In some parts, summer in Australia seems to stretch well beyond the three months from November to February. In the northern parts of the country, winter is mild and, autumn and spring are almost as hot as summer!
So, if you love the heat, the summer time in Australia can be almost a year round season!
Summer always means school holidays. In each state, school holidays begin prior to Christmas and last until the end of January or early February. The length of summer school holidays varies from between six and ten weeks.
And, it’s not just schools that take long summer holidays. Most universities also take a long break over the warmer months. In fact, many businesses and government departments also close and have mandatory holidays for their teams.
Summer also means Christmas. While in the northern hemisphere, Christmas means snow and hot roast dinners, in Australia it’s the complete opposite!
Christmas in Australia can be an outdoor event, as the weather is often very warm, sunny and humid. This may mean Christmas celebrations at the beach, in the garden or at a park.
In southern states like Victoria and Tasmania, there can be cold snaps at Christmas but mainly it is a warm weather celebration.
So Christmas food is often light and fresh, full of salads, seafood and cool treats. The day after Christmas, Boxing Day, is also a public holiday. However, it also means the start of the summer sales, where most stores start discounting their stock.
New Year is a big celebration in Australia. Most cities and towns have local celebrations, and the fireworks on Sydney Harbour are broadcast on national television.
Local communities have celebratory events and many people host parties at their home. New Year celebrations are often large events, and millions of people attend these events annually.
The first day of the new year, January 1, is a public holiday so many businesses are closed.
Summer is also a time for major sports events. Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, marks the beginning of the iconic Boxing Day test match in Melbourne – where regular first day crowds of over 90,000 people are commonplace.
Boxing Day marks the start of the Sydney to Hobart, a well-known Australian yacht race. This is a major event in Sydney, as people line the foreshore of the city to watch the flotilla of boats leave to sail south to Tasmania.
Summer in Australia is generally hot. Temperatures can reach 40 degrees or more for days or weeks on end depending on your location.
For many people, it’s the perfect time for the beach and other water activities such as swimming, sailing and water skiing.
It’s always important to protect yourself from the sun and drink plenty of water while you’re out and about.
There’s an amazing array of seasonal fruits available at this time.
Berries – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are in abundance, as are bananas, grapes and melons. Citrus fruit like oranges, mandarins, lemons and limes are in peak season during this time as well.
Stone fruit, such as plums, cherries, nectarines, apricots and peaches plus mangoes, the quintessential summer fruit, are available.
Many of these fruits form a major part of the recipes enjoyed in summer, especially at Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Anyway, enjoy your Australian summer!