I love when people also get excited about adventures. I hope when you read this list, you’re imagining all the fun you can have (I know I was writing it)! I’ve spent ages over the years gazing at maps, googling awesome spots, planning trips and exploring (the best part of course ?).
Sydney is spoilt for choice with beautiful outdoor playgrounds, so it was tough to whittle it down to 7. NB I only included trips within Sydney (all are less than 1hr from the CBD). Without further ado, here they are:
1. Social day – Rose Bay to Watsons Bay (finish with a beer)!
Sydney Harbour is a special place, no matter how long you’ve lived here. For this trip, you start at Rose Bay, walk along the coast soaking up the views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, South Head and Shark Island (unfortunate name I always thought!).
Cool off with a swim in Redleaf Pool and check out Little Cave nearby – it’s a tucked away spot with views of the city. Continue on for a snorkel in Parsely Bay – you’ll spot seahorses if you’re lucky. Then it’s the final stroll to Watson’s Bay where you’ve earned a refreshing ale at the Hotel before the ferry trip back.
2. Go somewhere new – Elvina Bay
This trip has a bit of everything. Start at Church Point and hop on the ferry across Pittwater to the quiet community of Elvina Bay – it’s only accessible by boat so is a great way to escape the crowds. From there, it’s a loop walk and with some short side trips you get to see Aboriginal rock engravings, Frederick’s grave (from 1867), the Lovett Bay Waterfall and Lovett Pools. The pool is a perfect spot to hang out for an afternoon of cooling off, picnic-ing, reading a book or just chilling out. From there, it’s not far to head down the hill to meet the ferry back.
3. Get away from it all – Olympic Pool
Karloo Pools in the Royal National Park are quite well known and visited, but Olympic Pool further down the creek is off the beaten track so quite often, you get it to yourself. There’s no sign posting so it’s a little tricky to find (which is great for keeping it quiet!). As you’d guess from the name, it’s a massive natural pool and an idyllic spot to let the bustle of the city wash away.
4. Adventure fitness – Manly Dam
Manly Dam is a top choice if you want a multisport day and to test the fitness. There’s a 10km loop mountain bike track (ideal for intermediate riders). There’s also a bunch of walking (or trail running) tracks away from the bikes and of course, there’s the dam to swim some laps or kayak if you brought one.
Combine the lot (as many laps as you like!) and you’ve got an epic day out and a huge adventure challenge. There’s also bikes for hire if you don’t have a mountain bike (http://www.manlybiketours.com.au/ or http://www.joesmountainbiketours.com.au/).
5. Be adventurous – hike and lilo in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
This one starts in North Turramurra and is awesome! You start walking from ‘the Sphinx’ and carry inflatables – air bed/lilos are perfect, or blow up toy kids boats. It doesn’t really matter as long as you can lie on it and paddle (more or less, the water is pretty shallow so you can swim and wade too). Float downstream. NB check the tides (downstream can = upstream if there’s an incoming tide) until you get to the marina and proudly hop out of your inflatable toy next to the $1 million (or more) luxury cruisers. Pack the lilo in your backpack and continue walking to Mt Ku-Ring-Gai station.
6. Big day trip – Hike with kayak and lunch at Berowra waters
Berowra to Cowan walk is a solid 13kms and nearly 900 vertical metres so best to leave a full day for this one. It’s easy access with the train at either end. Berowra waters is a pretty stop and even prettier because it has a cafe on both sides of the ferry to refuel. It’s also a beautiful spot to rent a kayak from the boatshed and explore (and swim if you like) in Berowra Creek.
7. Whatever you want it to be – Royal National Park – Audley
This is a great one because whatever floats your boat, it’s here. If you’re into mountain biking, there’s a maze of trails around, or bike rental and the more leisurely Lady Carrington Drive for beginners. There’s heaps of hiking tracks, canoe rental and swimming in Kangaroo Ck. There’s also swimming in the Hacking River at Reid’s Flat, but for the best swimming spot, hike to Winifred Falls where you can continue down to South West Arm Pools which are stunning. You can break up the day with lunch or a snack at the Dance Hall Cafe.
Do you like the sound of these adventures but would rather join a fun group of people, and have it organised for you? Live Adventure runs trips to all these places, check out what’s coming up here: