Few people realise the beauty that’s just outside our back door. Lucky for us, so many scenic sites call Adelaide their home town. I have been fortunate enough to grow up alongside one which I consider to be the most magical, the Murray River. My very large extended family have all shared the ownership of a little green shack along the river since the day I was born. I am so fortunate to have made so many memories there with the most amazing people, you could very well say it has shaped the person I am today. I have learnt so many things at that shack… How to fish, how to water-ski, how to survive with very bad sun burn and how to handle my alcohol (which I still have not achieved successfully). One of the clearest feelings I experienced there was freedom, it was a safe haven, and because of that my parents let me wonder and explore. My best friend and I would disappear for hours, climbing cliffs or chasing dingos. My brother would take me for trips in the dingy, driving way too fast through spaces way too small. And as a family we would explore the other side of the cliffs we faced, whole day trips that left us exhausted and passed out by 7pm.
I understand that not everyone’s family has, or will have a shack like ours, but I do urge you to still pay visit to this amazing place. It can be as little as an hours drive there, you can stay over night or just go for a day trip. There are many camping spots along the waters edge or hotels in little country towns that would welcome a stay from anyone and everyone. With so many activities you could enjoy along the river, it is just as nice to sit back and relax, taking in the serenity the place has to offer. If a large group of you and your mates or family are wanting to pay the Murray River a visit, I can also suggest hiring a houseboat and cruising your way up stream for a week or even just weekend. This is great way to explore, have fun and relax all at the same time.
The Murray River is one hundred percent my happy place. I am so glad my family told me to enjoy it while I was young. They warned me that once I started working I wouldn’t be able to make it up there as often, so I enjoyed every second I could. And now that I am working I have found they were very right. I don’t get to go up there that often. It’s not so much a sad thing, I was prepared for it, but it just means I still make every second count while I’m there. I couldn’t be more thankful to have the upbringing along the river that I did. I hope I can be lucky enough in the future to give my own children the same experience, because I sure couldn’t imagine my childhood, or my life, without it.
This is an adventure for the lovers of all things exercise and ocean. At the end of Marino Esplanade, South Australia, begins a coastal boardwalk taking you over and through the cliffs that line the waters edge along Hallet Cove. At the base of the cliffs are thousands of pebbles and rocky reefs leading out to the ocean, on a calm day when the water is still it is mighty magical, you may even see the resident dolphins passing through. The walk itself (or run if your feeling super fit) goes for 8kms all up and involves quite a few wooden stairs leading you up and down the mountainous terrain. This makes for a great workout for the legs and butt, what more could you want! On a scale of difficulty, I would say it’s about a six, because although the stairs are hard work there are lots of flat surfaces to break them up. With a view as beautiful as that, it’s tough to feel much pain!
Location: Marino Esplanade, South Australia
Yes, take the leap… out of a plane. I’m not joking here, what better way to get your adrenaline fix and feed your need for adventure then to go skydiving! I have been twice now and am pleased to tell you it is quite possibly the most incredible feeling I have experienced in my 21 years. The first time I embarked on this crazy venture was in New Zealand at 11,000ft. It was magical. I was quite literally falling from the sky through mountains topped with snow towards the bluest lake I have witnessed with my own eyes. The second, slightly higher at 15,000ft in my hometown of Adelaide, right above the suburbs I spend my time around. It definitely wasn’t as scenic, but just as fascinating. It’s hard to possibly describe what you feel. At first there are definitely nerves as your squished in the tiniest plane, to be honest I was more worried going up in the plane then jumping out of it. You see the standby light flick on and they buckle you up. You don’t really have much time to think from then, next thing you know the door opens and you are on the edge of it. It’s an overwhelming feeling to free fall from that height. I found that by the time the parachute opened I had just been uncontrollably laughing the whole way down. It’s amazing. I have and will always do my best to encourage people to experience it. There is nothing else quite like it, an adventure you will remember for a lifetime.
P.S It’s quite impossible to pull a pretty face whilst falling from the sky…
If your looking to get adventurous in South Australia while getting in a very good work out, I would no doubt suggest the Mount Lofty hike through the Cleland Conservation Reserve. Starting at the base of the hike is Waterfall Gully, and on a sunny day this place is almost magical. Your surrounded by lush greens and the sound of the water pouring over the edge of the first waterfall you come to. As you begin your hike you may realise how hard this is going to be, and I assure you it is very tough. The hike up and back averages out to be about 8kms, which isn’t huge… the incline is. Up the top you reach the Restaurant and Café, but best of all is the look out, you can see over Adelaide city and out to the ocean. Once you’ve completely the (much quicker) trip down you can stop in for a coffee, shake or eat at the Utopia Café and rest those legs. This little big adventure makes for a day where your left feeling really great about yourself and what you have achieved.
Location: Waterfall Gully, Cleland Conservation Reserve, South Australia
Byron Bay is the most beautiful place I’ve travelled to within Australia. As it is only a small beachside town it has such a relaxed atmosphere and everyone who resides there are such welcoming and friendly people. I would recommend travelling here to anyone in need of a little escape from reality. With multiple resorts and hotels to choose from, I would without a doubt suggest the ‘Byron at Byron,’ located just ten minutes from the towns main centre. It is situated in the middle of a tropical rainforest and you are treated like absolute royalty. They offer many activities but even just relaxing by their huge pool is a day well spent. One of my favourite memories from the trip was hiring cruiser bikes and finding a deserted beach to ride along. I also suggest doing the Lighthouse walk for an amazing view and a good workout!
Location: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia