February 12, 2019

Grab your friends and family, load up your backpack and strap on your hiking boots—we’re taking to the outdoors to get fit this season!

You may have already trekked the picturesque Watagan trails before, leaves crunching beneath your secured boots, sun peering through cracks in the canopy of trees above you as you venture ahead, equipped with only your backpack and a sense of adventure. But did you know that this beautiful sensory experience can also be a great source of fitness?

As you are walking on uneven terrain, your core muscles switch to adjust your balance and strength. This means that you are activating them in a new way, toning those muscles that you might not have worked before. Not to mention, bushwalking is also beneficial for your mental health. Getting outdoors opens up your mind, preventing you from ruminating or focusing on negative thoughts. The Watagans has trails to suit all fitness levels. Here are just a few of our recommendations:

Boarding House Dam

Duration: 30 minutes Distance: 718m Difficulty: Moderate
Starting at the picnic grounds, this light walk takes you through the cool gully rainforest. On this walk, you’ll come across a massive 120m moss-covered rock wall and some sculptured rock formations along the creek. There’s also a creek and dam nearby to top off your walk with a paddle.

Gap Creek Falls Walk

Duration: 1 hour Distance: 1.5km Difficulty: Moderate
If you’re looking for a trail that takes a bit more effort and finishes on a high note, then we recommend the Gap Creek Falls Walk. It takes you through a dense forest of red cedars with a large Illawarra flame tree. There is a fork in the track about 300m in; the left-hand side takes you through to the Gap Creek Rainforest rest area, while the right-hand side guides you to the breathtaking Gap Creek Falls.

Abbotts Falls Walking Track

Duration: 3 hours Distance: 7.3km Difficulty: Hard
This walk takes you on a circuit through both dry and moist forest, with side trails to dammed pools and Aboriginal carvings. Travel through an open forest full of wild flowers and descend into the moist rainforest surrounding the stunning Abbotts Falls.

Did you take up the challenge and trek one of these hikes? Share your photo with us by tagging #wpwanderer

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