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Five Places to Visit When You Want to Keep the Summer Dream Alive

Chase summer around the country.
By Melanie Colwell
May 22, 2018
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By Melanie Colwell
May 22, 2018
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in partnership with

Hear that? It's the sound of the collective population shutting windows, zipping up jackets and switching the AC setting from cool to warm. Summer is officially over.

You may have bemoaned what felt like an endless summer after one too many sunburns or sleepless nights. You also may have excitedly unpacked your winter coat and thought giddily of cosy nights in with Netflix and hot chocolate for company. But truthfully, for us coastal-dwelling folk who thrive in the great outdoors, the appeal of winter can wear off before it has even truly begun. And soon enough, you'll be plotting ways to escape to sunnier pastures.

Well, lucky for you, we've teamed up with Coopers to handpick some the best destinations around Australia where summer never really ends. Just like the new Coopers Session Ale, a fresh and fruity brew, these spots keep the summer dream alive all year long.

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Petra Bensted via Flickr.

RUN TO PARADISE IN THE WHITSUNDAYS

Imagine this: rather than a blaring alarm, you're woken by the call of a native bird or lapping waves. Rather than woolly socks and slippers, you sink your bare feet into glorious white sand. This is Whitehaven Beach, one of the most popular spots in the Whitsundays. The picturesque surroundings and tropical climate (no frosty mornings here — temperatures sit pleasantly in the mid-20s during winter) are enough to please even the most cynical of campers. A maximum of 36 people is permitted at the beach's campsite, so the morning is yours to explore the oasis in relative seclusion before the day-trippers arrive. Time your 1.3-kilometre walk to the Hill Inlet viewing platform at Tongue Point to coincide with low tide, and witness a stunning display of swirling silica sands. The vista is the ultimate reward for 'roughing it', as is returning to the campsite for a cool beer as the sun sets. Winter blues be gone.

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Great Barrier Reef

EXPLORE FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

Tropical North Queensland is the perfect distraction from your wintery reality. Average water temps sit at a very acceptable 24-degree mark, and low rainfall vastly improves water visibility in the Great Barrier Reef, which will please both scuba and snorkelling enthusiasts. If donning a wetsuit is not your style, there are plenty of land-based activities around to keep you active, too. Cape Tribulation, where Daintree Rainforest meets the ocean, offers plenty of exploration options: foot, horseback, kayak, four-wheel drive or flying fox among them. Whichever you choose, the area has a real 'untouched' vibe to it, with pristine beaches, lush plant life and native wildlife waiting to be discovered.

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Field of Light: Bruce Munro. Photo by Mark Pickthall.

VISIT OUR RED CENTRE

Arguably our most famous natural icon, Uluru is a bucket list item for many. Witnessing a kaleidoscope of colours cross the sacred rock as the sun sets over the horizon — it's truly something to behold. Winter is actually the preferred time to visit as temperatures are milder — around the mid-20s during the day — which makes trekking the 10.6-kilometre base circumference a more achievable task. As night falls, so does the temp. Avoid shattering the summer illusion, and jump onto a helicopter tour for a birds-eye view of the spectacular Field of Light installation. Extended until December 2020, the artwork uses 50,000 glass spheres to transform the arid plains into an illuminated, multi-coloured blanket. It may help you temporarily forget the winter chill but you'll remember this magical experience forever.

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RIDE A CAMEL AS THE SUN SETS IN BROOME

Nestled along the coastline in the Kimberley region's far west, Broome is completely unique and yet quintessentially Australian. It's where the beach meets the outback with a tropical climate that encourages an itinerary of strictly outdoor activities. Start the day by hunting for dinosaur prints at Gantheaume Point before venturing to Willie Creek Pearl Farm for a boat cruise across crystal waters, complete with lessons on pearling. After you've properly explored the clear waters and rugged coastline, head to Cable Beach to watch a stunning sunset atop a camel — cliché be damned, it's an unmissable tourist attraction for a reason. Finish off the day with a visit to the over 100-year-old Sun Pictures, the world's oldest outdoor cinema still in operation. Those chilly nights will be a distant memory.  

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TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA'S TOP END

Darwin may be the oft-forgotten state capital, but in recent years it has established itself as a hot destination (pun intended) — particularly for younger travellers due to its thriving art and nightlife scenes. If you weren't quite ready to say goodbye to summer sundowners, waterside Darwin Ski Club will ensure your beers-by-the-bay quota is met.

Kakadu National Park is usually a drawcard for visitors when up north. But if you're short on time or want to try something a little more off-the-beaten-track, the less-frequented Tiwi Islands provide an equally rich indigenous experience. There are two main islands, Melville and Bathurst, plus nine other smaller, uninhabited islands which are all just a 30-minute scenic flight from Darwin.

Art is a hugely important part of the culture here and is best appreciated at morning tea with some local ladies from the Wurrumiyanga community. Over a snack of billy tea and fresh damper, you can watch the Tiwi ladies weaving and painting. Finish off your day trip with a scenic drive around the island exploring the lush tropical gardens, plus a visit to a Tiwi burial site.

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Grab a Coopers Session Ale and make the most of summer, all year round.

Top image: Coral Beach, Gareth McGuigan.

Published on May 22, 2018 by Melanie Colwell
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