Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia
Dreaming of a getaway?
Picture this: you’re lacing up your shoes, packing a light backpack, checking you’ve got enough water and heading off on a trail you’ve never walked before.
Or picture this: you’re pulling your mask down over your eyes, putting your regulator in your mouth and preparing to roll over backwards from a boat into the water and descend for a scuba dive.
Or picture this: you’re crossing on track for a personal best in a marathon, gazing at Uluru in the distance.
Travel restrictions have forced the cancellation of many holidays this year and the postponement of some huge events, but there’s nothing preventing us from dreaming about and planning for, our next big trip.
Besides, planning a holiday, and all the anticipation that entails, can make you happier than taking the actual holiday, according to this 2010 scientific study reported in the Huffington Post.
Given that the situation around the COVID-19 pandemic remains dynamic around the world, we thought we’d first take a look at the active holidays to be had in Australia. Not only are our travel restrictions likely to be eased locally first, travelling domestically is a great way to support our local communities (especially those affected by the summer bushfires) and start living what’s going to be our new normal.
So here are some of our favourite active holidays to look forward to – and inspire you to keep fit in your local area in the meantime.
Great Ocean Walk, Apollo Bay, Victoria
Hiking the Great Ocean Walk, Victoria
You’ve heard of the Great Ocean Road, running for 644km from Torquay to Port Fairy along the Surf Coast in Victoria, but have you considered the Great Ocean Walk? The full walk is about 110km in length and designed to be walked across eight days with seven campgrounds available (as well as more comfortable accommodation in nearby towns). Daily walks range from 10km to 16km in length and you are treated to some of the most incredible coastal views.
The full walk departs from the Apollo Bay Visitor Centre and ends at the famous Twelve Apostles. You can only walk in one direction, from east to west, to minimise congestion on the path and maximise the incredible views, including clifftop coastline, beach walks and forests in the Otway Ranges National Park.
The Great Ocean walk recommends walkers do some walk training ahead of their expedition. The Great Ocean walk tracks include steep staircases and tracks that go up and downhill. Sections can be wet, muddy and slippery.
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Scuba Diving on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
One of the seven natural wonders of the world, there’s no doubt that the best way to experience this incredible coral reef (iconic just BEGINS to describe it) is by getting close to it underwater. The Great Barrier Reef is 2300km long with interconnected reefs and islands and you can experience breathtaking coral, diverse marine life as well as wreck dives.
And if you’ve ever wanted to learn to scuba dive, then this is the place to do it. The Great Barrier Reef is described as the “heart and soul” of scuba diving in Australia, after all.
You can access the reef anywhere from Townsville in Far North Queensland – best for diving the wreck of the SS Yongala, sunk in a cyclone in 1911 and not discovered until the 1950s – down to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, accessible from Bundaberg, about four-and-a-half hours’ drive from Brisbane. Dive from a liveaboard vessel or see the reef from the Whitsunday Islands. It’s big and beautiful.
Scuba diving requires a good level of fitness, aptitude for swimming and confidence in the open ocean but the training you undergo before going underwater will build your understanding of how the equipment works and what you’re capable of as a diver. And underwater, it’s a whole new world.
Margaret River, Western Australia
Get into the sea in Western Australia
Whether it’s snorkelling with Whale Sharks – they’re harmless plankton-feeders but they can grow up to 18m long! – on Ningaloo Reef in Exmouth, or surfing down south in Margaret River, Western Australia has an ocean adventure to whet your appetite and keep you active.
For surfers, Margaret River offers 135km of coastline and 75 surf breaks, with locations for beginners and pros, just three-and-a-half hours from Perth. Find a surf school or get barrelled – the choice is yours.
Of course, Margaret River is another famous Australian wine region, so while you’re there, it’d be rude not to check out a cellar door or too, or the Cape Lavender Teahouse.
Uluru, Petermann, Northern Territory
Run the Australian Outback Marathon, Northern Territory
Billed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most, The Australian Outback Marathon takes place in sight Uluru and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) – how’s that for an iconic run? It’s no surprise that it attracts runners from all over the globe.
There’s a distance for runners of all abilities, including the marathon (ages 18 plus), half marathon (ages 15 plus) and run runs at 11km and 6km (both fun runs available for all ages). The red-dirt course itself is described as “relatively flat” and mostly on unsealed roads, bush tracks and soft sand trails, with a few small sand dunes.
You’ll travel into Alice Springs and stay at the Ayers Rock Resort. Before and after the main event there’s loads to keep you active, including a 9km walk around the base of Uluru and optional extras like camel rides and helicopter flights.
The 2020 event has been cancelled but that means there’s plenty of time to train for the next event on July 31, 2021. What distance will you do?
Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Get on your bike in South Australia
Head to Melrose, about three hours’ drive north of Adelaide, to find an enviable link of Mountain Bike Trails (MBTs) to keep you active and excited. Whether it’s or tough trails that require skills and experience or easier tracks for beginners, there’s a something for everyone with 100km of trails around Melrose and Bartagunyah and even more in the neighbouring areas of Laura, Wilmington and Jamestown.
If you’d prefer something a bit flatter which involves more wine (we did say this blog was about dreaming and anticipation) then the Riesling Trail in the Clare Valley is a relatively flat track to cycle and taste some of the region’s famous wine at cellar doors along the way. Start in Auburn and then cycle 33km to Stanley Flat.
Or, if you want to try it all, consider Bike SA’s Outback Odyssey, 900km over 15 days in May 2021. You’ll ride from Adelaide to Blinman in the beautiful Flinders Ranges and take in the full Mawson trail. The riding’s not technical but you do need a good level of fitness.
Three Sisters, Katoomba, New South Wales
Canyoning and rock climbing in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales
There is more than 2000km of rock face in the Blue Mountains, so whether you’re ticking off a bucket list item or love to climb, there’s a space for you. Rock climbing requires fine weather so you’ll stay dry, while canyoning is about abseiling down waterfalls and jumping into pools of water. Either way, it’s sure to be a (blue) mountain high. It’s all suitable for beginners and you need an “average” level of fitness.
Access the Blue Mountains from the town of Katoomba, about 90 minutes’ drive west from Sydney, or catch the train.
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Hiking Cradle Mountain National Park in beautiful Tasmania
We’re proudly biased in saving the best till last – after all, Tasmania is OUR beautiful Bulk Nutrients home as well as the home of the World Heritage Listed Cradle Mountain.
Take your pick of walks, but the 65km Signature Walk takes you from Waldheim in Cradle Valley to Australia’s deepest natural lake in Lake St Clair. You can also summit Mt Ossa, Tasmania’s highest peak at 1617m for an extra challenge.
Your guides become chefs each night, cooking for you and you’ll enjoy freshly-baked bread and Tasmanian wine (you’ll have earned it) and stay in twin-share huts. Take in lakes, waterfalls, forest and views you’ll never forget.
Whenever you’re reading this (because the situation keeps changing), and wherever you’re reading this from, we hope you’re keeping well. At Bulk Nutrients, we have all the supplements you need to support your fitness goals – and maybe you have some new ones, after reading this blog!
At Bulk Nutrients, it’s still business as usual with the best range of supplements to support you.
We’ve got protein powders to meet all dietary requirements, including plant-based vegan proteins, and proteins without gluten or lactose for people with allergies. We’ve got meal replacements for those times in iso when you just can’t be bothered. And, if you’re craving a tropical escape that seems a bit far away right now, we’ve got your tropical-flavoured BCAAs. :)
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