Australians strip off to celebrate chilly midwinter

Warning: This video contains nudity.

More than 1000 naked Australians have leaped into a freezing river in the middle of winter to celebrate the winter solstice.

Today is the shortest day, and longest night, of the year for the southern hemisphere, and a group of Australians celebrated in style.

So many people turned out for the swim at Hobart's Derwent river this year that organisers ran out of towels, according to local media.

The beach was a crisp 4degC at dawn, but the water was positively balmy at 14degC.

One swimmer said it was an excellent way to wake up in the morning while another said it was a "once in a lifetime" experience.

Meanwhile a bit further south, Australia's Antarctic Division celebrated midwinter with their own chilly dip - except it was considerably colder.

The team staying at Davis Station over winter took part in a polar plunge under the sea ice. With windchill, the air was a brisk -36degC, described as "invigorating" by the participants.