When exploration is in your job description, there is no such thing as an off-season. We grilled a bunch of outdoor experts about their favourite winter boredom busters.
The Adventure Entrepreneur
Gary Elphick is the founder of Disrupt Sports, a platform for designing your own sports gear, who works hard and plays harder.
My favourite winter surf spot is Seal Rocks on the Mid-North Coast as there are beaches pointing in all directions and it’s fairly easy to find shelter. I wear an Xcel Infiniti steamer (splash out on something with double gel steams for extra warmth – you won’t regret it). There are also amazing mountain bike trail rides in the Blue Mountains less than an hour from Sydney. The New South Wales Mountain Bike Association even has a live status update on their website, as during rain some trails can be unridable. Take lots of water, strap on a goPro and get really muddy.
The #Vanlife Lovers
Throughout the colder months our van is still stocked with surfboards, wetsuits, snowboards, hiking gear, and all important firewood. When we’re based in New South Wales our go-to day trip is the Royal National Park because it’s a multi-activity wonderland. Hike the Coast Track, rock jump at Wattamolla (the water’s not that cold) and surf at Garie Beach or stand up paddle board at Bundeena. In the water we wear 3/2 Adelio wetsuits and booties. Wool socks are also vital for winter hiking because they’re warm and stink resistant (very important when you live in an enclosed space!)
The Wild Photographer
Head to White Sands Walk in Jervis Bay. From Vincentia to Chinamans Beach, this 6km return trip is a great way to get warm this winter while enjoying some of the absolute best that the Australian wilderness has to offer. Suitable for most ages and fitness levels, this hike follows the Jervis Bay coastline, as you make your way south towards Hyams Beach (known for having the whitest sand in Australia). Winter is also the perfect time to catch a glimpse of the humpback whales as they migrate north so make sure you pack your binoculars.
The Environmental Explorer
As the cofounder of Intrepid Landcare, Megan Rowlatt’s average weekend combines conservation and exploration – even in winter.
If you need motivation to get into the chilly air, find a tribe to hold you accountable. As the co-founder of Intrepid Landcare, I know that if I quietly ditch one of our monthly projects, I’ll be suffering some serious FOMO when I see everyone’s amazing photos. Our outings combine a little bit of conservation work with outdoor adventure and a lot of laughter. One of the most special trips we’ve done was a hike up to The Castle in Morton National Park, NSW. The hike left me totally out of breath and questioning life but once the summit was reached the pain became irrelevant. A crisp winter day also provides perfect conditions for 360° views at the peak.
The Experience Planner
Alex Gibson is the head of operations at Loqules, an experience marketplace that believes every day should be different..
When the cold snap hits, look for a sweet, unique experience to motivate you to move away from your heater. I used to dread winter until I discovered the snow season at Perisher, which is a manageable six hour drive from Sydney or Melbourne. Okay, it’s a bit of a drive but you can travel up the night before and hit the slopes early.
If you want to do something really special, strap on a snowboard and book a private snowboarding day with Aussie Olympian, Scotty James, the current 2015 half pipe champion, which is one of the rad experiences Loqules offer. Our company motto is ‘Do Cool Stuff With Cool People’ and this is just as relevant in winter. What’s more inspiring than hearing stories from a guy who travels the world as a pro-snowboarder (he even competed at the Olympics with a fractured wrist – no excuses!)