Six Great Southern Hemisphere Adventure Destinations

North of the equa­tor, the weath­er is warm and sum­mer is in full effect.  But in a few months, many of us will stow our surf, camp­ing, and hik­ing gear in favor of snow shoes, skis, or jackets.

Every sea­son offers its share of out­door oppor­tu­ni­ties, but if you’re pas­sion­ate about warm weath­er adven­tures and want to keep your end­less sum­mer flow­ing, check out some of these great south­ern hemi­sphere destinations.

Florianópolis - Brasil | ©istockphoto/danilocinacchi

 

Flo­ri­anópo­lis, South­ern Brazil
Boast­ing 42 gor­geous beach­es, Flo­ri­anópo­lis offers a mix of sandy spots that accom­mo­date a range of inter­ests. For fam­i­ly-friend­ly calm and pro­tect­ed waters, vis­it the peninsula’s west side. But if you’re look­ing to shred waves, make for the east­ern shore, where pow­er­ful Atlantic swells gen­er­ate excel­lent con­di­tions. Pra­ia Mole and Gal­heta, in par­tic­u­lar, are note­wor­thy surf spots. When you’re through sun­ning your­self, check out the fash­ion­able Beira-Mar Norte dis­trict, locat­ed on an island linked to the main­land by a bridge.

La Ser­e­na, Chile
Stargaz­ing on a sum­mery Decem­ber night is an expe­ri­ence you’ll cher­ish for­ev­er. And there’s good rea­son con­stel­la­tion hunters flock to North­ern Chile’s La Ser­e­na. Thanks to the clar­i­ty of these south­ern skies, La Ser­e­na hosts the largest col­lec­tion of astro­nom­i­cal obser­va­to­ries in the world. About a third of the sky you’ll see here isn’t even view­able from the hemi­sphere. Vis­it Cer­ro Tolo­lo Inter-Amer­i­can Obser­va­to­ry on a tour.

Abel Tas­man Nation­al Park, New Zealand
If hik­ing along a pris­tine and high­ly vari­able coastal route is your idea of par­adise, New Zealand has you cov­ered. Abel Tasman’s coast track is your per­fect escape. This 32-mile stretch will take you through lush veg­e­ta­tion, past waters that sparkle in trans­par­ent blues and greens, along some of the most beau­ti­ful views in the world. In the park, you’ll also find access to camp­ing, boat­ing, hunt­ing, and biking.

©istockphoto/jobhopper

Byron Bay, Australia
Come surf, stroll, and loll in this gor­geous beach ham­let where San­ta Claus is more apt to appear on water skis than in a snow-dust­ed sleigh. There’s plen­ty of activ­i­ty for all, whether you seek water sports, hik­ing, bal­loon­ing adven­tures, or fam­i­ly-friend­ly fun. Byron Bay is famous for its nat­ur­al beau­ty as well as for its awe­some hotels.

Syd­ney, Australia
Syd­ney is an unsur­passed site for urban explo­ration. From the icon­ic Opera House with its stun­ning har­bor view to up-and-com­ing cui­sine, you can indulge in cul­ture and sophis­ti­ca­tion with an Aussie accent. And when you want to shed your city chic to hit the waves, vis­it world-famous Bon­di Beach and get some tan lines in that warm Jan­u­ary sunshine.

Table Moun­tain Nation­al Park, South Africa
The stun­ning com­po­si­tion of moun­tains that rise from a sparkling stretch of coast would make Table Moun­tain an ide­al loca­tion any time of year. To enjoy the full scope of the view, take a ride on the Moun­tain Cableway.

From climb­ing and hik­ing to seclud­ed for­est pic­nics, there is no short­age of mem­o­ries to be made. Per­haps best of all among the park’s most vis­it­ed loca­tions? A world-famous pen­guin colony where you can observe African pen­guins up close in their nat­ur­al environment.