In Australia, last Sunday was Father’s Day and in way of celebration, the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) has, over the past three years, organised a ‘harbour hike’ that begins under the iconic Harbour Bridge and ends at Clifton Gardens.
It’s a 12km (7.5 mile) hike that most people walk in a family group and the good thing is that the start time is staggered. In its first year I did this walk at 8am, the next year at 10am and this year I started the hike at the civilised time of 10.30am. By staggering the start there’s no annoying crowding along the course and no pressure to move along at a rip-roaring pace.
There’s more emphasis on seeing the sights and appreciating our surroundings rather than a race to the finish. As stated, the walk begins under the harbour bridge where participants pay $35.00 to benefit SIMS that aims to ‘future proof’ Australia’s most famous waterway. All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.
Every time I have done this hike it has been blessed with fabulous weather. We’ve always hiked under blue skies and fabulous sunshine however this year the weather outdid itself with one of the warmest starts to Spring on record. I was wearing my Lulu Lemons that I bought for my rather short jogging career and found the winter top far too warm and was wishing my backpack contained a pair of scissors to snip off the unnecessary sleeves.
The hike isn’t difficult and there’s no prize for coming in first and no booby prize for being the last to finish so you find it’s a very relaxed walk. It ducks and weaves around Sydney’s points and bays and is a fabulous opportunity to see the best views the city has to offer, not to mention the best real estate.
At the beginning of the hike every participant is given a passport and this is something to be filled out during the journey. As each kilometre is reached, there is a checkpoint with multiple-guess questions that can be completed as you proceed. I thought Alfie might like this part of the hike but no, he was more interested in reaching the finish line and so sped past taking no notice – which is why there are no photos of him!
It’s a relief to arrive at Clifton Gardens but then there’s a lot more that SIMS has organised. There are exhibits educating participants with what you can find in our coastal waters, exhibits from Taronga Zoo and more outdoor pursuits including activities on the water like kayaking and guided sea rafting. But first and foremost on our minds was food.
You don’t need to be told that this is where Carl bought his lunch. And got the man’s business card. And hovered over the vehicle. And said it was his ‘best lunch ever’.
My family walked in a group of 10, minus Alfie who ran his own ‘hike’. We walked along roads, went past shops, hiked through bush, snaked along the foreshore and above all, took in the sights that have put this city on the world’s map. I felt rather privileged. And then it was time for home. Fantasea organised complimentary ferry rides back to the starting point.
Aside from the blisters every amateur complained of, (Carl), it was a very enjoyable, healthy and relaxing way to spend Father’s Day.
If you liked this post, you’re welcome to share it.