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Cold? Best places to find year-round sun

Cold? Best places to find year-round sun

story by: Anna Sarjeant

You might not think so - as you feel yet another goose pimple sprouting across the surface of your skin - but the world is a pretty hot place. With destinations where the sun shrouds you in a perpetual cloak of heat and beaches where the sand’s so hot your jandals melt. Yup, if it’s hot you’re after, it’s hot you’ll find.

1. Getting warm in Thailand
It’s little wonder Thailand is referred to as the ‘Land of Smiles’ – we doubt there’s much to frown about in this little nugget of paradise.

Hammocks on the beach
Defined by 2000 miles of exotic coastline, Thailand’s legendary beaches such as Krabi, Phra Nang and Railay Bay all offer a sun-soaked idyll, baked in a heat that emanates from an equatorial sunshine. Days should be spent sipping cool drinks from long glasses, sauntering from the beach to cotton hammocks and lying in a gentle, rocking breeze.

Island hopping
Once you awake from your sun-induced coma, slip on your sandals and get ready to embark on Thailand’s hottest activity of the lot – island hopping. Hire a longtail boat and a skipper for the day and glide from one idyllic island to the next. You’ll have the opportunity to snorkel, kayak and sunbathe, meandering from one isolated beach to the next. Jump from cliffs or go for a swim with nothing but a skittering of fish for company.

Cliff jumping
The bulbous (and gargantuan) rock formations at Koh Tao are always a popular cliff jumping venue. An emerald cove near Laem Thian Point, the water's deep and the heights are dizzying; you may need a pep talk to take the final plunge.

2. Hot in Hawaii
For knock-out views and sand so sugary you’ll want to scoop it into your coffee, Hawaii is the quintessential exotic holiday destination.

Let's surf
Home to the surfing capital of the world, Oahu’s North Shore, it also boasts waves as high as houses and water so inviting you’ll spend 90% of your time in togs.

Hawaiian donuts
Refreshingly low-key, Hawaiian island time is by no means a made-up cliché, life really does roll to a slower pace in the middle of the Pacific. If you’re staying in the populous resort of Waikiki, seek out Leonard's Bakery. Located just outside Waikiki, it’s been selling delicious malasadas since 1952; a hole-less donut. These scrumptious balls of sin are stuffed with custard (or chocolate) and dusted in sugar, cinnamon or li hing.

Discoveries, drinks & dining
Discover look-out points, glassy bays and trails through yellow ginger blossoms, or for the more sedate, an entire day lounging on the beach. Split your time between surfing and ukulele lessons, reef walks and volcano climbs. In the evening, wait for the sunset with a cocktail in your hand, before an evening meal of Hawaii’s freshest fish. If your stomach has space, squeeze in a signature cone of shave ice. As light as dust and lathered in syrup, it’s practically a crime to leave Hawaii without trying one.

3. Breaking sweat in sweet Fiji
Imagine Fiji and we bet it’s a children’s interpretation of paradise. Yellow sand, blue sea and a great big palm tree lolling at an angle over the beach.

Life's a beach
Thing is, that’s not too far from the truth. Add to that jungle-backed coastline and cloudless skies and it’s the closest thing to nirvana you’re going to find. With crystal clear waters and platinum sand, you can laze and daze as much as you like. Dip your toes in the sea or take your snorkel for a jaunt. You’ll be rewarded with an underwater scenery that just might be the most picturesque you’ve ever seen.    

Tee off
Of course, just because Fiji’s an archipelago of idyllic simplicity doesn’t mean it’s deprived of things to do. You can spend your entire day discovering one of the island’s world-class golf courses. With 18 holes and an immaculate green to keep you entertained until it’s time to board your sunset river cruise.

Get active
If teeing off isn’t on your list of must-dos, embark on a rainforest walk, taking in waterfalls and wildlife, off-the-beaten tracks and breath-taking landscape. Stop only when you’ve re-found the main road and seek roadside vendors selling fresh watermelon.

4. Scorchin’ Queensland
As one of the most dreamed about destinations in Australia, Queensland promises memorable attractions at every stop.

Crowd pleasers
The hedonistic persona of the Gold Coast pulls in the crowds, but it’s the less developed Sunshine Coast that wins them over. A golden stretch of 100km, the aptly named Sunshine Coast enjoys an average 300 days of sunshine per year. We’ll forgive the remaining 65 because the activities on such a sun-drenched coastline are endless.

As the gateway to Fraser Island, head to Noosa for designer boutiques, fancy restaurants and some of the most sophisticated outdoor dining you’ll find on the east coast. From fresh seafood to tropical fruit, the delicious flavours of Noosa are only matched by the delicious al fresco views.

For something young and hip, the former fishing village of Mooloolaba has been transformed into a laid-back sea resort with upmarket bars and restaurants. By far the biggest attraction of Mooloolaba is its impressive crescent shaped beach, with sand the colour of golden wheat and a year-round perfect climate. Walk the pretty esplanade and absorb its chilled surf atmosphere. Nowhere does the beach vibe as effortlessly as Aussie’s Sunshine Coast.

​Swim with humpback whales
For the ultimate life-changing experience, take the opportunity to swim with humpback whales. As Australia’s only destination for whale swimming, you don’t want to visit the Sunshine Coast without knocking this one off your bucket list. As gentile as they are enormous, group numbers are limited so you’ll have ample opportunity to get acquainted. With all equipment provided, just bring yourself - and a thirst to get up close and personal with some of nature’s most impressive mammals. 

Finding heat in a world packed with hot places – not such an unachievable feat after all! Whatever degree you’re after, there’s a destination delivering your desired temperature. 

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