IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER WHICH MEANS SUN, SURF, SUNSCREEN AND A WHOLE LOT OF TOURISTS. HOWEVER, THE SEASON BRINGS A WARM SENSE OF NOSTALGIA
Bees will buzz, kids will blow dandelion fuzz and I’ll be doing whatever snow does in “thummer”. Yes, like Olaf from Frozen, by favourite season is “thummer”... summer. It has to be the happiest season of all, especially here on the Sunshine Coast, because this is the time of year all of the Coast’s best features are highlighted. Summer is when our region comes alive: long days at the beach, surfing, swimming and family time. There are a few activities that I love doing only in summer. The first one is the humble slip and slide. Find a hill, grab some tarp, spread out some dishwashing liquid, turn on the tap and slide away. Yes, all of these things are the perfect recipe for breaking a bone but it’s certainly worth it. The second summer activity would have to be anything beach-related. Not to brag, but we have a jet ski. Even though it gets no use for the rest of the year, summer is when the old girl finally gets a run. The best experience I’ve had on the ski was one time when a whale swam underneath me, followed by two dolphins riding waves next to me. The worst experience I’ve had was being stranded for six hours in Pumicestone Passage and having to be rescued by the wonderful team at Caloundra Coast Guard. That was fun. Not. The last thing that I love doing in summer is heading to the shops and embracing all the free air-con on offer. It’s a life hack: don’t use your own power, people. Head to the new plaza, find a nice, cosy spot outside a shop and start people-watching.
Summer on the Sunshine Coast is like Bert and Ernie, like ying and yang, and like sardines and custard… wait… what? What I am saying is that the Sunshine Coast is built for summer. Our coastal lifestyle –owing to the many beaches, booming tourist trade and café culture – has set us up as one of Australia’s most-beloved destinations, and we get to live here. Now let’s be honest, it’s pretty amazing allyear round, but there is something special about summer. Maybe it’s the promise of Christmas, the extended holiday break or that the water at one of our 30-plus beaches is swimmable into the early evening. Or maybe it’s our relaxed sophistication with lessons learned from the concrete cluster jumble that is the Gold Coast that makes summer on the Sunny Coast so special. Back in the early ’80s, summer was this: early mornings stuffing your face with Vegemite toast before stuffing the Holden wagon with kids – all of them armed with beach gear. After setting up umbrellas and towels, it was swim time, dodging Eric’s catamarans as they screamed around the bay. Hours later, you might get a spray tan from the man who was three-parts-leather himself or a haircut on the sand from a topless Mary. The air smelled of coconut oil and salt and the frequent wafting goodness of fish and chips smothered in vinegar. The $2 worth of fish and chips wrapped in newspaper would feed a family a five, and at the end of the day you would retreat to your homes and apply slices of cut tomato to your third-degree sunburn.
It’s time to dust off the bikinis, find your boardies and sift through the cluttered garage to find the boogie boards because summer is here, baby! The Sunshine Coast is the perfect setting for summer. Each year, we welcome the season with such excitement and then it seems like a sad departure, because that means it’s a good five months without a beach trip. There’s nothing I love more than spending summer by the beach – the smell of sunscreen, saltwater and sweat. I know that sounds creepy, but there’s something about this season that just makes me so happy. Our usual weekend on a hot summer’s day includes bacon and eggs for brekky, then we lather up the sunscreen for a fun filled morning at the beach. We take the surfboards out and attempt to surf. Just off Coolum is our favourite spot. Then once we’ve had enough sun, it’s back home to have a swim in the pool (after we spend an hour trying to inflate our giant flamingo). Once we’re water-logged, it’s ham rolls and a can of Coke for lunch. We settle in for some cricket on the TV, and later in the afternoon, we munch on cheese and biscuits. The day is finished off with a night swim in the pool, rounding off the perfect summer evening. I love the start of summer, in particular, because there aren’t many rainy days, just a few late thunderstorms. I love wrapping the Christmas presents while there is a storm on, until the lights go out, of course. Summer has begun people and we’re in for a good time. Slip, slop and slap!