We are coming up to five weeks of lockdown here in the Hunter, and with the weather warming up you might be wondering what else you can be doing to stay active besides going for your daily stroll (or three)?
The good news is that exercise and outdoor recreation are classed as a reasonable excuse to leave your home under the current Public Health Order, and this includes so much more than just walking.
While we recommend you don't go crazy (it's still important we follow the stay at home orders as much as we can), it's good to know that you can participate in different types of exercise and recreation to stay active and sane during this time.
What exactly are the rules on exercise and recreation? Here's what you need to know…
- Exercise is an activity that requires physical effort and is designed to maintain or improve health. Examples include running, walking, cycling, water sports or swimming
- Recreation includes outdoor leisure activities such as sitting for relaxation, or to eat, drink or read outdoors
- If you are taking part in outdoor exercise or recreation, you can do this with one other person (unless you are with members of your household)
- You must stay within your local government area (LGA). If you need to cross into another LGA, you must stay within 5km of your home
- If travelling by car, do not share a car with people you do not live with (except your nominated visitor if in a "singles bubble")
- You can remove your face mask when exercising, however you must always carry one with you
- You must also carry proof of your address if you are exercising outdoors or have left your home for recreation.
More detail on the rules can be found on the NSW Government website.
So, with the serious stuff out of the way, here are some ideas to try out if you're looking for a fresh way to get physical in the great outdoors...
Take the plunge for your health and enjoy some water sports
The water temp is a little chilly at the moment, but a dip in the ocean is guaranteed to clear your head and leave you feeling refreshed. Swimming is classed as exercise so make the most of this beautiful spring weather and take a dip at one of our many stunning beaches or ocean baths.
Diving and snorkelling
Looking to add a little more adventure to your swim? Why not go for a snorkel, or even a dive! Our region is a premier destination for diving and snorkelling and our pristine waters are filled with kelp forests, rocky reefs, sea caves, stunning drop offs and old ship wrecks, as well as an incredible array of fish.
Surf & SUP
Both surfing and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) are a great socially distanced activity, and we are lucky to live in an area that is perfect for both. If you're a beginner to either sport, check out Sanbah, Learn to Surf Newcastle, SUP Newcastle and Salty Palm Surf for information on boards, wetsuits, lessons, and the best spots to try out your new found hobby.
Boating and kayaking
Explore our beautiful harbour and coastline by taking your kayak or boat out for a spin. Just remember, the 5km applies to water as well as land and you can only be joined in your watercraft by one other person.
Burn some energy playing ball sports
Tennis and golf
If you're not so keen on getting in the water just yet, there are lots of land-based activities you can still participate in during lockdown. There are plenty of tennis courts available to hire in the Newcastle LGA, and it's a great way to burn some energy with a buddy while staying socially distanced.
Golf courses also remain open, just make sure your game is limited to two people. Check out Newcastle Golf Courses for a list of courses in our area.
Basketball, netball, soccer and football
Head to your nearest park or oval and bring a ball! It's a great way to get a good sweat session and boost your endorphins. Check out the sportsgrounds and facilities page on the City of Newcastle website to find a sportsground in your area, and search by features such as basketball courts and soccer fields.
Boost your endorphins by taking your wheels for a spin
Whether you're a kid, teen or adult, Newcastle has a great variety of skate parks for groms of all ages. We recently rounded up five of the best skate parks where you can carve it up.
Pump up your tyres and take your two wheels out for a spin. There are so many amazing bike routes around Newcastle waiting to be explored. Whether you want to follow the coastline or zip across town, there's bound to be a path that will take you where you want to go. Check out the Newcastle cycleway maps for all your options.
Get some fresh air in your activewear at our parks, playgrounds and sportsgrounds
Did you know that the Newcastle LGA alone has around 115 parks and playgrounds, and more than 160 sportsgrounds? Make the most of our green spaces and get out and about for some fresh air. Whether you're walking, jogging or riding a bike, there's a park to suit everyone's tastes. Use the City of Newcastle App to quickly locate the most suitable park for your needs along with facilities such as playgrounds, gym equipment, public toilets, parking and bike racks.
Dog Parks and Beaches
Don't forget about your furry friend - dog parks and beaches are still open so your best mate can get their exercise in too! View a list of leash-free areas in the Newcastle LGA, or for some real inspo see Visit Newcastle's blog on 5 pet friendly parks and beaches in Newcastle.