Christmas New Year holidays in Australia

A lone surfer emerges from the water at Woolgoolga in New South Wales

The beach in summer in Australia – it’s an Aussie tradition

The smell of Coppertone Sun Tan lotion was something synonymous with beach holidays when I was a kid.

Today, the same smell can still be found in the Coppertone Sunscreen lotions. It’s why I buy Coppertone – for that smell that takes me instantly to summer holidays at the beach in the 1960s and 70s.

The annual exodus of citysiders to beach resorts over the Christmas New Year holiday period is traditional for Aussies everywhere. And why not, we do have some of the most beautiful, surfable beaches in Australia.

While some beaches in Australia look nothing like the same beaches I frequented as a teenager with my surfing buddies, there are some spots that are still largely unscathed by the developers’ bulldozers, bricks and morter. How wonderful these beaches can still be discovered up and down the coast of New South Wales. Not a trendy coffee shop, nor five-story beachside apartment block in sight. Still, you can get a rock star carpark at beaches without having to pay the equivalent of a small house for the privilege.

You can even find camping grounds in prime real estate positions right on the beachfront at many beaches. You don’t have to be a millionaire to get the best spot with a stunning view. So egalitarian!

Poinsianna Trees line Racecourse Road in Hamilton, Queensland with their red blossoms and green canopy

The Poinsianna tree is ubiquitious in Queensland and Northern New South Wales with their bright red blossoms

And the landscape itself – intermingled with the pandanas palms and the Norfolk pines that say ‘this way to the surf beach’, are poinsianna trees with their bright red blossoms and umbrella-like canopies. This northern part of New South Wales and Queensland is decked out in a sea of red and green of the poinsianna trees at this time of year.

The escape to the beach is an ideal circuit breaker from the pressures of work that melt away with the warm waters of the semi-tropics. Was I really so stressed about that deadline that came – and went? It seems so inconsequential now as we head for an early morning pre-breakfast surf at one of those magical beaches that have not been turned into a mini Surfers Paradise (a place that used to be a beach but is now a concrete jungle and hence is a complete misnomer if ever there were one).

Happy surfing this summer holiday 2011–12.

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