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Just because the weather turns colder doesn’t mean you can’t still have a great holistic holiday. When it comes to winter fun and games, Canada ticks all the boxes.


Santa may live at the North Pole but Canada wraps up a White Christmas like no-one else.

The Great Montréal Christmas Market features 30 chalets of local and regional artisans showing off their wares, while a large selection of gourmet stations keeps visitors well fed.

The Jean-Talon Market in Little Italy, Montreal, offers festive local products, mulled wine and a ‘boulegalow’, an elf house that will enchant children of all ages.

In the Yukon, the 12 Days of Christmas Fireweed Community Market displays high-quality, locally made arts and crafts from 50 vendors, along with home-baked pies and preserves.

Inspired by Germany’s traditional outdoor markets, the Vancouver Christmas Market delivers live music, beer and pretzels, while the Calgary Farmers’ Market is transformed every Xmas with extra artisans, merchants, musicians and entertainers. Visitors can take photos with Santa, have tea with Mrs. Claus and a herd of friendly reindeer, or take a selfie with the Grinch.

A stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta is the ultimate Christmas treat. Skate the frozen lake, enjoy a dog sledding adventure and walk off Christmas lunch on snow shoes. Guests can also enjoy story time with Santa’s elves and sing carols around the giant Christmas tree.

Place des Festivals Montreal. Photo courtesy Raphael Ouellet


The current solar cycle is set to reach its peak (known as ‘solar max’) between now and 2026. This increase in solar activity results in more aurora activity on Earth, making it an outstanding time for viewing.

In the Yukon, go aurora hunting with an experienced guide, such as Northern Tales Travel Service or Up North Adventures, who take you from your hotel in Whitehorse out into the wilderness, where a perfect, black-sky canvas displays the dancing ribbons of aurora. 

Listen to tales of northern life and learn the folklore of the aurora borealis as you sip on hot chocolate around a wood-fired stove or fireplace.

Positioned directly under the aurora oval, Churchill in Manitoba offers the perfect vantage point, with the lights visible 300 days per year. Prime viewing takes place in February and March, although the aurora is often visible in late August.

Embark on a ‘Nights Under Lights’ adventure in a boreal forest with Nanuk Operations, snuggling up in a luxurious dome-ceiling yurt with a hot drink before the light show begins.

Join a ‘Northern Lights and Winter Nights’ adventure with Frontiers North Adventures, where you can take in the night-sky phenomenon from the comfort of a Tundra Buggy amid a wintry Narnia-style landscape.

Or contact Natural Habitat Adventures for access to the cosy Aurora Pod®, specially designed for 360-degree views of the sky via innovative glass construction and cushioned seats.

Head to Yellowknife’s Aurora Village, lined with teepees to keep guests warm as they watch the northern lights. The aurora happens from late December through to March here and visitors are recommended to stay a minimum of four nights to witness this natural phenomenon.

Aurora borealis in Northwest Territories. Photo courtesy Destination Canada

Yukon dog mushing. photo courtesy Tomohiro Eumura


Dogsledding is part of Canada’s DNA as the historic mode of transport used by fur traders and those living in the country’s northern locations.

Learn how to mush your own team of sled at Sky High Wilderness Ranch in Whitehorse, Yukon, where you will be assigned your own team of friendly huskies before setting off on a half or full-day excursion.

In Alberta, Kingmik Dog Sled Tours offers an authentic dog sledding experience in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, from introductory to multi-day adventures, while in Quebec, Aventure Inukshuk dog sledding combines outdoor adventure with Indigenous culture.

Aurora Village and North of 60 in Yellowknife both offer affordable dog sledding options during winter. 

Learn to skate on glittering Tagish Lake at Southern Lakes Resort, situated within the traditional territory of the Carcross / Tagish First Nation, an hour and 20 minutes’ drive from Whitehorse.

During winter, you’ll enjoy front row seats to the northern lights and fill your days with dog sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

Gnarly’s Tube Park at Cypress Mountain in Vancouver sees kids of all ages sliding down six dedicated snow tubing chutes, each roughly 100 metres in length.

At Whistler Blackcomb, fly through the forest on a zipline adventure. You’ll glide over creeks and among old-growth trees while learning about the area’s pristine ecology and wildlife on a guided tour ideal for the entire family.

Also in Whistler, Vallea Lumina is a 1.5 km pathway through an old-growth forest that takes visitors of all ages on an hour-long night walk in pursuit of hidden wonders, telling a multi-media story that unfolds in chapters along the way.

Big White Ski Resort. photo courtesy Andrew Jay


Ask any serious powder hound and they’ll probably say Canada has the best destination ski resorts in the world.

British Columbia is home to 13 major ski resorts, including the iconic Whistler Blackcomb, considered North America’s premier mountain resort.

Here you’ll also find Revelstoke Mountain Resort, recently voted ‘Best Ski Resort in Canada’ at the prestigious World Ski Awards. A new luxury hotel with 154 rooms is poised to debut in time for the 2023/24 season.

Another unique activity here is “ROAM”, an art installation on a mountain. Several works of art have been hidden among the runs and it is down to the intrepid skiers to try and locate them. There’s also the Masterpiste Gallery, where all the exhibits are made from recycled skis, snowboards and climbing skins destined for the dump.

Also in BC, RED Mountain features more than 1,600 skiable hectares – the most per skier in North America. It also has ski-in, ski-out access courtesy of The Josie Hotel, a luxury property with slope-side cedar barrel saunas and impressive mountain vistas.

Voted ‘Canada’s Best Ski Resort’ in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, Lake Louise in Alberta offers one of the largest and most scenic ski resorts in North America. 

The Lake Louise Ski Resort Summit Chair brings skiers to the peak of Whitehorn Mountain in just four minutes. From here, explore West Bowl, an area the size of 240 Canadian football fields.

Rocky Mountain peaks, glacial lakes and adventure come together in Banff National Park (BNP) – Canada’s first national park and the flagship of the nation’s park system. Banff is also part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mt Norquay offers the only night skiing in BNP, as well as Alberta’s longest tube lanes for the young and young at heart. Sunshine Village Ski Resort in Banff is set to expand the new Wolverine Day Lodge by almost 2,000-square-metres.

Family-friendly Mont Tremblant in Quebec hosts an impressive assortment of adult and children ski programs at the Tremblant Snow School. 

The ‘Elle’ category is reserved for women only, while the adult ski racing program and Summit Club offer various terrains where guests can improve their technique while zipping down the slopes.

Air Canada offers daily direct flights to Vancouver from Sydney and direct flights between Brisbane and Vancouver four times per week. Direct flights from Sydney to Vancouver are also available on Qantas.