North Coast

Enjoying a Sun Safe Outdoor Get-together 

Five ways to make post-lockdown picnics in the Northern Rivers Sun Safe

With lockdown restrictions easing this October, throughout the Northern Rivers, residents are sure to be planning their outdoor get-togethers with loved ones. Cancer Council NSW is sharing their sun safe post-lockdown picnic guide to protect everyone from harmful UV rays.

As the weather heats up, the UV across the state hits high levels, meaning irreversible damage is happening to unprotected skin, the type that can cause skin cancer. As people start to gather outdoors, it is important to practice sun safe behaviours.

 Graham Hearn, Community Programs Coordinator at Cancer Council’s Byron Bay office, said Cancer Council wants to make it as easy as possible to enjoy outdoor gatherings in a sun safe way.

“Many of us are already enjoying Covid-safe picnics, and there’s lots of ways you can make sure you’re protecting yourself from the sun. Here are our top five tips.

  1. Pack a sun safe picnic bag that includes plenty of sunscreen, sunnies, and some spare sun safe hats. Pick a sunscreen that you like best – there are plenty to choose from. I love the Cancer Council Active range because it feels light and non-greasy on my skin – perfect for the hot weather we have coming up.
  2. Hitting the beach for your picnic? Check out Cancer Council’s new Journey of Hope range – a limited-edition swimwear collection that features artwork by Indigenous artist, Riki Salam. The UPF 50+ range has pieces for the whole family and promotes awareness about how cancer impacts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  3. Stay hydrated and cool. While UV from the sun can still do damage on cool and cloudy days, make sure you manage the heat by staying hydrated. You can add fresh fruit or citrus to your water to add flavour and make it extra refreshing.
  4. Find a spot under a tree or take a beach umbrella. Having your Covid-safe picnic in the shade will protect you from the sun and keep you cool.
  5. Download the SunSmart app for UV reminders, tips, and sunscreen advice. Looking at the SunSmart app in the morning has become part of my everyday routine. It tells me the recommended sun protection times in my local area. During spring UV levels are high most of the day, and the best way to protect our skin from the harsh UV rays is to use as many forms of sun protection as possible.

“Whether you’re having a picnic, heading to the beach, going for a walk or playing sport, remember to Slip on a shirt, Slop on some sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Seek out shade or bring your own and Slide on some sunnies,” said Graham.

“At least 95% of all skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV. This means nearly all skin cancers can be prevented when we make sun protection a habit. Remember our top five tips when you’re heading outside to meet your family and friends. Our tips will protect you from the sun, reducing your skin cancer risk,” Graham concludes.

For more information on how to be sun smart, visit or call 13 11 20

About Cancer Council NSW  

Cancer Council is Australia’s leading cancer charity working across every aspect of every cancer. Every day, we support families affected by cancer when they need it most, speak out on behalf of the community on cancer issues, empower people to reduce their cancer risk, and find new ways to better detect and treat cancer.