All posts tagged: hiking

Wild Wander: Bundeena

Two weeks ago I drove to Bundeena to go solo hiking in the Royal National Park, on the southern fringe of Sydney. I cut inland and up towards the cliffs called The Balconies, along the coast line past the Waterrun to Wedding Cake Rock (which was closed!) and on towards Marley beach, but not making it to my destination before having to turn back to meet some afternoon plans. It was bliss, really. The wildflowers are out in abundance, birds were excitedly darting in and out of shrub, soaring over the cliffs, taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather. When my friend Jules and I decided to go hiking on Saturday, we were going to head north, but then when she mentioned the Royal National Park, I said I was happy to return, as I wanted to explore more of the coastal area from Bundeena, and how about we catch the ferry from Cronulla? So the plan was made and we met at Pilgrims Vegetarian Cafe in South Cronulla before hightailing it for the ferry …

Wild Words: A Philosophy of Walking by Frédéric Gros

Walking in the outdoors seems to me so fundamental to sanity and an easy antidote to a frenzied city life that I can’t imagine not having the impulse to go to the forest/bush/coast/mountains by foot regularly. The effects rush in like a flash flood, and take the debris of my nerves with it, leaving me undoubtedly calmer and clearer. And although I know this to be the case, I haven’t often really contemplated why this is, or perhaps that walking in nature serves different purposes for different people, and that throughout history, people have achieved great things just by practicing this simple act of slowness, of silence, of solitude… A Philosophy of Walking by Frédéric Gros is that contemplation. Gros, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris XII, has taken a look at the writers, philosophers, mystics, naturalists and thinkers throughout history who have wholeheartedly embraced walking into their lives for different purposes and to different ends – as pilgrimage, as escape, as a way of slowing down, and often as a way …

Wild Wander – Burning Palms

Any sunny Sydney day is a good time to check the tides and head down to the Royal National Park. Situated at the southern tip of Sydney, bottom end of ‘the Shire’, this pearl of greenery, jewel of coast is an explorers paradise. Many know of the family-friendly beach at Wottamolla (and when I say many, if you’ve ever been down those parts on a summer weekend, you will probably have been turned away from the full carpark), and the cliffside natural beauty of Garie beach, but less know of Burning Palms. Hence the call to check the tides. At low tide, you can take an adventure out to the little-known Figure 8 Pools. They don’t exist above water at high tide (believe me, I went searching!), so check a day or two ahead to make sure the timing might work in with your plans as low and high is generally a difference of six hours. The drive down into the Royal National Park (which used to be named the National Park until Queen Elizabeth …

Wild Wander: South Coast

Destination South The Easter long weekend lays out time like a ceremonial carpet and decisions about how to allocate it must be made. Considering I would not be spending this time in church (as I don’t go) or hiding eggs for a hunt around the backyard (as I have neither children nor yard), the diary was looking pretty free. My friend Kelly and I therefore decided to escape Sydney for the South Coast on an overnight adventure. It would take in an ocean-side hike followed by a home-cooked meal and a few glasses of wine at her parents’ holiday house in Culburra. And if this warm weather held out, perhaps even an early autumn swim. We left on the public holiday Monday morning and travelled south along the Princes Highway out of Sydney, heading past Wollongong Uni and the imposing, if bafflingly located, Nan Tien Buddhist Temple. The road eventually winds and dips, hugging the coast and veering from it, past beachside towns like Kiama, where weatherboard houses climb back into the hills around the …