The Aussie summer can be fiery hot; here are six of the best trips for you to have a ball, stay cool and experience the best that the Australian summer has to offer.
Australia’s largest non-capital city rests alongside miles of beautiful sand beaches and rolling surf. It’s not called Surfer’s Paradise for nothing! The whole area has a playfulness that includes all ages and interests.
The Gold Coast is a glitzy, high rise city built right up to the edge of the beach. The Gold Coast is home to the major theme parks: Sea World, Dream World, Movie World and Wet‘n’Wild Water Park. These cater to all ages and are a lot of fun. You can obtain discounts to some of the theme parks by pre-purchasing entry tickets.
The Gold Coast is also home to Jupiter’s Casino. Accommodation on the Gold Coast ranges from the six-star Palazzo Versace through to self-catering apartment options.
The Gold Coast is also home to some great day trip activities. See https://www.destinationgoldcoast.com/
Cairns and nearby Port Douglas are gateways to the Great Barrier Reef. Summer is the rainy season in the Tropical North of Australia. However, this won’t dampen your ability to experience what the tropics can offer during this time.
During summer the region comes alive with waterfalls cascading through pristine rainforest. There is a cable car - Skyrail – that takes you from the Cairns coast up the mountain range to the village of Kuranda.
Next door to Skyrail is Tjapukai the Aboriginal Cultural Park. This all-weather venue provides an indigenous Australian experience. You can learn to throw a boomerang, play a didgeridoo and gain insights into aboriginal history, culture, dance, music and life. Tjapukai also offers great dining experiences. http://www.tjapukai.com.au/
There are many great beach holiday destinations in Australia and Byron Bay is routinely identified as amongst the best that Australia’s East Coast has to offer. In fact, Cape Byron 3 km south of Byron Bay is mainland Australia’s most easterly point. On top of a truly laid back, surfing culture, Byron Bay has a village atmosphere. Shoes are optional almost everywhere.
Byron Bay is more than a surfing destination. The town welcomes visitors and has a customer service culture. The range of dining options is large and there are many parks and public BBQ’s. You can easily source some fantastic local produce and then use the free BBQs in places such as Apex Park (Note: this website is a great resource for public BBQ’s throughout Australia!)
Byron Bay has a bit of a hippy vibe and embraces diversity. It hosts many events and music festivals too. Here you find an eclectic mix of Australians, backpackers and international tourists all getting along and having a great Aussie summer holiday. http://www.visitbyronbay.com/
Western Australia has an answer to Byron Bay, called Margaret River, or “Margs” for short. This laid back, village-based surfing region is located 277 kilometres south of Perth. The region has a Mediterranean-style climate and rarely experiences extreme temperatures.
It also benefits from great sea breezes that help beat the summer heat. Margaret River produces some of Australia’s best wines. Most of the wineries in Margaret River are boutique and they operate cellar doors that are open to the public.
You can escape the heat in Margaret River by going underground. The region is home to hundreds of limestone caves, six of which are managed by the National Parks Service and are open to the public. The most famous is the Mammoth Cave which is located just over 20 km south of the Margaret River township.
The food, surf, wine, fresh air and relaxed attitudes make Margaret River a spectacular Australian summer destination. https://www.margaretriver.com/services/visitor-centres/
Without doubt Australia’s best summer weather is located in its smallest and most southerly state, Tasmania. The island state sits on the roaring 40’s latitude and while it gets chilly in winter; it has incredibly mild summers. Established as a convict settlement Tasmania is home to some of Australia’s most historic sites such as Port Arthur (100 km from Hobart).
Many of Hobart’s early buildings were built using convict labour. These magnificent sandstone structures are still in use and include Salamanca Place. Originally, a massive port stores facility, Salamanca Place has now been converted into a remarkable shopping and dining precinct.
Sydney and Hobart are Australia’s harbor cities. Hobart is the destination for yachts from the Sydney to Hobart yacht race that commences every Boxing Day (26 December). Hobart sits on the banks of the Derwent River at the foothill of Mount Wellington (otherwise known as Kunanyi).
Tasmanian produce is prized globally for its purity and quality. The local whisky distillery Sullivan’s Cove won the World’s Best Single Whisky in 2014. 45% of Tasmania is national park, reserves and world heritage sites. As the state tourism slogan says “Explore the Possibilites” https://www.discovertasmania.com.au/
If you only have a short time for a break, the Australian summer hosts the Big Bash Cricket tournament, and it comes to you. All capital cities host this high energy form of cricket and games usually last 3 hours, which is a lot shorter than the other forms of the game which can last 5 days. Big Bash Cricket is played to packed stadiums like the Sydney Cricket Ground or the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) and is the sprint version of cricket.
Even if you are new to cricket, there is plenty to see and experience. Increasingly, the women’s teams are playing Big Bash Cricket too. This means that the sport has won a wide audience. If you are planning a short break to any Australian capital city over summer, definitely look for a chance to take in a Big Bash game. https://www.bigbash.com.au/tickets
Of course, you can also take in one or all five days of a cricket test match, with the most iconic being the Boxing Day and New Year’s Day tests in Melbourne and Sydney respectively.