Day trippin’: Surf, shops, foods & friends the best things to do in summer

Australians will be catching up with friends and family, lunching and dining, shopping till they drop and soaking up the sun on summer day trips according to the results of a national poll commissioned by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).

According to the survey of 800 Australians by pollster Nielsen, catching up with friends and family is the most popular activity over the summer break with three in five people (61 per cent) putting it at the top of their to do list.

Nearly as many Australians (58 per cent) plan to hit the shops over the summer break taking advantage of the post-Christmas and New Year sales for a spot of retail therapy. More than half of those surveyed (56 per cent) said they would hang up their apron and ladle and escape the kitchen to experience culinary delights of a restaurant or café over the summer period.

Sun, sand and surf will be a major drawcard for day trips with nearly half of people (47 per cent) planning to engage in the classic Aussie pastime of going to the beach over the summer. The great outdoors will beckon for two in five people going on a scenic drive (40 per cent) and one in three (34 per cent) going to a park or on a bushwalk.

Culture, arts, thrills and spills will be other popular options for day trips with theme parks and zoos (29 per cent), museums and galleries (23 per cent), sporting events (19 per cent), musical festivals/concerts (18 per cent) and theatre performances (15 per cent) keeping people busy over the season.

“Summer is always that time to get out and about whether it’s attending a BBQ at a family or friends home, lunching or dining at a restaurant or café, splurging on a new outfit or the latest gadget or enjoying the sand between one’s toes at the beach, there is a range of day trips that Australians love during the summer,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.

“Whether heading to the coast, the hinterland, or into the bush, or laying out the picnic blanket with the family in a national park or local parklands, the great outdoors of Australia is a beacon for anyone wanting fresh air and some good old-fashioned playtime.

“Summer is well known as the time for great cultural experiences with festivals, concerts, exhibitions and performances just waiting to be experienced in our cities and regional communities. A summer season would be incomplete without a trip to a theme park, zoo or other major attraction.

“Day trips contribute more than $19.3 billion in economic activity over the year. Domestic day trips have increased by 7 per cent to 187.7 million over the same period showing that getting out of the home more often is a great way to spend a day.”