Australian Traveller - - Editor’s Letter - LEIGH-ANN POW, EDI­TOR edi­[email protected]­traliantrav­ FACE­BOOK: IN­STA­GRAM: face­­eller @AustTrav­eller

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.

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