In the heat of summer, most of us head to the beach. But the coast isn’t the only place that’s cool and inviting.

One in ten Australians live and work in outer regional areas, enjoying a distinctly inland summer.

If you’re on the coast you might not realise what a respite these inland areas can be, said James Toomey, district sales manager at Coca-Cola Amatil.

After years spent covering a 200,000 square km territory in western NSW, James has seen many amazing places that rarely host visitors from the coast. “Places well away from the coast aren’t all hot in summer,” he said.

That’s certainly the case when water is lapping at the doorstep. So here’s a list of five incredible places to spend a sand-free summer.

1. Dunn’s Swamp

Few places in Australia rival the beauty of Dunn’s Swamp, in the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales. The wetlands and their fringing forests are home to hordes of wildlife. The reed-hemmed lake at the heart of this paradise is the perfect place to dabble about in a canoe, to swim, or catch a fish.

Dunn's Swamp, New South Wales

Head to Ganguddy campground this summer to bask in the World Heritage surrounds at Dunn's Swamp.

2. Mann River Nature Reserve

You won’t get out of your depth in the shallow waters that mutter through the Mann River Nature Reserve, near Glen Innes, but that needn’t stop you from having a splashing good time. If you camp beside the river that slices through the forest and chatters across gigantic boulders, there’s a good chance you’ll share this picturesque environment with the wallabies that call the reserve home.

Mann River, New South Wales

Pitch the tent or roll out the picnic rug – Mann River Nature Reserve is a beautiful spot to pass the summer swimming, fishing or just basking in the view. 

3. Hill End

Take a glimpse into the past as you stroll along the streets of Hill End, also in New South wales. It's a village famously born during the gold mining boom of the late 1800s. If you hire some basic tools and head into the surrounding woodlands to pan for gold you may not strike it rich, but you’ll discover natural treasures in a landscape that’s alive with colourful birds.

Hill End, New South Wales

As a former gold-mining town, Hill End sits in a sleep valley surrounded by mountains. 

4. Snob’s Creek Falls

You might not want to leap into the waters of Snob’s Creek Falls, near the Victorian town of Eildon. But if you hire a houseboat, go fishing in a dinghy, or merely laze about on the shore of Lake Eildon, a memorable experience is guaranteed.

Snob's Creek Falls

Dropping more than 100 metres over a series of rocky outcrops, Snob’s Creek Falls offer a view that you don’t want to miss. 

5. Saint George 

The Inland Queensland Fishing Capital, and it’s the mighty Balonne River that borders the town and forms a vast lake at Beardmore Dam that’s the star attraction. “Come and stay with us for a couple of days and you won’t be disappointed,” the region’s mayor, Donna Stewart, insisted. If you relax on a sunset river cruise with memories of the monstrous cod you almost hooked, you’re sure to agree that inland Australia is a cool place to be.

Balonne River, Queensland

With eight rivers and waterways traversing, the Balonne Shire is known for its Murray and Yellowbelly Cod.