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Summer forecast: sun, surf & adventure

Published December 7th, 2018

At long last, the uni holidays are here! If you haven’t sold your soul to your retail job for the summer (hey, you gotta eat), perhaps you’ve been saving for some resemblance of a holiday at some point? Chances are you’re looking for an adventure—and ideally one that doesn’t entail a long haul flight (and digging out that coat you just put away) for winter in another hemisphere. 

BEACH BABIES APPLY WITHIN for epic summer getaways here in Australia, and close to home adventures in New Zealand.

Sunshine state of mind

There’s no denying the East Coast is a sun & surf wonderland. Grab some mates and head out on the open road to explore. Here’s just a few must-see spots from Bondi to the Great Barrier Reef.

Byron Bay—with the town motto of “Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out” it’s pretty obvious Byron is the place to let your hair down this summer. Enjoy turmeric lattes at breaky, explore stunning coastline all day long, then drinks with a view at sundown.

Surfers Paradise—no stranger to a good time, the Gold Coast is the place to surf, party and repeat. Plus, explore the nearby Hinterland for stunning hikes and refreshing water holes.

Fraser Island—a bucket list destination if ever there was one! Get amongst Queensland’s raw beauty on the island’s sandy beaches and take a dip (and a roll of insta-worthy photos) at the azure Lake McKenzie.

Great Barrier Reef—You don’t need to be backpacker from Europe to enjoy the spoils of the largest living thing on Earth! Don’t delay exploring this magical part of the world. Cairns is the ideal base for day tripping to the unspoilt islands on the reef then partying with backpackers from around the world by night.

Over the ditch

New Zealand seriously is heaps good. If you’re into adventure and out of this world scenery, summer in NZ is off the hook. Here’s just some of the fun activities you can get up to.

Water sports—kayak, white water raft, cruise boat or jet boat—there’s a unique way to experience the lakes, rivers and even glaciers that run deep in NZ. Bungy jump counts as a watersport too if you do a water touch! Head to Abel Tasman National Park for an all-time high of summer feels as you kayak around the park’s crystal clear water bays and coves.

Wheel sports—mountain bikers are in for some serious trails here. Head for Arrowtown over 100km of famous rides around the Queenstown region.

Beach please—around three hours south of Auckland you’ll find NZ’s best beach right at the base of a impressive extinct volcano, Mount Maunganui. Surfing, sunbaking and good times aplenty are found right here.

The Outback and beyond

Ready to go ‘full Aussie’? The Outback is waiting. From Darwin to the Red Centre, the Northern Territory is full of surprises.

Uluru—witness Australia’s mighty centre at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Spend a day cycling around the base, or even a Segway tour! Watch in awe as the colours change from dawn to dusk.

Flora & Fauna—further north at Kakadu, Australia’s largest National Parkland, you can chase waterfalls and swim in ancient waterholes. Take epics walks and of course, meet the wildlife—with around 10,000 crocodiles calling the wetlands their home you’re sure to see a few (from a relatively safe distance) on a Wetlands Cruise.

Rachel Surgeoner

A self-confessed 'food-tourist', I take hunting for the world's greatest sandwich very seriously, my quest has taken me from Berlin to Hoboken. Stopping off only for vintage shopping, craft beers and Mediterranean sunsets.