Squeeze as much out of summer as you can. Take a spontaneous, after-work trip to the beach. Make breakfast a picnic. Watch the sun rise, watch Venus rise, plant a garden, build a sand castle… Read on for ideas to get you in the mood for a glorious summer, outdoors.

Top picnic spots

A picnic is a simple pleasure, here are some accessible, beautiful spots perfect for an outdoor meal, all with a water source and toilets.

Eating out

Food writer Delaney Mes shares ideas for summer picnics.

After dark

Things to do after the sun goes down...

Summer stars

Astronomer Alan Gilmore charts the summer movements of the heavens.

Fish hunters

Patrick Pettersen can’t wait to take the family flounder hunting

Castles made of sand

Learn how to build the ultimate sand castle.

Morning surfin' safari

Auckland surfer Alan Bunce makes the most of longer days

Sunrise and sunset

Being outdoors goes with the job for Department of Conservation (DOC) rangers. Who better to recommend walks to start and end the day?

Growing gardeners

Catherine Bell’s summertime involves little people, plants and plenty of patience

Free as a bird

Paraglider Graham Surrey catches the summer breeze.

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