This may seem like a strange subject for a post in September, but it will get stranger before we are finished. Today’s post will also talk about summer arriving in the UK and it being winter here in Australia.
Neither is true.
Yes, it’s time for another reprint of one of my articles for Australia and New Zealand magazine, this one appeared in their June edition. The time delay between me writing it, the magazine printing it, and me reprinting it, can make some of my writing a little nonsensical.
So what’s new? The article is called…
I hope summer has arrived for those of you in the UK. Here in Australia, of course, its winter. Our summer is around Christmas time and aside from making the festive season totally weird, it does completely change the summer holiday concept as well.
Let me explain.
In all the years I lived in the UK I can’t ever remember going away on holiday during either the Christmas or the New Year period. Why would I? It’s usually cold, it’s an expensive time of the year to go away and it’s also a time best spent close to your family and friends.
Moving to Australia though, now that really does turn everything on its head.
It’s hot and very sunny at this time of year and you’ve probably left the vast majority of your family and friends behind. The kids have broken up for their school summer holidays, usually about a week or two before Christmas and they don’t go back until towards the end of January. So its peak holiday season here and many Australians do choose to go away over the Christmas and New Year period.
It’s an idea that is warming on me.
Since we moved here we have spent Boxing Day on the beach at Bribie Island; that was just one day, literally testing the water. Next we had three days of camping by the beach in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. Then for the Christmas just gone we had a whole week in Yamba.
See how we are getting used to this ‘away for Christmas’ idea? Who knows, next year we might go away for a fortnight.
Yamba is a seaside town in New South Wales about three hours drive south of Brisbane. So, no flight to pay for, just a bit of petrol for the car. We rented a large house on the river, arriving the day after Boxing Day and staying until the New Year.
The house was twice as expensive as it usually is to rent out for that week, but with the costs shared between three families it actually ended up being quite a cheap holiday. After all, it costs nothing to sit on the beach all day (Yamba has 11 of them) and I can’t remember the kids complaining about having to do that.
Yes, going away on holiday at Christmas time is much more of a thing here in Australia and it’s easy to see why; it’s the biggest school holiday break and the middle of summer.
It’s not all about the beaches though; the river offered the kids the chance to enjoy a bit of fishing from the jetty. The adults, meanwhile, could relax on the veranda taking in a little festive spirit whilst keeping an eye on our offspring.
Then there was Angourie Blue Pool, a popular swimming hole just a short drive out of town. Our kids just loved launching themselves from the rock; I think it gave them a bit of an adrenaline rush. Us parents too, except we called it fear.
No, it’s not all about the beaches, but cooling down in the water certainly plays a big part. The really cool part though is, no matter where you go in Australia at Christmas, Santa always manages to find you.