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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Seven Things You Can Do This Summer that Aren't Just Quick Dips and Backyard Sessions

Do what moves you this summer, whether that's checking out an underwater art museum, chair-dancing at a live gig or whipping up rum cocktails in a park.
By Marnie Vinall
December 07, 2020
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By Marnie Vinall
December 07, 2020
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in partnership with

If there's one thing summer has in abundance it's activities. Whether you're heading on a trip or staying local, there's always plenty to do, see and explore when the sun comes out to play. Yet, somehow, we still seem to always do the same old things: quick dips in the ocean and having mates round for a Sunday session in your backyard. Don't get us wrong, they're both great. But, after a pretty rough year, why not take things up a notch and make this one more memorable?

We've partnered up with Bacardi to help you be a bit more unconventional over the warmer months. Here are seven ways you can make the most of the glorious weather, without resorting to the predictable. Think underwater art museums, camping with the crew, multi-venue festivals and cocktail parties in parks.

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TAKE A HIKE

Sure, it might not be the most original summer activity on the list, but getting out into nature is rewarding at any time of year. You'll want to avoid heatstroke, so it's best to get going early or in the late arvo when the temperature starts to drop — which means you'll see some mighty fine sunrises and sunsets. So, put on your best outdoor shoes, slap on some sunscreen and ready yourself for an adventure. If you're in Sydney, you can cruise along one of the city's many coastal walks or hike in a national park, where you'll find some swimming holes to cool off in. In Brisbane, you can conquer epic mountains, check out rushing falls and look out over stunning vistas, without having to venture too far from the big smoke — check out five of the best walks here. Down south in Victoria, there's everything from out-of-town seaside strolls to epic multi-day hikes, boasting idyllic views of pristine beaches, sprawling countryside and serene vineyards, plus plenty of local wildlife.

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Disney+ Drive-In

CATCH A FLICK AT A DRIVE-IN CINEMA

Looking for an idea for a date or fun night out with mates? Forget the recliner, keep to social-distancing requirements and catch a movie under the stars, while keeping cool in your car at a drive-in cinema. Head to Skyline Drive-In in Blacktown, Sydney, where you can catch something on the big screen every night of the week, whether it's a new blockbuster or cult classic. If you grew up in Brissy, you've probably already been to old fave Yatala Dive-In and, with such a great rotating program, who could blame you? If you'd rather do something different, though, head to The Tivoli Drive-In on a Saturday. Melbourne locals, you're spoiled for choice with Dandenong Lunar Drive-In and Village Cinemas Coburg Drive-In and, come December, a pop-up Disney+ Drive-In.

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HOST A COCKTAIL PARTY IN A PARK

Know a good patch of green near you? Then, take your next event to the park and impress your mates with an impromptu cocktail party — with a dress code encouraged, of course. Grab some picnic blankets, portable speakers and fun snacks, then get ready to whip up some next-level bevvies. For tropical tipples, you'll need a few bottles of Bacardi, then check out these four super-easy rum cocktails. We recommend batch-making some frozen strawberry daiquiris to keep things simple — just make sure your party guests know to arrive on time. And, because no good cocktail party is complete without snacks, head to a park with a barbecue so you can throw on some snags, too.

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White Rabbit 'And Now' by Kimberley Low

STAY COOL AT A BLOCKBUSTER ART EXHIBITION

While being outdoors when it's sunny is ace, sometimes you just want to kick back in air-conditioning. If that's the case, head to an indoor art exhibition where you can get your cultural kicks — and stay cool. Check out contemporary Chinese art at White Rabbit Gallery, the MCA's landmark summer exhibition Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop or head to Eveleigh arts and cultural institution Carriageworks. Or, step into Brisbane's Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) and Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), with Unfinished Business: The Art of Gordon Bennett currently showing, or see some Bauhaus designs at the Museum of Brisbane. But, perhaps the most exciting of all is Victoria's NGV Triennial, running from December 19 till April next year. Expect to see marine monsters, giant mirrored sculptures by Jeff Koons and a multi-sensory walkway at this massive exhibition. The capital currently has a groundbreaking exhibition showing at the NGA, too, profiling prominent Aussie women artists.
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GO CAMPING WITH THE CREW

No matter where you are in Australia, there's always a spot waiting nearby for you to set up camp. Whether your crew wants to be close to sandy shores or in a remote pocket of wilderness under luminous stars, camping is an awesome way to escape the daily grind. Because we're big fans of reconnecting with nature here at Concrete Playground, we've already sought out some of the top camping spots around the country, too. New South Wales has a bunch of free campgrounds — you can find our pick of the bunch over here, from riverside spots to mountainous getaways. If you're more into the high life, Queensland has plenty of luxe glaming stays. Otherwise, pitch your own tent in Lamington National Park or right by the beach at one of these ten spots. If you're keen to check out regional Victoria, there's beach camping galore as well as plenty of top-notch free grounds not too far from Melbourne. As most of us won't be travelling far this summer (or at least not overseas), many campgrounds are already starting to book out, so be sure to do your research before hitting the road.

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Mushroom Creative House

SEE A LIVE GIG

If there's one thing Australia does well across the country, it's live music — even now amid a global pandemic. After months of catching live tunes from our living rooms, it's time to chair-dance at IRL gigs once again. Sydney's Enmore Theatre, Mary's Underground, The Vanguard and Oxford Art Factory all have stellar lineups over the next few months and the annual Sydney Festival never disappoints. If you're in Queensland, or can make it up to the Sunshine State over summer, there are a bunch of COVID-Safe festivals going ahead, including To The Point Festival, This That, The Tivoli's Open Season and Mountain Goat Valley Crawl. Although Melbourne is still waiting for live gigs to come back, punters can see a live comedy show at The Catfish in Fitzroy and be sure to keep an eye out for gig announcements likely to come to a heap of Melbourne live music venues.

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HIT THE HIGH SEAS

There's nothing like diving into the ocean when the mercury is rising. But, rather than just splash about by the shore, there are plenty of other ways you can hit the highs seas instead. Think paddleboarding, kayaking and surfing Sydney seas, or swimming with turtles and scuba diving with manta rays, which are particularly grand on the Queensland coast. While you're there, you should check out the southern hemisphere's first underwater art museum, too. Melbourne may not be known for its beaches, but you can chase plenty of nearby waterfalls instead, or take a windsurfing lesson at St Kilda Beach.

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Do what moves you this summer with Bacardi. Once you've ticked off all the above adventures, check out Bacardi's competition, where you and 20 mates could win the chance to attend Australia's smallest music festival.

Top image: Bec Taylor

Published on December 07, 2020 by Marnie Vinall

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