For those of you who don’t know, I currently live and have grown up around the city of Sydney, Australia. For a very long time, I took my local landscape and all it has to offer for granted. In fact, a couple of years ago, I had convinced myself into believing that I detested Sydney and that I didn’t belong in Australia; I was meant to be American. A very naïve concept created by teenage-me. However, since travelling extensively alone and with friends over the past 5 years, I have grown to really appreciate my home country and city. Australia is such a vast and unique country with so much to offer!
Like most people do at the end of year, I sat down and reflected upon 2015 and was not happy with how I had utilised the time I had granted to me. It felt as if I’d spent the year in hiding, rather then going out and being the spontaneous, happy-go-lucky girl that I’m known to be. So, whilst I’m not usually a fan of New Years Resolutions, after being disappointed with my 2015 reflections, I decided that 2016 would be the year I get out more. Let my hair down and stop taking everything so seriously! Who cares what people think; who cares if I haven’t started on my career yet – 2016 will be the year that I put myself first. After all ….. YOLO!
So as to get my New Years Resolution into motion, I want to combine my getting out more with the premier of the Tourist in my own City series. TIMOC is going to be a showcase on the great city of Sydney and its surrounds and all that it has to offer. It’ll include things like my favourite markets, beaches, hikes, café’s, bars and much, much more. If there’s anything that you’d like to know about, please let me know!
Drumroll please …… so, for the first post in the Tourist in my own City series, I want to share with you guys one of the many hikes that there on offer around Sydney – the Wodi Wodi Track in Stanwell Park.
Stanwell Park is just over an hour south of Sydney. The super quaint main street is filled with several little café’s and boutique stores. There are a few starting points for the Wodi Wodi. You can either start at the Stanwell Park train station, or if you are heading up from the South, just past Coalcliff station on the left side of the road is a little pull-in where you can park your car and start hiking. I started from Coalcliff. I’d done some research and knew that the hike that goes around the escarpment would take about three hours. Henry and I packed a bag with some snacks (granola bars, dried apricots etc) and filled a 3L water backpack. First note: 3L of water to share between 2 people and a few snacks aren’t enough. If you’re considering doing this hike, learn from my mistakes and pack at least 3L of water per person and a lot more than 2 tiny snacking items.
The Wodi Wodi track is a really great hike if you’re not afraid of going off of the beaten track! You become part of the rainforest-like escarpment in this hike, with the only form of a footpath to follow being flattened grass from previous walkers. Or when it gets a bit confusing, look out for the red ribbons and yellow arrows – they will save your life!
However, that being said, if you come across a fork near the train line, take the beaten looking path; the nice looking one will lead you to someone’s horse pasture – woops. Also, about half way through the hike, there is one yellow arrow that points downwards, towards rubble. When you see the huge slide of debris, don’t be like Henry and I and try to slay your way through the bush. You will get ticks and leeches (trust me). Instead, be smart. When you see the arrow pointing in a strange direction, and the thought ‘well that seems odd’ pops into your head, listen to it! Look around and you will see another yellow arrow to your right pointing you in the direction of a bush path.
Having survived (just) three months riding a motorbike and camping around North America, I would’ve liked to think that Henry and I had better senses of direction. Although, the several misadventures on this hike would probably lead one to believe that we were a lost cause. (Just for the record, I’m going to put in here that Henry was in charge of direction :p )
Whilst we did get lost a few times, and the Australian summer heat became unbearable at some points, the views looking out onto the ocean from on top of the escarpment were amazing and made the sweat, leeches and ticks well worth it!