Take a road trip in winter

Road tripping is synonymous with sunshine, long evenings, sunsets and adventures. When I think of taking a road trip, I envision weekends surfing, living in my car and exploring blue pins dropped at point breaks all along the coast. A road trip in winter can be one of your best adventures.


This past southern hemisphere winter, a group of friends and I road tripped to the snow and surf, lived in our cars and had some incredible experiences that are unique to winter. What I learned is an absolute new love for taking a road trip in winter, not only to the snow but also to remote surf breaks. There is something very different about a winter road trip that you absolutely must embrace!


10 reasons to take a road trip in winter:


A great winter wetsuit like the O'Neill Phsyco 3 is all you need to stay motivated to surf in winter
Winter surfing in NSW, Australia


#1 Fewer crowds

With the warm weather comes the masses. You can get a surf break pretty much all to yourself in winter as only the brave, committed and adventurous paddle out when the sand is colder than the water and it’s dark and gloomy. Sharks anyone? Only kidding!


The view from Hotel Alyeska in Girdwood
Whatttt!? This is our room? Crack open that Japanese whiskey bottle.


Read: My top 5 surf sports outside of Sydney


#2 Cheaper accommodation

You can find great deals on hotels or on AirBNB in winter when competition is few and far between. Stay somewhere you normally couldn’t afford in the peak summer months.


That one day where we surf, snowboard and skate all in one day.
Mark and Tristan checking the surf


#3 That special winter light

With the sun lower in the sky, this makes for some great photo opportunities. Brave the cold and get out there for sunrise and sunset and enjoy the beautiful colours of a cold winter’s day.


It is hard to stay motivated to surf in winter when the water is so cold and bed is so warm!
Trying to get the motivation to get in the cold water of NSW’s south coast. Even when the surf is that good!


Read: 7 steps to stay motivated to surf in winter


#4 Rug up and wear your fav outdoor clothes

You may even be able to keep your Pyjamas on underneath – I definitely do! Winter clothes are the best. I practically live any form of down outerwear all winter. I look like I’m going snowboarding permanently!


Asado Argentina in Las Lenas
Outside cooking at its best. These strangers invited us to eat with them :-)


Shop Wild Earth, Australia's #1 Online Adventure Store, for high quality outdoor gear at great prices. Click here!


#5 Meet a different crowd

If you always go where you’ve always gone, you’ll keep meeting the same people. Organising a road trip in winter is a great way to get out and not only see somewhere new but meet a whole new crew to enjoy it with.


Camping after a big day snowboarding with a beer
One thing is for sure, at the end of the day you will be knackered & that beer will taste damn good!
Photo Craig Brokensha


Read: Exploring Australia’s surprisingly good backcountry terrain


#6 Bonfires

Bonfires are great in summer but in winter they are all the more special and cozy. When snowboarding in the backcountry in Australia, one of my favourite things to do when we get back from a long, hard day is to sit by the fire and rest! Snowboard trips are a weekly winter road trip all through the colder months in Australia.


That one day where we surf, snowboard and skate all in one day.
Clear night skies


#7 Enjoy the stars

There is something about the colder air that makes things clearer. I swear the stars are brighter in the winter months. One of my favourite things to do is to sit in my car, falling asleep by looking at the stars out the window. Car camping is the best! I want one of those Aussie roof top tents. Have you seen them? OMG, so sick!


Gearhead like me?  Check out the full range of Australian camping equipment


Camping in the snow Australia
Tea and freshies… i’m happy!



#8 Camping

One step better than car camping is actual camping. Getting yourself a good winter tent (doesn’t have to be a 4 season tent), is the first step. After that, you have your own mobile home for a road trip in winter. Just think of all the stars you will gaze at, surf breaks you will wake at and enviable Instagram posts of the view from your new tent’s vestibule! #sigh

You’re also going to need some camping gear (also good to use in summer!). Gear Hungry makes some good recommendations of things you didn’t even know you needed!


Move to New Zealand
A road trip to Mt. Cook



#9 Less traffic

Ahhh my favourite reason to get amongst it over winter – less cars on the road. Nothing shits me more then spending my hard-earned free time sitting in traffic. If you are going to the popular spots with every other man and their dog, remember to leave early or a bit later to miss the wretched traffic jams.


Outback Australia in the Subaru Outback
I love my Subaru Outback. AKA my winter home!



#10 Chase winter swells or the snow

This is all we do all winter! When the snow is good, we drive 6 hours to Perisher to camp and hike. When the surf is good, we debate on which one wins. Winter road trips are often spent in the dark in the colder, darker months but dayammm they are worth it.


So what are you waiting for? Call your buddies and plan a weekend road trip in winter!


Road trip travel photo with sky and dirt road
Photo Morgan Maassen


What awesome winter road trips have you been on? Did I miss anything that makes getting away when its cold special to you?


Hiya, I'm Alexa. Always on some sort of adventure! I'm excited to share my stories & introduce you to other rad women, also living the dream. I'm here to inspire you to do the same :-)


  1. Really great read and argument for road tripping in the winter! I agree that there definitely is something about the cold air that makes the night sky even clearer! Have you every done a winter road trip in colder climate where it’s basically a winter wonderland?

  2. I’m totally with you on that! Road tripping in winter is just as fun. You might have to prepare a little more for snow and ice, but it oh so worth it!


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