A lazy Sunday, Father’s Day and yet more beautiful sunshine combined to draw scores of people outside to enjoy the region’s beaches and parks yesterday.
As the Illawarra bid goodbye to one of the warmest winters on record, the mercury climbed up to 24 degrees on the official first day of spring.
It looked like the peak of summer at North Wollongong Beach, the sand packed with sunbathers and picnicking families.
Johanna Ronnberg, a Swedish exchange student studying at Wollongong University, said she was happy to be in Australia as the temperatures dropped in her homeland.
‘‘It doesn’t feel real,’’ she said of yesterday’s weather.
‘‘Winter here was like summer in Sweden.’’
Yesterday’s weather was also good news for those at the Our Backyard festival in the Wollongong Botanic Gardens. The sunny skies saw families flock to the festival, with workshops and stalls offering handy advice on everything from sustainable living and pest management to growing vegetables.
It was the warmest winter on record for Sydney, with a maximum daily average of 19.4 degrees. Average temperatures hovered at 14.9 degrees, besting the previous 1988 record average of 14.6 degrees.
The rest of the week will show off more of the same, with temperatures expected to be in the low twenties before cooling off for a showery Saturday.