Last week I shared why a microadventure will make your life better. Lovely-ishly, some of you were prompted to give one a crack that day. Some of you, however, asked for some inspiration, to get you going… so I figured I should give you a few adventure starters…

Image via treasuresandtravelsblog.com
Image via treasuresandtravelsblog.com

1. Do a train-hike-train on the outskirts of town. In Sydney I sometimes catch the train out to Mt Ku-Ring-Gai station, hike down to Berowra Waters and back up again to Cowan station, before catching the train home. In Melbourne I catch a train down to the Mornington Peninsula, and then hike the cliffs above Sorrento, finish up with a swim in the ocean before heading back to the city. It’s an easy day trip.

Here’s how I plan my hikes, if you’re keen to know.

2. Take a foodie road trip to a regional area. I’ve done one from Canberra to Byron Bay and one from Melbourne to Daylesford. Mudgee really knows how to showcase their local food and wines, too.  Hobart is totally do-able from much of Australia, as a weekend jaunt. You can find my other foodie trips here.

3. Close your eyes, spin around and point at a map. It’s what my Dad did with us as kids. We had a map of NSW; wherever my little brother or sister (it was always the youngest used for such fun) pointed, that’s where we went camping for Summer. Back then I wasn’t so thrilled to have wound up in Dubbo and Jindabyne. I probably would be now. If you use Google Maps you can zoom in or out to reflect the distance you’re prepared to travel.

4. Hitchhike. I know, it comes with risks. Calculate them for yourself – I’ve written about it here.

5. Visit a foodie suburb. And ask a local where to eat. In Sydney, you might want to check out Noodlies.com. Thang Ngo shares the best Asian fare in the Cabramatta area.

6. Get a room of your own.  I know someone who does mini-weekends-away…on a week night, on her own, down the road.

7. Cross-country ski in and out from a lodge. I did this at Skoki Lodge, a rustic hut in the middle of Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.

8. Hike village to village or hut to hut for a few days. Hiking between white villages in Spain has been a highlight of mine.

9. Pick up the tourist brochure from your town and do the sites like a tourist. In Sydney I like to hop on a ferry at Circular Quay and just… go where it goes. I do this often and always end up rewarded.

10. Visit a regional pub for the night. Around Sydney I’ve done Bamarang in the Southern Highlands. I also like the Mount Victoria pub – I catch a train up from Sydney for the night.

11. Stay somewhere only accessible by boat. I spent a weekend on the Hawkesbury River a while back; caught the train, then water taxi and back again straight in to work on the Monday morning.

12. Sleep on a beach.

13. Go on an ultra-lite adventure. The most liberating advice I can give you is this: carry as little as possible.

14. Take a bus or train to the end of the line. 

15. Go for a long swim in the ocean. I like Bondi and Byron Bay for ocean swims.

16. Walk a route you would normally drive. Your regular haunts look so different when you’re on foot.

17. Take a flannerie. You can read about my wanders here.

18. Sleep out under the stars… in your backyard.

Have you tried a microadventure yet? What did you do?

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • I love the sound of the train-hike-train idea! I always wish I could just up and go hiking, but limit myself to thinking the good hiking spots are so far away and would require hours of transport to and from. As a melbournite, I’ll definitely be looking in to the Morning Peninsula to Sorrento idea, thanks Sarah!!

  • Georgie

    LOVE these ideas Sarah! How do you keep your thyroxine cold when doing your train/hike/train bit??

  • Anthony Gracia

    Isn’t sleeping overnight (generally classified as camping) on the beach illegal – they have this on beach signs?

  • Jeskimo Pace

    I was inspired by last weeks post so much, I’m not working full time anymore, but my boyfriend is and he comes home tired, but I’ve been insisting on getting out and about – and it’s totally worth it! It makes life so much more interesting, shuffles the boring routine around. The other night we went on a bike ride from Lilyfield to Cooks River, there’s a trail which we found and had no idea about. We just kept on following it, riding down canopies of trees along the Lightrail which are incredibly beautiful. We rode home in the dark, and I was just waiting for a huge spider to end up in my face! Haha but that is what made it so much more exciting. Check it out: http://www.greenway.org.au/greenway-trail8/cycling

  • Claire Baker

    This post makes my heart very happy 🙂

  • Love it, specially “sleep on a beach” . I am going to do that over Easter. Looking forward to it actually 🙂

  • Jossie B

    I know guys in NYC who book a night or 2 in a hotel at weekends during winter so they can have a mini-break, let their kids swim in the pool all weekend and just pretend they are on holiday/vaca – right around the cnr from where they live! Love this idea!

  • Ida-Sofia

    My microadventure is walking in a forest with my dogs. I just enjoy the silence and nature.

  • J.

    I love this, Sarah! Your writing always gives me the little push (gentle nudge) that I need to try something new—or a reminder to do something I know I enjoy/love, but never make time to, or as you/Alastair said in your previous post, “choose not to”. What a spark that little shift in thinking gave me!

    I’ve been doing more and more microadventures ever since moving abroad last year (from NYC to Stockholm), but I’ve been in a funk the last few months while getting work/apartment things sorted so now that spring has sprung, I have an even bigger reason to get out and experience something!

    Here are a few ways I microadventure:

    – Unwinding at sea:
    Living in a city made up by islands on the fringe of an archipelago, I make use of the many lovely day cruises to be found. Pick a boat, hop up on deck, and sit and watch the scenery float by.

    – Exploring a new neighborhood by foot:
    I’ll bus/train out to a new-to-me neighborhood and then walk the hour or two home, stopping to check out markets/cafe’s/etc. A proper flannerie :).

    – Making use of urban nature:
    Hike into neighboring forests/hills sans phone/music/company. Just me and some birds…and others doing the same.

    – Swimming in the city:
    There are lots of public bathing spots in Stockholm (shocking to a New Yorker like me) and I never felt so absurdly in love with my new hometown than when I went swimming in the city last summer for the first time (our beaches don’t compare to Sydney, but they’re a sight better than NYC’s!)

    – Popping in for tea time:
    Love popping into hotels and having tea. It feels so foreign, yet you can easily carve out an hour or two for yourself and have a micro-microadventure by doing so!

    – Soaking up the creativity:
    Similarly, making an afternoon of visiting a museum AND having lunch at its cafe is always a great way to recharge.

    – Napping outside:
    Pack a picnic and a blanket and lay out to snooze under a tree post-lunch. So restorative!

    Thanks for all the great ideas, Sarah!

  • Megan

    Husband and I just spent a few days at Jindabyne – did the Mt Kosciousko (probs spelt that incorrectly) hike, tried some local schnapps and generally relaxed. We booked accommodation through Groupon so got a great price as it’s out of season. Came back to the city feeling fabulous!

    • love that area. I grew up in the mountains outside Canberra!

  • I’m a Girl Guide. There’s a micro adventure to be had each and every week and all of these sound like ideal ones for any Girl Guide unit to try. Have tried plenty of them with GGs and they’re a blast. With water centres, a caving weekend coming up, some of the best camps of the year just behind us and more coming up later in Spring it’s a micro-adventure extravaganza for girls and young women (and their adult women leaders too).

  • Annanotherthing

    I did the Mt Kuringai to Berowra walk a few weeks ago and thought the last 4.4km were going to kill me!! Happily I made it (alive!!) and felt a great sense of accomplishment- and relief.