As the mercury rises, we’re all looking for ways to enjoy the mood-boosting benefits of the warmer weather. While our mates overseas hibernate at the beginning of the year, here in Australia we’re all keen to head outdoors and lap up the longer days and nights. But balancing living it up in summer with sun safety is crucial—and there’s nothing cool about getting sunburnt.
In fact, according to the folks at Cancer Council, exposure to the sun without protection accelerates ageing and can leave you with permanent blemishing and two in three of us will receive a skin cancer diagnosis once in our lifetime—all things we’re super passionate about avoiding. To help you stay sun safe this summer, we asked our crew to share their favourite sun-safe things to do across Australia.
“Hit the movies. Summer is a huge time at the box office.”
“Sure, watching movies might not be the first thing that comes to mind in the sweltering heat, but summer is a huge time at the box office—with many of the big distributors releasing their ‘tent pole’ films after Christmas. There are a whole host of flicks hitting the screens during January—think Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in Poor Things, Sofia Coppola’s much-anticipated Priscilla and a return of Jeremy Allen White to our screens in wrestling drama-biography The Iron Claw. While I love an air conditioned cinema, I’ll be watching the films at an outdoor cinema with a picnic when the UV is below three. It's super easy to check the UV in your location, just open your phone's Weather App, scroll down and refer to the UV Index. Luckily, many of Melbourne's outdoor cinemas run late-night screenings in summer."
“Go thrifting. People clear their wardrobes out during summer.”
“Christmas is expensive, so when January hits it’s all about thrifting for me. Perth has got the goods for op shopping, and the beauty of this time of year is that loads of people have cleaned out their wardrobes over summer so the shops are full of fresh fits. Vintage shopping takes me all over the city on foot, so I still get to enjoy summer—just from under the sheltered walkways and air-conditioned stores. Plus, I can pick up some cute summer fits like a new bucket hat and vintage sunnies, which protect you from the sun while also levelling up your looks."
“Visit your local outdoor markets—more are open during summer.”
“Queensland is a haven for tropical produce, so during summer I love to explore the markets. The beauty of a Brisbane market (and we have many) is definitely the cheap fruit which I use in my baking. Loads of the markets have food stalls and live music, so you can round up your mates, grab a spot under a tree, and have a picnic. Before you hit the markets, check the UV via your phone's Weather App, apply loads of SPF 30 (or higher), broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen to your face and body, then chuck on a broad brimmed hat and a light linen shirt. Don't have a hat or sunnies? The markets are also an awesome place to pick up accessories for cheap while staying sheltered from Brisbane’s blistering heat. This summer, I'm particularly looking forward to all the new arts markets popping up."
“Soak up the serenity on a leafy bushwalk.”
“We're spoilt for choice when it comes to bushwalks in Sydney and many are less than an hour’s drive from the city. Bushwalks are a great sun safe activity, because they often have a leafy canopy and are covered from the direct sun. Plus, there's a lot of chatter at the moment about walking as a highly effective form of exercise—and nothing beats working out in the great outdoors.
I always prefer to go first thing in the morning when the UV is lower than three, and I can squeeze in a late-lunch with mates afterwards. Head to your favourite Sydney bakery on the way to grab breakfast and coffee, bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat, and work up an appetite as you hike. Bonus points if the bushwalk has a water hole for a post-walk dip. Just don't forget to re-apply your sunscreen once you're done.”
"Head to an art gallery and check out the free summer pop ups."
Maddy, Brisbane (and Melbourne)
"Brisbane has some awesome art galleries and while they're a great activity for a rainy day, they're also perfect for summer. When the temp gets too hot here, I head to the gallery to check out the latest exhibits. When I'm visiting Melbourne, I love to explore the NGV or The Lume. The best part? The NGV gardens have regular installations and summer pop ups outdoors so you can pop on a hat and sunnies, grab some shade under the trees (or head into the restaurant to make use of the air con) and head back inside as you please."
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by The Australian Government and Cancer Council and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Images: Urban List