Our Top 7 for a Sunshine State of Mind

Is anyone else in a haze of summer blissfulness? A this time of year, we descend into calm, never quite sure of what day it is, letting the warm breezes of noontide wash over us as we watch the clouds morph and change above us from the hammock. These endless days are cherished as we take time to reset our minds and our bodies for the new year ahead. 

For us, summer is big blue skies, the scent of sunscreen and toasted coconut, of crushed pineapple over ice with sprigs of fresh mint (shameless plug here for our Sunshine candle). There’s the drip of mango juice down chins, the salty crunch of freshly-shelled lemon-drenched prawns with ice cold riesling on the side, sand in the car, the bed and of course, beach hair without the product and wondering when was the last time we bathed as we stumble between river swims and diving under beach waves.

An outdoor summer setting with a deck and umbrella


Oh, and the scent of summer! The sweet burst of frangipani and jasmine in the garden. The scent of summer afternoons in the bush. Of blossoms on the breeze across paddocks of waving grasses. The quiet ‘clop’ of cricket on the tele and the buzz of cicadas in the heat of the day. The melodic call of early morning maggies and currawongs, melting paddle pops and polished toes, washaway swims and long sunlit weekends in the company of dear friends and loved ones.

We’ve put together our Top 7 Summertime Loves which we hope will spark your own seasonal ‘look forward to’ moments below and wish you the most relaxing and restful time of the year.

top 10 australian rock pools
Sunshine Candle
Australian ocean baths

Rock pools and ocean baths

Last Summer a couple of our friends decided to visit a different ocean rockpool every weekend (they live near the coast, South of Sydney) so they did Coledale to Kiama (their rule was no more than an hour’s drive). Such a great way to break routine and experience all that your surrounding coastal geography has to offer. Here is a list to click through to make your own rockpool adventures.

The 13 Best Rock Pools in Illawarra – From Coalcliff to Kiama
Ten Best Ocean Pools in SydneyThe Best Reefs and Rock Pools in Victoria 6 Secret Swimming Spots – WA
6 South Australian Rock Pools

You can see more of our own Coledale road trip here and our top 5 Australian Seascape artists here. Discover the scent stories of our Signature candles Ocean Isle and Sunshine.

Snorkelling and day trips

Yes, you can combine this one with our #1 rock pool adventures above! Last year, we took the teenagers snorkelling with Port Jackson sharks at Jervis Bay Marine Park and this kickstarted a renewed love for saltwater dreaming. A bit hard if you don’t live by the coast we know, but day trips reign (our rule is no more than three hours for a round trip with picnic lunch packed). We go to Currarong (rock pools to the left of Abraham’s Bosom), Shellharbour’s Bushrangers Bay, Bendalong North and Hyams Beach as well as Green Patch. When visibility is high and you get an affable tide, the experience can be a meditative one with a sweet side order of discovery and wonderment!

The Ten Best Snorkelling Spots in SydneyThe Lonely Planet Guide to Best Snorkelling and Diving in Australia


Pimms and lemonade

A new/old summer drink to commit too

We like to focus on one new summery cocktail each season and it’s best if we can make it at home with not too many ingredients. Last year it was the Negroni and the year before for us, it was the Aperol Spritz… this year we are feeling the pull of nostalgia and pared back glamour so we’re aiming to bring back the Cucumber Pimm’s Cocktail (it reminds us of our dear friends in the UK and those not forgotten endless English summer garden parties).

Feel free to design your own summer headline drink – something that pulls focus and speaks to you of hope and Summer 2022-23!

Our recipe
– 1 part Pimm’s No. 1, chilled
– 2 parts lemonade
– 1 part ginger beer
– Cucumber slices
– Freshly picked mint

moonlight cinema

Outdoor cinemas

As film lovers we can’t think of anything better than a movie on a big screen under the stars on a balmy evening, a picnic blanket and a beach chair, glass of chilled wine or that Pimm’s Cocktail we made at #3. We love the Sunset Cinema, Moonlight Cinema, Laneway Cinema at The Rocks. Seek out those in your closest botanic gardens, parklands and regional town centres. There’s also the Skyline Drive-In in Blacktown (one of the last remaining drive ins), a new venture in Sydney called Mov’in Boat Cinema where you drift in boats on Darling Harbour and have a bucket of prawns or pizza delivered! Melbourne of course has the fabulously atmospheric Rooftop Cinema at Curtin House and there’s Trop Fest in Sydney (we’ve been going since 1993) and Bondi’s Flickerfest in Feb. Oh how we love these cinematic adventures, outdoors under the stars!

Bretagne, 1948 - by Édouard Boubat (1923 - 1999), French

Summer Frocks

Now we do love a summer frock! It’s the kind of garment that represents freedom and glamour and the ease of it all. We’re forever searching for crisp cottons or silks at the op shop as we imagine ourselves in fitted florals, riding bikes with baskets and baguettes or rockin a kaftan moment a’ la 70s Liz Taylor.

We’ll wear frocks to the shops, frocks on the beach, frocks with Blundstones and frocks, barefoot. And for inspiration, here’s some great Aussie designers from the 50s-meets-hippy vibe of Lazybones based in Brunswick Heads to the urban chic of Dragstar in Newtown to the rockabilly glamour and frills of Saloon Design House in Braidwood and of course those floaty silks and glorious prints at Camilla.

Also check out @ethicalclothingaustralia for your own summer frock muse!

Garden Parties

It’s just the sitting outside under the leaves with dappled light and freshly-mown grass – it makes us feel calm and at one. We adore solar-powered fairy lights entwined in branches winking in the balmy dusk, some relaxed entertaining (think Simmone Logue’s chicken liver pate, Vietnamese rolls and smoked trout rillettes)…and some chilled vibes via the SWC Summer 2022 playlist. We’ve been eyeing some quirky summer-garden-revamp bargains online via Facebook Marketplace. Even Bunnings is in on the action with some gorgeous retro cane! Just add a wide brimmed hat and that cooling Pimms cocktail (yes, we’re obsessed with bringing it back!).

7. The ‘House Paddock’ Games

Maybe it’s just us, but we love a summer evening of good-natured, competitive games and it’s become a bit of a summer tradition in our house paddock around this time. On balmy nights we bring out the Finska and things hot up as everyone vies for the title. There’s also giant Jenga followed by a refreshing swim at the Burraga Dam with the kids and dogs running around like maniacs and an after-game schnitzel as big as your head and a shandy or two at the Rockley Pub. Seek out your local bowling club for an afternoon of barefoot bowling, or throw together a picnic and Bocce session in your local park as the afternoon shadows curl their way in to meet us.

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