Think there’s not enough time to adventure on a weeknight? Think again. Sydney is the perfect spot for a mid-week adventure. From canoeing to camping, our Explorer Brooke Nolan from Give In To Adventure, runs us through some of the best mid-week adventures in Sydney.
Urgh. Counting down the days to the weekend sucks. That’s why last year I decided to make more effort to make the most of my weekdays too. Though I might be chained to the desk till 5.30pm Monday to Friday, it turns out there are plenty of outdoor activities to do till bedtime.
# 1 Get Onto The Water
We’re so lucky in Sydney to be surrounded by water – the harbour and the copious number of beaches are your evening playground. My favourite? Join a canoeing or dragon boating club (these guys are awesome). See the harbour by nightfall and get a serious workout too. Boom.
Not your cup of tea? Try sailing. Fancy getting wetter? (ooo-er) then try an evening dip in one of the ocean pools such as Bronte or Coogee or even the Gordon’s Bay snorkel trail if you’re really feeling it.
# 2 Pick A Coastal Walk
Even in winter it’s still possible to do a coastal walk after work. Just pack a headtorch. One of my favourites is Maroubra to Coogee, taking around an hour along the rocks and then another 35 minutes back to the start if you need to get back to your car. Bondi to Coogee, Spit Bridge to Manly, Manly North Head, Watson’s Bay…the options are endless and can often be combined with a swim in an ocean pool or at a beach.
# 3 Picnic In A Cave
Head to Little Cave in Neilson’s Park. As the name suggests, this city hidey hole is an adventure best kept for just a couple of people. Pack a nice bottle of red, a cheese board and a fancy picnic rug and watch the world go by from your own little rock room. After all, why do things by halves, right?
# 4 Go See Glow Worms
Say whaaaat? Yep. Just 60 minutes away by car you’ll find Helensburgh Tunnel. This disused railway tunnel is FULL of glow worms. And it’s goddamn magical. Make sure you keep your head torches off for maximum effect and to protect the glow worms (they don’t like light). Oh. It’s haunted too apparently, but don’t let that put you off…
Bonus side trip: In the summer (you need lighter evenings for this one) it’s possible to camp afterwards by heading to Garawarra Farm to park and pre-booking a spot at North Era campsite in the Royal National Park. It’s about an hour walk down to the campsite, but it makes for a seriously epic mid-weeker. Make sure you’re up super early for sunrise and the drive back to Sydney. But it’s definitely doable – you’ll be back at your desk nursing a strong coffee by 9am.
# 5 Camp On Cockatoo Island
I’ve saved the best to last. Camping mid-week on Cockatoo Island, slap bang in the middle of Sydney Harbour, is a serious must-do. Ferries depart every half hour or so from Circular Quay which means you can be on the island, with your tent set up by 6.30pm. There’s even glamping options if you’re that way inclined.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cockatoo Island is an ex-convict camp and prison. It has a fascinating history. The best part? When the sun goes down you’re free to roam the prison cells and outbuildings in all their spooky glory. And on a weeknight you’ve pretty much got the place to yourself.
Make sure you watch the sunset and wake up bright and early for the sun rising over the Harbour Bridge in the distance too. There are even showers and well-equipped camp kitchens, which means you’ll arrive at work looking goddamn gorgeous and already have coffee numero uno under your belt.
Want more Sydney-side Microadventures? No probs.