Looking to squeeze a bit more from his week, James set off on an impromptu coastal hike with his new Sea to Summit tent in tow.


Heads up! Since James did this walk the Pebbly Beach to Snake Bay section of the track has been closed by NSW National Parks for maintenance. Unfortunately this also cuts out the Durras Mountain loop. We’re sure it’ll be open again soon (most recent updates can be found here) but in the meantime, enjoy this inspiration for a very cheeky 5-9 microadventure.


  • Secluded beaches
  • Kangaroos on the secluded beaches
  • Coastal views and solitude

Beyond the Weekend

They call it the 9 to 5 grind. Each day the same, blurring together into weeks, months, years. If you’re a We Are Explorers reader you’re probably already maximising those precious 48 hours we call the weekend. But what about the other 80 hours in the week when you’re not working?

I’m determined to start maximising my 5-9: sucking the best out of life by taking every opportunity I can to hustle onto a microadventure. I want to see each hour between work as a chance for adventure! The problem is the risk – I can’t afford to be late to work.

Read more: You Actually Have Way More Time Off Than You Think

I had a busy weekend, and just couldn’t wait to try out my new tent – Sea to Summit’s Telos TR2, so I decided I’d hike from Pretty Beach to Pebbly Beach return, starting off at 5 and aiming to be out by 9 the next morning. It helps that I live on the South Coast, so adventure is in my backyard.

Read more: Sea to Summit’s Telos TR2 Tent Is Adaptable for Any Adventure

Pebbly Beach, Not Pebbly Beach!

This was my second attempt at the trip after getting Pebbly Beach confused with … Pebbly Beach and making the wrong booking. I took an early mark from work (whoops), and set off to Pretty Beach in Murramarang National Park. The sun also took an early mark, the lazy slacker.

Arriving in the carpark, I was glad I had the diversity of the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 when picking what shelter I would need. Each of the key compartments in the tent is easily stored in a separate pouch, meaning I can pick and choose what I need for which adventure. This time – with ominous grey clouds but a nicely-kept campsite at the other end – I opted for the inner and fly, but not the groundsheet.


Sea to Summit’s Telos TR2 Tent Is Adaptable for Any Adventure, James Tugwell - Sponsored, Sea To Summit, pretty Beach, Pebbly Beach

Won’t see much of this setup until La Niña has hit the road.

Beginning The Walk South

I walked south from Pretty Beach to Pebbly. The path is initially over exposed rock shelves. They’re submerged at high tide so make sure you traverse this section at low tide, and if you’re coming north, time your trek to the tides.

The path clings to the coastline, through rainforests and along duckboards, with expansive views up and down the coast. Take binoculars and you’ll be sure to see whales migrating beside you if you time it right.

Read more: 9 Epic Whale Watching Spots Near Sydney

About 1km in, you’ll reach Singing Rocks Beach – named because the little pebbles ‘sing’ with each wave as they tumble upon each other. It’s a beautiful little beach, but I didn’t have time to sit around – the clouds were drawing closer and I was on a tight 5-9 challenge. I had to be home before the fat lady – not the rocks – started singing, as they say (and no, boss – if you’re reading this – that’s not a dig at you!).


Sea to Summit’s Telos TR2 Tent Is Adaptable for Any Adventure, James Tugwell - Sponsored, Sea To Summit, pretty Beach, Pebbly Beach

Singing Rocks

About 5km in, having worked up a real sweat pushing myself to keep the pace up, I decided a quick dip at Snake Beach was in order. Yes it was gloomy and overcast, but a little ocean swim on a secluded beach is the absolute definition of ‘kick your feet up’ at the end of your work day.

Refreshed, I pushed on. Pebbly Beach is famous for kangaroos in the water, but when I arrived, they were lounging around on the headland, overlooking the sandy (WHAT!) beach in the perfect spot for an end of day bev. They looked more like WAE’s Barrel and Brews Tee than the roos on surfboards I was promised.

I’d made it to camp with enough light to not set up and cook in the dark – phew. This whole 5-9 thing was really beginning to hit it off.

Read more: The 10 Best Beach Camping Spots in NSW


Sea to Summit’s Telos TR2 Tent Is Adaptable for Any Adventure, James Tugwell - Sponsored, Sea To Summit, pretty Beach, Pebbly Beach

Back to Pretty Beach for 9am

When morning broke the next day, I was up and ready – I had to retrace my steps to be back at Pretty Beach by about 8am – to make it to work by 9.

Overnight the rains did not hold back! (let’s be real, when have the rains shown any restraint recently?), and I was so thankful I’d carried the Telos TR2 rain fly with me.


Sea to Summit’s Telos TR2 Tent Is Adaptable for Any Adventure, James Tugwell - Sponsored, Sea To Summit, pretty Beach, Pebbly Beach


The track veering off to summit Mt Durras was tempting, but I left it for another day. So too was the temptation to set up the Telos TR2’s hangout mode on one of the secluded beaches along the route: I didn’t have time. Deadlines.

I passed back through Singing Rock Beach. They were still singing and it lifted my mood. This was incredible. Rather than a slow monotonous morning at home, I was energised and alive. This is living – this is a work week!

I made it back to Pretty Beach at 8:10. Just enough time to dust the sand off my feet, swap my hiking shorts for work jeans, my hiking shoes for classy leather shoes and drive off to work. My colleagues wouldn’t know any different, but I would. I’d pulled off my first 5-9. I was addicted.

Now I know that Pretty to Pebbly ain’t possible as a 5-9 for everyone – but use it as motivation. 5-9 is a mindset, a way of life. Seek out adventures in your backyard, wherever they may be, and suck the absolute marrow out of your work week.

Essential Gear

  • Sea to Summit Telos TR2 tent for adaptability – easily decide exactly what you need to carry at the boot of your car
  • Overnight camping gear
  • Binoculars during whaling season
  • Water for the hike (It’s available at Pebbly Beach Campground, too)
  • National Parks Car Pass
  • Campsite Booking for Pebbly Beach (make sure you get the right one)
  • Camera

How to Get There

Pretty and Pebbly Beaches are located in Murramarang National Park – 4 hours south of Sydney, 2.5 hours west of Canberra.

Skill Level


Parts of the track are unmarked and potentially difficult to find at times, although track construction continues to develop the route. It passes over slippery rock platforms.

Distance Covered / Elevation Gain / Duration

  • The route is 16km return – 8km each day
  • For that 5-9 life, I had to walk fast, and hiked it in about 90 minutes each day