Summer in Australia means scorching hot days and uncomfortably balmy nights. Fun for those who have a swimming pool or live near the beach, but what about the rest of us poor suckers? The good news is that you don't have to spend a lot of money keeping cool during summer. The pursuit of relief can also be a lot of fun.
This is an option that caters to all budgets. A professionally installed above ground pool will set you back a couple thousand, while a decent inflatable costs a couple hundred and can be found at department and toy stores. But if you're anything like me, all your cash went on Christmas presents and New Years cocktails. That's why I invested in a children's shell pool. The one pictured below was $20 and is the perfect size for lazing back with a cold bevvy.
Be sure to check out the fencing regulations in your area before you install a pool.
Slip and Slide
Another budget friendly option for the backyard is a slip and slide. They're not just for kids!
Invite your friends around for a good, old fashioned water fight. Arm yourselves with water fight weapons (buckets, water balloons and super soakers make excellent weapons, but be creative), set yourself up near a tap and attack!
Again, check the local regulations before you start planning your water fight, as water restrictions in some areas may put the kibosh on this one.
Free Water Parks
They may not have the exciting twisty slides or dive in movies of the amusement parks, but they don't have the exorbitant costs either. In Brisbane there's the whale park in Wynnum and Settlement Cove in Redcliffe, while Putney Park offers splish splashy fun for Sydney residents. I'm sure there's loads more free water activities around the nation, so please share your favourite with us.
If cost, water restrictions or transportation woes are limiting your water fun, choose icy cold refreshments to keep cool. Refrigerated fruit tastes great on a hot day, ice blocks are a fun and easy treat to make with children, and I don't care how old you are, a Paddle Pop always goes down a treat. And, of course, there's always beer. Delicious, cold beer.
We Aussies are an innovative lot, so I'm sure you all have other cheap ways of beating the heat. We'd love to hear them.