Cool down and snorkel with aquatic wildlife, savour the most Instagrammed soft serve and take your drinks sky-high — all in the same day! Is there any better way to spend a summer in Australia?
From unique, icy treats to rooftop bars with a twist, the country offers a spectacular range of experiences that are best enjoyed on a lazy summer’s day or night. Here’s a can’t-miss checklist of things to do down under for a summer you’ll never forget.
1. Keep Cool with Icy Treats
From rosé sorbets to artisanal ice pops, few things are as refreshing as these Aussie frozen treats.
Frosé at Mr Miyagi, Melbourne, Victoria
Knock back chilled glasses of candy-coloured frosé, a combination of rosé wine and strawberries frozen into a slurpee like concoction and served straight from the tap at Mr Miyagi, along Melbourne’s Chapel Street. Boasting pretty pink hues, a glittery, icy texture and topped with a delicate flower, this ultimate summer cocktail is bound to rake in the ‘Likes’ on Instagram.
Ice Pops from Delish Ice, Perth, Western Australia
Track down the classic Delish Ice caravans and carts, which can be found all around Perth, for your ice pop fix this summer. Peddling artisanal pops in inventive flavours such as basil and elderflower and watermelon lemonade, the light blue caravans also pump out infectious tunes from the swinging ‘60s for a deliciously retrolicious experience.
Dreamy Blue Soft Serve at Aqua S, Sydney, New South Wales
Get your hands on the prettiest soft serve that you will ever see at Aqua S, an ice cream parlour with three outlets across central Sydney. Expect pastel blue swirls of sea salt-flavoured soft serve, surrounded by candyfloss and caramel corn and topped with a toasted marshmallow. The parlour introduces new flavours fortnightly, and has featured innovative concoctions such as matcha cheesecake and honey lavender soft serves in the past.
2. Swim, Shop and Dine by the Beach
Dive into a world of outdoor summer fun on Australia’s beaches, waterfront restaurants and open-air shopping.
St Kilda Esplanade Market, Melbourne, Victoria
Browse the St Kilda Esplanade Market, a short 15-minute tram ride from the city. Open every Sunday, shop for one-of-a-kind artwork and jewellery from more than 140 stalls, and then fuel up with street food at the Flavours of the World Foodie section.
Visit in February for the St Kilda Festival, a summer music festival that combines performances, workshops and carnival rides against a spectacular shoreline.
Cottesloe Beach, Perth, Western Australia
Shake up your beachside dining experience at the Indiana Teahouse building, which sits on the shores of Cottesloe Beach. Just a 15-minute drive from Perth’s city centre, the art deco building houses a restaurant that serves wood-fired delicacies and local seafood, overlooking the Indian Ocean. Then, head down to the beach for a refreshing dip in the cool ocean waters or have fish and chips by the beach.
Shelly Beach, Sydney, New South Wales
Say hello to adventure at this gorgeous beach, tucked around the corner from Manly’s main beach, and just a 15-minute fast ferry ride from Sydney’s CBD. Snorkel in the protected marine reserve, alongside blue gropers, cuttlefish and sea dragons. When you’re ready for some grub, head over to The Boathouse Shelly Beach to tuck into Australian cuisine with a modern twist, including fresh, locally-caught seafood.
3. Go Sky-High
From outdoor cinemas to clifftop beer gardens, Australia’s rooftop venues are the perfect way to spend the summer months in good company and spirits.
Rooftop Cinema, Melbourne, Victoria
Catch cult classic movies like Home Alone and The Goonies or new releases like Dunkirk and Blade Runner 2049 at the Rooftop Cinema, located at the top of Curtin House in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.
Open from December to March, the open-air cinema is a casual affair, allowing you to bring drinks and snacks from the rooftop bar to your seats.
Scarborough Hotel, Sydney, New South Wales
Offering 180-degree views of the stunning coastline between Sydney and Wollongong, the Scarborough Hotel is perched on the clifftops and offers one of Australia’s best hotel beer gardens. Pop down to the Scarborough Beach for a quick dip, then walk back up to the hotel and settle in for an afternoon of beers, wines and bites with spectacular views.