Australian Traveller chats with some famous figureheads about the year’s warmest season. 

Anthony Toovey – marketing director at Streets Ice Cream
“At Streets, summer means a 150 percent spike in sales … Australians are the third highest consumers of ice cream per capita in the world (only beaten by the US and NZ). Our biggest challenge during hot Aussie summers is keeping our ice cream cold enough – it needs to be stored at a chilly -18 degrees!”

Djawa Yunupingu – Traditional Owner from Arnhemland
“The wet is the best time of year for taking kids out bush and teaching them how to hunt – there’s an abundance of mud crabs, and it’s breeding season for turtles here so there’s lots to hunt and lots of eggs. On land, wild apples, cashews and mangoes are ripe and ready to pick and eat, and once the kurrajong tree’s red flowers have turned into brown-coloured pods, we roast them on hot coals.”

Maggie Beer – chef
“Summer to me is about the build up, getting new ice cream flavours off the ground – I’m currently working on one all things peanut butter – and perfecting Christmas pudding. I’ve been getting my pudding recipe just right over many years, with the plumpest dried fruit from our own orchard there’s no need to use sugar.”

Stuart Diver – Thredbo operations manager (and landslide survivor)
“Summer is about 22-degree days followed by beautiful cool nights. It’s a beer in the afternoon after a big day mountain biking or hiking, watching the sun set over the peaks. It’s the first bracing swim in a burbling alpine stream, which is still being fed by melting snow. It’s about switching off and getting back to nature.”

Wade Huffman – activities manager at Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin
“Summer in Darwin means beautiful green grass, amazing thunderstorms and even feistier crocs. A croc’s ideal temperature is 32 degrees, so while the cool nights take the heat out of the water during the dry season, in the wet they have more energy and launch out of the water with gusto at feeding time!”

Eugene Tan – photographer
“Having shot Bondi at sunrise for the past 14 years, summer to me is about the energy of the beach as it gets warmer. In winter I’m often the lone ranger with a few brave locals and as the weather warms up so do the people, coming to Bondi in droves and filling up the beach and the ocean.”

Johanna Griggs – sports host
“Summer is definitely the busiest time of the year for me. After six family birthdays in December including my two boys, and Christmas, it becomes all about tennis, tennis, tennis. We call it the vortex, because throughout summer when hosting the Australian Open, you live and breathe sport. It’s long days 3pm-3am, and when not hosting, you’re watching games, writing notes and becoming absorbed in the competition.”

Clover Moore – mayor of Sydney
“The highlight of summer is New Years’ Eve celebrations overlooking Sydney Harbour. But to me it’s not because of the fireworks, it’s walking through the Royal Botanic Gardens to the Lord Mayor’s picnic. It’s an invite-only event for kids with special needs – they’re treated like stars with tremendous performances, dress ups and face painting, and a fantastic view of the fireworks.”

Nathan Klassen – park supervisor at Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast
“Summer here is about making sure the 30,000-plus guests that come through the gates each week have the best time possible. On any day over summer, this means over 900 litres of soft drink, over 80 litres of soft serve ice cream, and watching three million litres of water pushed to create the Giant Wave Pool.”

Sean Chow – 2013 Australian Bartender of the Year
“Summer to me means lots of light refreshing citrus cocktails by the poolside with friends. Some of my favourite go-to summer drinks are gin and pink grapefruit and a classic Southside Fizz.”

Anthony Halas – Seafolly swimear CEO
“Summer at Seafolly means a 20% spike in sales, distributing over 1 million cossies across Australia and trialling new prints and designs. This year we’re big on neons and florals.”

Chris Tsaousidis – owner of The Kingfisher Blue, one of Australia’s most awarded fish and chip shops
“Summer is about getting up at the crack of dawn to cook 500 potato cakes, fillet 40kg of fish, make over 40 litres of batter and slice 600 pieces of lemon, in preparation for the march of customers looking to refuel.”

Professor Ian Olver – CEO, Cancer Council Australia
“Summer means producing two million bottles of Cancer Council Sunscreen and reminding the 2.4 million Aussie adults and teens getting burnt on any given summer weekend to stay SunSmart.”