewhere around Australia.
Australians might not shiver through the frost-bitten temperatures that the Danes do, but we’ve still got plenty of perfect places around the country to get your hygge on this winter. Here are 12 great ideas for a cosy mid-year escape.
You don’t need to fly to Europe to experience a cold Christmas, and you don’t need to wait until December, either. Head to YHA’s heritage listed Art Deco hostel in Katoomba for Yulefest 2018, a weekend stuffed full of Christmas-in-July cheer. Check it out >
From mulled wine at the Queen Vic night markets to a warm cuppa at one of the city’s zillion cafes, frosty Melbourne is the Australian capital of hygge. Book your city break in the middle of town or in leafy North Melbourne. Check it out >
A purpose-built ski lodge nestled at the foot of the Snowy Mountains? Pure hygge. Conquer the Thredbo slopes by day then cocoon yourself in front of the fireplace with a hot toddy by night. Book your budget bed this ski season before it’s too late! Check it out >
With its convict-era prison, sparkling waterfront and vibrant food and drink scene, Fremantle is worth a visit 12 months a year. But cuddling up in your own private cottage this winter? That’s got hygge written all over it. Check it out >
Temperatures around Uluru dip below freezing in the middle of the year, and as frost descends on ‘the Rock’, so do 15 tonnes of solar-powered lights. Extended until 2020, the Field of Light installation illuminates the desert landscape of the Red Centre with 50,000 spindles of light. Check it out >
Toasty evenings in breweries and distilleries? Tick. The indescribable Dark MOFO festival? Tick. Frosty climbs up Mount Wellington? Tick. Freshly revamped hostel? Tick. Enjoy a steaming hot scoop of hygge this winter in Hobart. Check it out >
Wrap yourself in a scarf, cosy up with good company, and be dazzled by the world’s premier light show. Australia’s top winter festival attracts more than two million visitors to the Harbour City, and YHA has some great-value accommodation deals in Sydney to help you make the most of it. Check it out >
It never gets too chilly up in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, but the misty mornings that greet you when you emerge from your very own yurt? That’s unadulterated hygge. Check it out >
Cosy Canberra serves up near-Scandinavian temperatures during the middle of the year, and one of the capital’s wintry wonders is found every Wednesday evening on the Canberra City YHA rooftop. Grab a blanket, find a snuggle buddy, and enjoy a toasty moonlight movie at the hostel. Check it out >
Nothing says hygge like a glass of red, and nowhere says wine like the Barossa Valley. Hop on a day trip from Adelaide to stroll through the picturesque vineyards of the Barossa, feasting on South Australia’s tastiest vino, meats and cheeses. Check it out >
Want to see a living, breathing example of hygge? Visit the Belfry Guesthouse’s Instagram. This gorgeous weatherboard guesthouse is surrounded by rainforest, with a homely balcony overlooking the Bellinger River. Check it out >
Cold weather not your thing? Cut out all those cuddly crap and escape to the tropics. Cairns is a place where ‘winter’ means 30 degrees and sunny – pop up to tropical North Queensland for a sun-kissed midyear escape. Check it out >