Did you think having a winter adventure in Sydney means jumping into a tin can with a pair of ice skates on? Oh boy… think again.

We’ve tried and tested the following alternative adventures around Sydney, all of which are guaranteed to put the fire in your bellies this winter and fill your Facebook and Instagram feeds with the most enviable of weekend snaps. Here goes…

1. Urban Axe Throwing

Whether you’re a lumberjack or lumber-sexual, at this brand new Canadian-infused establishment in St Peters, you can actually throw axes at wooden targets. Yes, you read that correctly. Axes at targets. It’s an epic, converted warehouse where they’ll teach you everything you need to know, and with a craft brewery next door, what could possibly go wrong? Whoever said Sydney is a ‘nanny state’?!

2. A Cabin Escape

Sometimes we all need a private haven that lets us unwind and breathe a little deeper; somewhere irresistibly cosy; somewhere to drink full-bodied red wine by a fully-roaring fire place. Sound good? Then a winter cabin escape may be just the remedy. There’s plenty of rustic, nature cocooned dwellings around Sydney – try this one, this one or maybe even this one!

3. Sea Plane

If you’re feeling flash this winter, then grab your Biggles goggles and take to skies. Sydney by Airplane will whisk you away for lunch at one of the many stunning pubs in Palm Beach—The Boathouse is our fave. Arguably one of the smoothest dates you could take your better half on, it could only become cooler if you piloted the plane yourself.

4. 4x4ing

Some sports were actually invented to take place in the mud. Mud-wrestling, mud-diving and rugby to name a few. However, for sheer pleasure whilst never actually making contact with the dirt itself, 4x4ing has got to be numero uno. With the Blue Mountains offering so many trails, choice is the only thing you’ll be (hopefully) be stuck for. Call Brendan at Bear Rentals to hire your own Land Rover Defender for the weekend!

5. Whale Watching… for free

It’s whale migration season but does surrounding a poor breaching whale with five boats carrying 500 excitable people not excite you too much? We think you’re better off finding your own vantage point on Sydney Harbour, investing in a good pair of binoes and seeing how many of the beautiful creatures you can spot. North Head and Arabanoo Lookouts are our recommendations.

6. Winter Camping and Star-Gazing

No serpents? Cold beer? Peace & quiet? There’s a plethora of reasons why camping in winter is a million times better than the summer, although there are definitely a few tips you should keep in mind if you want to stay warm and misery free. Where to go? These top 5 camping getaways should help you decide.

7. Glamping Escape

If the thought of clambering into a cold sleeping bag and peeing in the bushes physically repulses you, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Sydney is surrounded by multiple ‘glamping’ experiences that take the pain out of camping for you. If you still want your champagne on ice whilst enjoying sunset, then Tandara (Lane Cove National Park) or Tanja Lagoon Camp (Far South Coast) maybe just the ticket.

8. Paddle board to Shark Island for a Picnic

Pack a dry back with a picnic and the finest sauv blanc your money can buy and take a rented paddleboard from Rose Bay to Shark Island. It’s a 1km adventure into the middle of Sydney Harbour, and despite the name it’s very doubtful you’ll be slaloming bull sharks on route. You’ll certainly earn your picnic and it’ll taste all the better for it!

9. Take a Road Trip

Australia and road trips go together like fish and chips. Discover the Pacific Highway that winds the North and South Coasts of Sydney or maybe the quiet trails through the mountains to our West. If you leave at 5pm on Friday and return 6pm on Sunday in time for Modern Family, you’ve literally given yourself 49 hours of adventure playtime. Think of the possibilities…

Go explore!

[This article first appeared on The Urban List]