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, 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.
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 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.