HERE AT AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER
we are in the business of showing people that Australia is a dynamic, fascinating place to explore 365 days of the year. But it is hard to deny that there is something extra special about the summer months. This is the time of year that Australia and its inhabitants come into their own, with lazy, hazy days filled with sunshine and fun melting into balmy nights best spent outside; it’s the quintessential image most people have when they think of our great southern land. It’s the reason why Max Dupain’s 1937 work Sunbaker has become so iconic of our collective national identity (although today this image would first involve lashings of sunscreen being applied) and why many of us have ingrained childhood memories of car journeys to the beach, and the ride home sitting in sand-filled cossies. All of this made choosing a theme for this issue easy: we decided to celebrate all that is on offer during the warmer months in this, our ultimate ode to summer. Naturally, any exploration of the country during the summer months is inevitably going to involve a lot of time on the coast, soaking up the sun, the sea and the irresistible buzz that charges the air. And so we take a trip around the country via the classic surf life saving clubs that dot its periphery, and take in the Queensland city of Townsville, where summer vibes stretch way beyond the calendar months. We set off on the ultimate New South Wales road trip from coast to coast: starting in the far north and heading to the state’s southernmost reaches, while our chief sub-editor Imogen Eveson embraces her honorary Aussie status (she hails from the UK) by diving into the age-old summer ritual of hiring a holiday home. We take a turn through the villages of Victoria’s coastal East Gippsland region, which boast some great beaches and lakes as well as a leisurely pace of life; get recommendations on the best spots across the country to immerse yourself in water from the authors of new book Places We Swim; and search out the most fantastical glamping experiences across the country. And this issue also includes all of our 2018 People’s Choice award winners, garnered from feedback from thousands of our dedicated readers, including – you guessed it – your ultimate summer beach escape. Enjoy!
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Find out what makes the perfect holiday home on p106; Take a trip to sunny Townsville on p122; Jump into summer and the spirit of Australia’s surf life saving clubs on p96; Tour Victoria’s south-east coast on p130.