Summer = Holidays
Australian summer coincides with Christmas and New Years festivities. So although a white Christmas will not be on the cards, enjoy the Boxing Day sales in agreeable weather and for those who are less shopping inclined, the cricket Ashes series also kicks off at this time in Melbourne, so there is something to suit all tastes. Did we mention that Australian beaches are amongst the best in the world, and there are not expensive sun beds for hire, so BYO towel and spread out in free, sandy luxury. The warmer weather may also mean a trip to the pool, so head to Sydney, the Gold Coast or Melbourne water parks for family friendly water slides and rides. Summer holidays mean more public holidays over a concentrated period, so get ready to see many Aussies making the most of extended vacation time and the longer daylight hours.
As many gardening experts and foodies will know, summer in Australia is the time for some of the tastiest and juiciest fruits. Being a vast country, you’ll find an increasing amount of farm to table restaurants serving up fresh, seasonal produce from local areas. You might also want to try your hand at picking yourself. Cherry, strawberry, blueberry and plum farms will offer pick your own experiences, or swing past and eliminate the supermarket middle man and get your produce pre-picked right from the source.
The delectable warm weather means plenty of outdoor festivals and events are to be found around the country. In Melbourne head to the Zoo Twilight sessions, evening markets or the Moonlight Cinema in the Botanical Gardens. Sydney hosts the glittering Mardis Gras in February as well as Shakespeare in the Park or opera on the Fleet Steps of the Sydney Harbour produced by Opera Australia. Brisbane’s Southbank precinct not only hosts parks, restaurants, Ferris wheel and shops, but a manmade beach that offers a picturesque lagoon to spend many an afternoon or morning floating and relaxing. Although separate from the mainland, Tasmania, with its capital Hobart on its Eastern side is another stellar travel destination. If you’re not heading to the world class art in the MONA museum, you might like to try the Saturday Salamanca markets, fresh seafood along the waterfront or a hike up Mt Wellington.
Australia is a huge country, so no matter where you’re based, there will be a range of day trip options that offer very diverse landscapes and experiences. If you’re staying in the nation’s Top End, near Darwin you can head to Litchfield National Park for water falls that you can swim in or admire the gorge from lookout areas. Kakadu can also be visited in a day and highly recommended to witness Indigenous culture and beautiful floodplains. Also breathtaking are the Blue Mountains which are only 90 minutes from NSW’s capital. You might consider hiring a van from Sydney to get you there and back if you have a group to transport.