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06 OCT 2014 - BY BEN TAUB
If you fancy following the sun and avoiding the winter blues, then heading below the equator is the thing to do at this time of year. Here's a look at a few of the best places to enjoy the spring in the southern hemisphere.
Argentina is a big country, stretching from Iguazu Falls at the border with Brazil in the north, all the way down to Tierra del Feugo in the south. The world's southernmost city, Ushuaia, is also found here. What's more, the country extends from the Atlantic coast in the east to the Andes in the west, and as such it contains a vast range of different climates, terrains and environments.
Seeing the country come into bloom during springtime is a real joy, with the capital, Buenos Aires, being one of the best places to do so. Unofficially named the Paris of the South, the city, which sits on the estuary of the River Plate, becomes awash with blossom at this time of year, creating the perfect backdrop to all the tango, steak and football for which the city is so famous.
If you'd like to get away from the capital, however, then Mendoza in the east is a fantastic place to visit. Located in the foothills of the Andes, it's the country's number one wine growing region, and in the spring you'll find that the local vineyards are just starting to come into bloom. Head further south and slightly higher into the hills, and you'll reach the popular skiing resort of Bariloche. Depending on exactly when you visit, you may just miss the ski season, although there's plenty to do once the snow melts, with the famous Route of Seven Lakes being one of the best driving trails in the world.
It may be far away from the UK, but Australia is well worth the journey at any time of year, although spring is a particularly great season in which to visit. Of course, popular destinations in the north such as the Great Barrier Reef are largely unaffected by the seasons, although the rains tend to be much heavier here during the summer, which is why it's a great idea to head to the region before the middle of November.
Further south, however, the landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation during the spring, with Tasmania being the perfect example of this. The island is in fact famous for its flowers, which come into bloom at this time of year. The Hobart Spring Tulip Festival, for instance, takes place each October and is a fantastic event to visit if you want to see Tasmania in all its glory. Elsewhere, the Daffodil Walk in Launceston's Cataract Gorge provides yet another wonderfully spring-like experience.
If it's culture you're after, then be sure to head to Melbourne for the Spring Racing Carnival. Lasting for three months, this horse racing extravaganza is the place to see and be seen, and is as popular among fashion enthusiasts as it is among equestrian sports fans.