With the heat coming back to the Gold Coast, one of the best ways to soak in the sun is to have an awesome beach picnic with friends and family.
Unfortunately, setting up the ultimate beach picnic isn’t a skill that you naturally acquire. Luckily for you, here are some top picnic preparation hacks on what to pack, what to leave behind, and how to keep everyone entertained and cool on a hot day by the beach.
1. Finger food bonanza
If you’re worried about bringing too much finger foods for your beach picnic, think again. There really isn’t such a thing as too much finger food when it comes to a beach picnic. After all, the ideal beach picnic isn’t one that involves a bunch of plates and silverware.
The more the merrier as you may find yourself staying out later than anticipated, especially if the company and atmosphere are great.
Think simple finger foods that are fresh, delicious and those that will keep well under the heat of the sun. Things such as berries and apples, baby carrots and other raw munchy veggies, tortilla chips and salsa, and so on make great finger foods to bring along for a beach picnic.
2. Know what you shouldn’t bring
There are some things that just do not work well in a picnic under the hot sun. Foods such as mayo can quickly go rancid under the heat, so you might wanna think twice when choosing spreads for wraps and sandwiches.
Although cheese and crackers make for a great and easy snack, you may want to think outside the box beyond the typical cheddar cheese which will turn oily under the hot heat. On the other hand, cheeses such as Camembert and French Brie work extremely well with the heat, resulting in an oozy delicious cheese snack to couple with crackers and grapes.
3. Bringing kids? Keep them happy!
For those who have kids tagging along the beach picnic, don’t forget to stash up on all the toys and foods that will make the little ones have fun in the sun.
Beach themed foods such as goldfish crackers and seaweed can turn a simple beach picnic into an experience not to be forgotten. And don’t forget the sandcastle buckets, spades, water guns, and more.
4. Fun and games
Unless everyone is happy to just sit around and do nothing, bringing along some games to play on the beach guarantees more fun. Think beach balls, frisbees, a deck of cards or even a game of Twister.
5. Shade the gang with an umbrella or tent
Every Aussie knows just how crazy hot the sun down under can get, which is why you definitely need to bring along a shade umbrella or tent if you’re thinking of having a picnic by the beach.
To make the most of your beach picnic, you’ll need to protect everyone from the sun’s rays (as well as help keep your picnic food fresher for longer). Bring along some sunscreen and shades for better protection.
6. Use a tablecloth
For something easy to wash unlike a blanket, tablecloths make a perfect picnic mat on the beach. They’re also lightweight, making it easy to move them about.
7. Bring along some hand wipes
For a quick and easy cleanup, use hand wipes or baby wipes. Saltwater is sticky when dry, and isn’t something you want left on all of your stuff. Simply wipe yourselves, your gear, and equipment down with hand wipes or baby wipes and you’re pretty much done for cleaning up.
8. Yummy portable desserts
Instead of bringing a wobbly jelly that’ll fall apart before you even get to the beach, go for baked goods that are easy to dish out. Treats like brownies and choc chip cookies are not only easy to make but are crowd-favourites guaranteed to be enjoyed by everyone.
On a side note, avoid frosted goodies like ice creams as these will result in melted mush under the heat.
9. Frozen water bottles
The trick to keeping you and your stuff cool is by bringing along frozen water bottles. They’ll quickly melt under the sun but will stay nice and cold for hours to come. You’ll end up hydrating more with nice icy cold water given the intense heat, and your beers and other goodies in the cooler will remain colder for longer.
10. Bring your bottle opener
If you’re planning on having a good time with some drinks, one of the easiest to forget items on a picnic list is a bottle opener. Don’t be caught out trying to figure out how to open a bottle without one, and go prepared instead.
11. Stock up your cooler
Investing in a cooler big enough to store all your food and drinks is a great long term investment that saves you from the inconvenience. Bring along ice packs to keep your stuff cold, unless you’re bringing along lots of frozen bottles of water.
12. Visit a one-stop shop for all your supplies
Finally, our number preparation hack. Head to any Cooly Liquor bottle shop where you’ll find everything from locally sourced beers to internationally acclaimed wines, spirits and more to bring to your beach picnic. With three store locations, it’s the convenient option when you need to stock up on the boozy essentials. Below you will find each store’s address and opening hours.
Cooly Liquor - Coolangatta
Ground Floor / The Strand Shopping Centre
72 Marine Parade, Coolangatta 4225
Phone: (07) 55 896 811
Sun: 9am - 8pm
Mon - Sat: 9am - 9pm
Cooly Liquor - Tugun
Cnr Kaleena & Kallara Street, Tugun
(opp Tugun Bowls Club)
Phone: (07) 55 250 835
Mon - Sun: 10am - 8pm
Cooly Liquor - Rainbow Bay
Ward Street, Rainbow Bay
Phone: (07) 55 994 777
Mon - Sun: 10am - 8pm
Image credit: Bespoke Picnics
01 / 09 / 2020