You can’t put a price tag on time well spent. A beach holiday has the right blend of ingredients to turn an ordinary day into one to remember, hence why the craving for a coastal break remains as strong today in Australia as it ever has been. Taking into account the surf, sand and sunshine, there is no shortage of excitement for any traveller setting off for a traditional beach getaway. If you think you’ve been there and seen it all then check out the following trends to inspire more fun and freedom on your next vacation.
1. Inviting the babysitters
Australian leisure businesses are reporting a rise in the number of extended family holiday bookings year-on-year, as many as one-third of travellers are likely to go away with more than one generation of their family. One of the many benefits of taking the folks along for the trip is the extra pairs of hands available for keeping an eye on the children, allowing for a more relaxing experience all-round. Local beach holidays are more common for big families as it can keep costs and mileage to a minimum.
2. Going ‘au naturale’
If our tip to take the grandparents along has caught your interest, then this item might throw a spanner in the works! For those who are brave enough to bare it all, the practice of hitting the sand in your birthday suit is becoming a common trait among Australian holidaymakers up and down the coast. According to a recent study from Expedia, more than one in ten Australians (12%) admit to having bathed in the buff; 14% of Australian women regularly go topless, and a further one in twenty (6%) say they are accustomed to skinny dipping regularly on beach holidays.
3. Fitness with the family
There’s no excuse to break away from your morning physical activity regime now that many holiday hotspots along Australia's coastline are providing fitness classes for visitors. Typical sessions, such as the Mummylicious and WickedBodz classes are taking off with great success thanks to local interest points such as Surfers Paradise and Noosa leading the charge for ‘fitness away from home’. Group exercise sessions of this kind are often uniquely designed for parents and their young children, as a means to keeping active without taking it to the extreme. Remember if bringing children along for the thrill to apply sunscreen and protective clothing from harmful rays.
4. Picking up paddle boarding
They say that if you haven’t been stand up paddling these holidays, you haven’t truly experienced the new favourite Australian beach pastime. Because not everyone is adept or fully trained to ride the waves the more subtle and tranquil physical activities such as paddle boarding can provide just the same level of fun. It can occupy people both young and old all day and is value for money entertainment. Hotspots such as Tallebudgera Creek with crystal clear waters, flat conditions and lifesavers in the area are ideal for giving it a go.
5. Soaking up spa treatments
Paradise is closer to home than you think. The likes of Nusa Dua and Koh Samui may have cornered the market for beach spa resorts long ago, however Australia is making a name for itself for providing equally exotic spa resort packages at a stone’s throw from the beach. Take Surfers Paradise as an example, where sun worshippers can retreat to the Q1 and take advantage of traditional full body exfoliations, crushed pearl or ancient desert & sea salt scrubs for an afternoon’s pampering. If the kids are away or you have a moment to yourself, then a spa treatment can be the ideal follow-up to your beach session.
6. Going eco
Our carbon footprint is as permanent as the photos we take during our holiday stay. Now more than ever, tourism is turning to greener solutions to help preserve the natural landmarks and heritage that are the backbone of the Australian coastline and marine parks. Whale and dolphin watching are popular types of activities that you may want to take up whilst on your beach vacation and when presented with the option, choose tours that go the extra mile to respect the land and the wildlife you encounter along the way.
7. Seek out seafood specials
Despite the decrease in fish and shellfish orders within the restaurant sector in Australia throughout 2016, the popularity of a signature seafood dish will never die out. New trends are being introduced all across the country and most notably, chefs are conjuring up fresh menu items that go hand in hand with the traditional beach holiday stay. If your taste buds are keen for adventure then be sure to ask for delicacies such as the fish belly, a new take on the pork namesake and the redfish, dubbed to be the new Chilean sea bass. Bon appetit!
This article was authored by Alastair Loxton of Rhapsody Resort an esteemed Gold Coast holiday resort.