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Lifestyle : NSW Tourism Awards 2011
1HERSA1 0010 The best nature has to offer CONGRATULATIONS TO NSW NATIONAL PARKS & WILDLIFE SERVICE With 11 national parks and experiences nominated as nalists for the 2011 NSW Tourism Awards, there is no better time to plan your next incredible experience in nature. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.NSWNATIONALPARKS.COM.AU/AWARDS Photography: David Young/OEH travel nsw tourism awards special report 10 SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2011 THE SUN-HERALD Thrills are right on your doorstep Nick Galvin realises you don't have to roam far from home to pump the adrenalin. State hot spots . . . from left, Yuraygir Coastal Walk; the striking Mungo National Park; kayaking with Life's an Adventure; abseiling with Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures. Photos: Ben Stubbs; Domino Postiglione; Aaron Brown IHAVEamatewhoisamad outdoorsy type. Nothing is high enough, long enough or hard enough for this guy. He's climbed Everest, skied most of the world and most recently returned from a breathtaking mountain-biking expedition to Moab in Utah. But as well as the grand, expensive, full-on extreme trips that rule his life, he is also the inventor and keen promoter of the ''backyard adventure'', based on the theory that it's quite possible to have an amazing day running, cycling, hiking, kayaking, swimming or whatever close to home and still be back in time for dinner. It's a beautiful concept -- low in cost, high in fun and often using the amazing national parks and bushland we have on our doorstep. I think of my mate (let's call him Paul Karis, because that's his name) as we glide serenely across the harbour in kayaks on a spanking spring morning, the only noise the rhythmic sound of the paddles hitting water and the occasional grunt of exertion as we paddling newbies realise there's a bit more to this kayaking lark than first appears. If you think you know Sydney Harbour, try seeing it with your backside approximately on, or a little below, the surface of the water. The change in perspective is total. The ferries tearing past in the distance, along with the occasional privately owned gin palace, are in another world entirely from the intimate realm of the kayak. There are six of us in three boats. Me, three other twentysomethings and our two guides, Melina Budden and Ian McLeod. Both are expert paddlers -- Ian has even represented Australia in canoe water polo (how they get the horses in the boats will remain a mystery) and seems more at home with a paddle in his hand than on dry land. We're paddling from Little Manly Cove to Forty Baskets Beach, which, for anyone used to paddling, would scarcely count as a warm-up but it's quite far enough, thank you very much, for those of us who are new to the game. Ian and Melina have given us a thorough, dry-land briefing about how to be both safe and efficient on the water (push the paddle rather than pull, keep your arms straight, twist your torso etc) but just as no military plan survives first contact with the enemy, as soon as we are on the water, it all goes out of my head and I do a fair impression of an out-of- control threshing machine for the first 10 minutes until, under Melina's patient back-seat tuition, I start getting it together. Forty Baskets heaves into view
Highlights of Victoria 2011
Cakes for all Occasions 2011