Holiday like a local - Celebrate Summer Down Under
In the lands Down Under where summer sun and the holiday season combine, festivities are drawn outdoors and are most often celebrated by the beach or around the barbecue. Snowmen are swapped for sandcastles, eggnog for ice blocks - here’s how to holiday like a local in Australia and New Zealand:
The Southern Hemisphere Summer months (December – February) bring warm sunny days that invite lazy afternoons by the pool, an early morning swim at the beach, relaxed holidays with family and friends, epic road trips along scenic coastal drives, and plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and active: swimming, surfing or sailing; picnicking, hiking or kayaking. The opportunities for an idyllic summer holiday are endless, but here we share our some of our top tips to holiday like a local Down Under:
Holiday like a local: Escape to a beachside bach
In New Zealand, where summer’s distinctive bright red blossoms of the Kiwi Christmas tree (pohutukawa) decorate the North Island coastline, it’s hard to imagine a more quintessential summer holiday.
Pronounced “batch”, these holidays homes are all about kicking back and embracing the great outdoors. Board shorts, bikinis and jandals (kiwi for ‘flip flops) are the dress code of the day.
Originally short for ‘batchelor pad’ these holiday homes were typically modest abodes, but many have now evolved into beautiful beachside villas perfect for vacationing with family and friends.
Five of the Finest Contemporary Beachside Bachs:
The Landing Residences - Bay of Islands
Four superb residences less than an hour’s heli from Auckland offer privacy and luxury in equal measures, in an idyllic Bay of Islands setting where rolling vines meet sparkling private beaches.
Whether you’re looking to get away from them all, or with them all, choose from the two-bedroom Boathouse on the water’s edge, the three-bedroom Vineyard Villa (complete with brand-new infinity edge pool), the four-bedroom Gabriel residence or the very spacious Cooper Residence that accommodates up to 12.
The Boatshed - Waiheke
The Boatshed’s bright and breezy, nostalgic yet contemporary beach huts offer a relaxed coastal vibe, romantic dining options and exceptional service. This boutique luxury hotel on Waiheke Island is only a short heli-transfer from Auckland yet it feels a thousand miles from the cares of the rest of the world.
Annandale Seascape - Banks Peninsula
Set on Annandale’s picturesque coastal farm, this contemporary private villa for two occupies its own private bay on the South Island’s Banks Peninsula. Soak up the seclusion from the outdoor spa or marvel at nature’s changing moods from the cantilevered glass-walled lounge room. The days here are designed to be spent doing exactly as you please.
Glasshouse - Northland
Drink in the panoramic ocean views from every angle, from sun up to sundown, as you shower or as you sip on a Kiwi sparkling by the outdoor fireplace. Enjoying its own private headland, this luxurious couples escape in New Zealand’s Northland offers natural seclusion, scenic bushwalking trails and stunning natural rock pools refreshed by the rhythms of the ocean.
Rahimoana - Bay of Islands
Bachs don’t come much more refined than this. Dramatic modern minimalism opens up to generous outdoor entertaining areas, an insta-worthy 25m infinity pool and 300 degree views over the beautiful Bay Islands. With four ensuite bedrooms Rahimoana is well set up for celebrations with family and friends. Whilst offering complete privacy, a stay here also comes with all the trimmings including a Porsche Cayenne at your disposal and daily chef-prepared meals.
Ask our Travel Design team to match you with your perfect bach!
Holiday like a local: Hit the Road on an epic Aussie Road Trip
Nothing says summer quite like a great Aussie Road Trip; radio up, kids in the back and an endless string of golden beaches that line the road ahead. Iconic scenic drives and off-the-beaten track diversions
Five fabulous Aussie Road Trips
Sydney to Brisbane
The Legendary Pacific Coast showcases an endless string of golden beaches and invites dozens of equally rewarding diversions from dolphin cruising and sand-dunning in Port Stephens, adventure activities – aquatic to treetop - in Coffs Harbour, surf lessons and fruit smoothies in bohemian Byron Bay. Romantic or nature lover, adrenalin junkie, family or foodie, we can tailor an itinerary to suit along this scenic 900km route.
The Great Ocean Road
Hugging the windswept edge of the Australian mainland, the Great Ocean Road winds its way between shipwrecks and lighthouses, sandy beaches and iconic rock formations including of course the Twelve Apostles (although curiously there are only eight!).
Cairns to Port Douglas .. and beyond
Follow the far north Queensland coast north from Cairns along one of Australia’s most scenic coastal drives to the laid-back tropical resort town of Port Douglas. Settle in here to explore the rainforest and the reef .. or for the more adventurous, continue north on the Bloomfield Track to Cooktown.
Western Australia’s South West Circuit
Enjoy a breathtaking diversity of landscapes and experiences on a scenic loop out of Perth. Sip world-class wines, stretch your legs on scenic coastal walks and surf the waves in the sunny Margaret River. Continue South to tour through towering Karri forests, savour delicious local produce from the land and sea, explore dramatic coastlines and pristine white sandy beaches (shared with the resident kangaroos!). Return to Perth on the inland route via picturesque pink lakes and Wave Rock.
Tasmania’s East Coast
Wildlife and waterways, pristine wilderness and premium wines, empty beaches and endless gourmet treats, scenic walks and spectacular golf; enjoy it all exploring Tassie’s east coast treasures: from Maria Island and the Freycinet Peninsula to the Bay of Fires and the Tamar Valley to Launceston.
Ask our Travel Design team to tailor an itinerary that includes your favourite places at the perfect pace.
Enjoy a flavour of the Australian Holiday season at home
With our international borders still closed, we are sharing a little taste of the festive season Down Under to enjoy this year wherever you are around the globe.
The following links showcase some of our favourite summer flavours that we are sure will help inspire you to swap fireside feasts for beachside festivities next holiday season – afterall, its never too soon to have something to look forward to.
Imagine festive celebrations shared around outdoor tables featuring the fresh flavours of summer - and start planning to 'holiday like a local' Down Under with seasonal inspiration from some of our region's most talented chefs:
Matt Moran’s Grilled Prawns
Annabel Langbein’s Turkey and Mango Salad
Peter Gordon’s mum Timmy’s Pavlova
or Luke Mangan’s Ice Cream Plum Pudding
Happy Holidays and Meri Kirihimete from all of us at Southern Crossings.
Contact our Travel Designers to Holiday Like a Local in Australia and New Zealand any time of year.