• 2021.03.15
  • OZ Sunshine
The sun in Australia can be really, really strong, partially due to its geographical position below or at the equator and because of its position right below the biggest hole in the ozone layer.
I took this very seriously from the very first day I landed here due to the fact that I have very pale skin (just like most Australians of Anglo-Saxon origin living here after all) and also because I didn't use to put very much sunscreen on my skin back in Europe since I was so accustomed to a different type of UV rays and sun exposure (only during the summer months, not year-round).
Downunder I had to start buying a 50+ sunscreen, the one that back home in Italy only kids (very young children) would use and I have also noticed that putting it repeatedly is a must as it melts with the heat and the sweat.
I basically started to apply the Australian rule everyone lives by: every time you go out remember to bring with you sunscreen and a hat, which sometimes it’s even an exaggeration because sunscreen at 5:30 in the afternoon maybe it is not really necessary!!
There is even a free app you can download on your mobile phone which tells you city by city the UV ray value and the UV ray ‘forecast’ because regardless of the temperature or how clear or cloudy the sky may be the UV rays problem is present and may be trickier than you think to guess how hard it can get you.
This scale has a maximum value of 20 and every time I check we are at 9 or sometimes we reach 13; I believe that in Italy it never reaches such high levels.
It’s obviously ok to be outside (necessary and pleasurable too!) but one should be aware of this issue because it is unfortunately a sad reality that Australia is the country with the highest incidence of skin cancers in the world.
It’s good enough to take precautions such as putting on sunscreen on your face and arms when you are walking outdoors for long periods of time such as for hikes or outdoor activities and it is also a good ideas to keep small children and people with delicate skin indoor between the hottest hours between 11 am and 3pm.
If you are an outdoor lover, enjoy sunbathing or beach sports, the time slots to avoid are the ones with UV values well above 3, with values between 9 and 15; they are those right before lunch time, at lunch time and right after lunch time, that is when the sun is at its highest point in the sky.
At this time, just don't spend time in the sun, also because sunscreen is not that good and won’t protect you!
Here in Australia, what we wear is also part of what we do to protect ourselves from the UV rays’ damage effects and that’s why school uniforms normally include opaque/beige colours.
Protective clothing normally include wearing light coloured shorts and light cotton t-shirts.
Another recommendation is to wear snug sunglasses as they say that the UV rays here in OZ can badly damage your eyes and eyesight too because if you stare at the sun or spend too much time working outdoors for instance (e.g. construction workers) you could start having blurred vision or experiencing vision issues.
All kindergartens outdoor play areas and playgrounds here in Australia are protected with sun blinds so that kids can play safely outside while enjoying the sunny and mild OZ weather.



  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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