While our northern hemisphere friends are rugged up and trudging through sleet as the sun sets in the late afternoon, we’re revelling in long, hot summer days with family and friends by our side. Surf, sand, sunshine, and snags on the barbie – we think nothing beats our iconic Aussie summer. Since the vast majority of our population lives within a one-hour drive of 1000s of good beaches, naturally a lot of Australians hit the beach on the weekends, but beyond our beaches, what is it that we love so much about our summer?
Just like the classic Madonna song from the 80s, the majority of us celebrate the festive season and ease into the new year with extended holidays. Summer is the most sociable time of the year, with kids off school until late January, and public holidays (including Australia Day) keeping the holiday vibe alive until late January.
The great Aussie barbie
It’s time to get out of the confines of the kitchen and fire up that barbecue. A sizzling barbie is entrenched in our national psyche – the waft of grilling meat and promise of a genuine yarn BBQ-side lures us to this social cooking experience. Barbecues complement our casual summer living, with fuss free food that requires minimal prep. Throw together some snags, caramelised onions, tomato sauce and bread and you’ve got dinner with friends sorted. If you want to take things up a notch, include some fresh seafood (slip a shrimp on the barbie), marinate some lamb skewers or steak ahead of time and add a fresh salad. Best of all, you’re not confined to your backyard for your barbecuing days – per capita, we reckon Australia leads the way in public barbies. In fact, there’s even a website dedicated to finding a grilling station at a park near you – Meat in a Park.
Flip-flops and jandals move over, we’re all about our thongs! Unlike our European mates (who have actually banned thongs in some places), this freeing footwear certainly isn’t confined to visits to the beach or public pools. In summer, you’ll find us luxuriating in thongs on the daily – sporting events, barbecues, trips to the pub or out for dinner. Any time is thong time.
From Byron Bay and Bondi to Burleigh and everything in between, we’re blessed to have some of the world’s hottest surfing spots on our doorstep. As the water warms up, we strip off our steamers, throw a shaka and spend our days paddling to our favourite breaks. Best of all, it’s never too late to learn!
Hit the beach
An Aussie summer break isn’t complete without a beachside stay. Escaping the city or your usual neighbourhood for a beach town puts us in instant holiday mode. Salty skin, leisurely beach walks and afternoon ice creams = perfection! Just remember to swim between the flags.
Beer and barefoot bowls
No longer reserved for retirees in freshly pressed whites, the previously stuffy bowling green now welcomes us in with open arms (and wallet friendly drinks). Get together with friends, slip off your shoes (or thongs) and settle in for an afternoon of barefoot bowls, accompanied by cool beverages and tasty bar snacks. Find your local club here.
Serious summer sports
Sure, barefoot bowls can get pretty serious, but what we’re talking about here is the summer spectator sport line-up. Kicking off with cricket – the Boxing Day Test at the MCG (complete with a crowd!), followed by a full schedule of Summer Racing Carnivals and rounding up with the jewel in our summer sports crown, The Australian Open. Looking likely to take place early February 2021 this time (once players have quarantined), keep your eyes glued to the official Australian Open event page for updates and ticket sales.
Fiesta, then siesta
Late, leisurely nights lend themselves perfectly to an afternoon siesta – sea, or poolside. There’s nothing more relaxing than lounging on your towel, getting lost in your favourite book and dozing off as the ice melts in your drink and the warm breeze washes over you. Just be sure to apply sunscreen liberally before settling in!
Long, lazy days
Summer in Australia is the time of the year that most of us look forward to for recharging, socialising and soaking up some sunshine. At the conclusion of the working year (and a particularly crazy one in 2020) these days of freedom, al fresco entertaining and relaxation are just what we need to start the new year on a high.
The great outdoors
If the beach isn’t beckoning, our Aussie summer provides a brilliant backdrop for outdoor adventures. From camping to fishing, hiking, or swimming, exploring our backyard is a sure-fire way to fill the memory banks. We have plenty of pristine camping spots dotted around our country, with something to suit glampers through to serious camping minimalists.
Australia is truly unlike anywhere else in the world, as most of us take a longer break with an added bonus of Australia Day on the 26th of January. In fact, many industries, including trades, take the opportunity to enjoy most of January to relish our long summer days, warmer nights, food, fun, and frivolity to catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a while – enjoying the great outdoors and simple pleasures in life. Not to forget it’s the school holidays until late January, so we have the kids to entertain and keep busy! There we have it, we’re well and truly spoiled in summer. So, get out there and enjoy all that sun-drenched days have to offer, and we reckon it’s well deserved after what has been a particularly tough 2020.