Tag Archives: hiking

There’s no place like home…

As much as I love to travel, there are times when it is good to be home. Right now is one of them. Having travelled across three Australian states over the last three days (at the time of writing) and with two packed trips coming up in the next month, it is nice to be home. Even if only for a couple of nights.

The immediate relaxation I felt when I walked through my door got me thinking, what are my favourite things to do in Sydney? There’s no doubt about it, I love to travel. But I really do appreciate this beautiful city I live in, so thought I might dedicate a couple of posts to the place I call home.

Sydney Sydney2

This is the view from my apartment, which may give you a small hint as to why it is so nice to be home.

One of my favourite things about Sydney is its proximity to the beach, especially with the number of coastal walks available. The Bondi to Bronte walk (or even further through to Coogee if you prefer) is one of the most popular.

I don’t do the walk as often as I would like, but make a point to do it whenever I can. I’d highly recommend it to Sydney locals and visitors alike. Here’s why:

Bondi1

Bondi6 Bondi5

Bondi2That’s right, the view is pretty spectacular. The walk from Bondi to Bronte is 4 km one way, or 8 km return. On a hot day pack plenty of water and always wear sunscreen – you’ll need it. 

So next time you’re in Sydney, pack some exercise gear and make the trip out to the beach to enjoy the walk. More information about the walk, including how to get there, can be found here.

The Healthy Globetrotter

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Wine Glass Bay

Yep, you read right: Wine Glass Bay. What’s not to like about that name? Located in Freycinet National Park on the East Coast of Tasmania, Wine Glass Bay is one of the most photographed spots in Tasmania.

I was no exception to the rule, and after a 25 minute climb to the look out I went a little snap happy. We had planned to walk down to the beach as well, but honestly we were ill-prepared water wise (with less than half a litre left) and decided it would probably be irresponsible to take the journey down to the beach (we also weren’t dressed for a hike). Next time. Regardless, the view from the top was pretty spectacular:

Wine Glass Bay

After the climb we probably stayed at the look out for around 20 minutes before heading back down to the car park.

Frecyinet 5(Wow, you can really tell the difference between my iPhone and camera photos can’t you?!)

After our hike we settled into Freycinet Lodge for a drink and a rest before the drive back to Hobart (we only did a day trip, but if I had my time over I would definitely have spent more time on the East Coast). Not a bad spot to refuel:

Freycinet 2

The whole east coast is beautiful, and it makes for a gorgeous drive from Hobart. We stopped along the way at Kate’s Berry Farm, and though I was disappointed in the lack of fresh berries for sale, the view was gorgeous, and pretty typical of our drive:

Freycinet 3If you’re heading for Freycinet, do pack appropriate hiking gear so you can do more of the walking tracks than we did. It is a gorgeous area, and I can’t wait to get down on some of those beaches one day!

The Healthy Globetrotter

The Åland Islands

A little while ago now, I had a trip to the Åland Islands and it turned out to be one of the best in my life.  I would go back in a heartbeat. Not just because it is a pretty special place, but because I fulfilled a lifelong dream there as well.

Åland is situated between Sweden and Finland and is an autonomous state that technically forms part of Swedish speaking Finland (described as an autonomous and monolingual Swedish region of Finland with its own flag). Confused yet? You can read more about Åland here.

Populated with around 27,500 people, there is the main town of Mariehamn which while I’m sure is lovely to visit, we didn’t spend much time there. Instead, we took our ferry directly from Stockholm to another part of the main island (there are 6500 of them!) and found ourselves a little cabin less than 50 metres from the water.

Our cabin – it may not look like much but it had everything we needed.

Apparently there are about 700 cottages to hire on the main island so you can choose a relatively basic one like we did or go all out for the luxury model. Either way, you have options.

Our location was perfect for a little get away. We were right on the water and looked out to this:

Taken virtually out the front of our cabin

It was a pretty special location and the sunsets were amazing:

Most definitely amazing.

During the day, we spent quite a bit of time walking around the main island. It is a great place to discover on foot with a number of nature trails and what are called “long distance footpaths”. Either way, this is definitely one of the best ways to see the main island.

Another great way to see the island is by boat. You can hire kayaks and row boats (we opted for the latter) and I’m sure there are various options across different parts of the island. Another way to get in some great exercise and enjoy the phenomenal views all around.

This is me, struggling to row.

I didn’t think the row-boat would be particularly difficult, but turns out, I’m not terribly coordinated. We didn’t get very far but it was lovely to look at the island from the water.

There were a number of smaller cafes on the island which we visited and there were also other places to eat out (you can find more information here). However, we visited the supermarket at the ferry terminal and decided to cook our own dinner and eat on the beach.

Turns out, that was one of the best decisions of our lives.

Earlier that week, there had been a lot of solar activity, and apparently what is a called a solar storm. Now, I’m no expert, but the benefit of this for us was that it made the Northern Lights visible as far south as Åland.

I had been wanting to see the Northern Lights since I had first heard about them when I was about ten or eleven. While the lights weren’t particularly strong this night, it was pretty special. Oh and did I mention it was my birthday? Best. Present. Ever.

Here’s how it happened: We were sitting on the beach with our little camp fire, staring into the flames and had been talking for hours. Luckily one of our friends, Kirsten, received a phone call causing her to look away from the flames and to the sky while she was speaking. It was at this moment, when Kirsten said seven words that changed my life: “Holy **** girls, is that the Northern Lights?” To think we could have missed them.

Unfortunately at that time I didn’t have the type of camera strong enough to capture the lights to do them justice, but it didn’t matter. The experience was amazing all the same. So if you’re somewhere the lights might appear, remember to look up once in a while, you never know what you might miss.

What pleasant surprises have you had when travelling?

The Healthy Globetrotter

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