It’s normally around now that we remember the New Years Resolution’s that we made nearly a month ago. It’s normally around now that reality kicks in as you realise that work outfits seem just a bit tighter than the singlets and bathers you might have been getting around in all summer.
It’s time to combine that spirit of adventure with the reality of getting a bit fitter.
For ABC Perth Saturday Breakfast, to help you find some fitness, I was sent to find some locations around Perth and WA that will inspire you and maybe just take you back a notch on your belt.
I think the collective noun for cargo shorts is a ‘lazy’. It’s what I’ve been living in this summer but I can’t get away with it for much longer. It’s time to start wearing some real pants and I need to get some exercise that is also outdoors and inspiring.
- DNA Tower: This is like Classic Coke. You can mess around with new lookouts and treetop walks but this is the true classic. Just over 100 spiralling steps with a plaque on the top showing distances to different locations. Interestingly it’s 3km from Pelican Point and 26km to Rottnest.
- Kokoda Track Memorial Walk: Located at the Kennedy Fountain on Mounts Bay Road, this is a great place to practise your pre-trek routine and break in new boots. I used to piggyback Matilda up these steps when I was training to do the Sandakan Death March. The 150 steps are uneven and odd distances apart so it’s hard to get into a stepping routine. There are park benches and plaques along the way, naming different Kokoda battles that allow you to reflect on the Kokoda campaign and the soldiers known as, ‘The men who saved Australia.”
- Jacobs Ladder: This is probably our most popular exercise spot in Perth. Located at Cliff Street in West Perth with just over 240 steps up a 40 metre ascent, this is one for those who have good active wear and it can get a bit serious at times, particularly if groups are running up and down it.
- Around the Bridges: The loop from the Narrows to the Causeway is more my style, and the style for all ages who can walk, ride a bike, ride a scooter, ride anything, just remember to keep to the left and ding your bell if you’re passing anyone. A good 10km walk with plenty of opportunities to just sit and marvel at what a beautiful part of the world we live in.
- Whitfords Nodes Health and Wellbeing Hub: This is just up from Hillarys. As well as lots of nature play and climbing equipment there is the new 145 stairway up a coastal dune with the reward of great views of the metropolitan coastline.
- Joyce Park Steps in Scarborough: Probably our least known exercise spot, it has a strong local following of step climbers who then head off to the beach for a swim.
- Munda Biddi Trail: Stretching 1000km’s from Mundaring to Albany this is an off-road cycling track that is the longest off-road cycle trail in the world. You don’t need to ride the full length. Have a day out and try a level of difficulty that’s suitable to your ability. White or green circles are nice and easy whereas if you find yourself on a double black diamond it suggests you’ll probably fall off your bike any second.
- Collie Trails: The area around Collie has some of the newest off-road cycling tracks in the state and have been designed by some of the worlds best riders. As part of a trails strategy, Collie is becoming the trail hub of the world with amazing cycling trails, horse trails and walking trails that are well designed for all sorts of abilities.
- Cape to Cape: For those who don’t mind logistics and are looking for a longer challenge, the 123km Cape to Cape walk (from Cape Naturalist to Cape Leeuwin) can be done on your own or with an organised tour group over varying distances but you need to work out how you’ll return to your vehicle, what supplies you need to carry but it’s all worth it when you’re walking along cliffs, through forest and on remote shores.
- The Hike Collective: We’ve touched on these guys before and for good reason. They offer a range of walks that can end with champagne and a sunset and providing for mental health is just as important as physical health. They have a new program. It’s often said that yoga is mentally grounding. This new yoga is undergrounding, in a cave. In the Cabaret Cave in Yanchep, enjoy yoga and meditation and maybe some fresh cold-pressed juice afterwards.
- Ask your local council what they have for free outdoor exercise opportunities, like the ‘Get Active Outdoors Guide’ by the City of Armadale, City of Gosnells and Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale. They have a well coordinated program of sessions in parks including walks, runs, yoga, bike riding and even have maps for where you can find a new place to walk your dog.
Exercise can be a Hidden Treasure because we live in the best place on Earth for getting outdoors and doing stuff. Exercise doesn’t have to be a resolution, let it be a discovery.
Climb a hill, ride a bike through challenging switchbacks, walk around a couple of bridges or lakes. Hidden Treasures is about discovering what is close by and doing it in new ways. Don’t just drive past, get out and walk around for a bit.