Piako Post

Still time to enjoy lazy summer days


Opinion: When the last day of work for 2021 finally ticked over, half of the New Zealand population escaped the big smoke and headed off to celebrate summer (here’s looking at you, Auckland).

But if you’re part of the other half of the country who either hasn’t organised anything summery or hasn’t had time off yet, fear not.

It’s not too late to experience one of the best summers in (my) living memory.

First things first, get outside. If you’re looking for inspiratio­n, we love the freewalks.nz website.

Whether you plan a roadie and drive a few hours in whatever direction from your place or simply take a stroll around your neighbourh­ood, New Zealand is home to many hidden treasures that you might be surprised aren’t too far from home.

Visit a new beach, hike a new bush walk, try that new icecream joint you’ve been meaning to pop into, or simply take your kids to a playground

they’ve never been to.

If you’re feeling particular­ly adventurou­s (and have a few hours up your sleeve), flip a coin every time you hit an intersecti­on and see where you end up.

It’s not too late to book a camping trip or mini-break at a bach.

If you’ve only got one night, head somewhere local first thing in the morning and plan to go home as late as possible the following day to make the most of it. DOC camping sites are great value, and now that most people have gone back to work the availabili­ty of holiday homes should have freed up.

Prefer the comfort of your own home?

Invite a few people over to your place instead.

Host a barbecue or BYO, get out the petanque or paddling pool, and encourage family and friends to let loose a little over some burned snags and warm fizz.

If you’re new to your street, hosting a casual meal at your place is a great way to meet your neighbours too.

If you prefer your own company over other people’s, put your feet up with a good book . . . or four. Sign up to your local library or renew that membership you haven’t used for aeons to browse a plethora of free reads (assuming you return them on time, that is).

Some of your neighbours are probably keen readers too so ask on Neighbourl­y for recommenda­tions or start a book club or swap.

While you’re responsibl­y tanning on your back deck or looking for things to do if it rains (unlikely, but it pays to be prepared), start a new hobby.

Online videos are rife with tutorials from te reo to crochet to brewing beer and everything in between.

Still not sure what to do with your time? Don’t be afraid to do absolutely nothing. We’ve all had a rough couple of years so take any opportunit­y you can to chill out, nap, watch Netflix, or generally mope around the house guilt-free.

You deserve it.

 ?? 123RF ?? ‘It’s not too late to experience one of the best summers in (my) living memory’ – Erin Reilly.
123RF ‘It’s not too late to experience one of the best summers in (my) living memory’ – Erin Reilly.

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