Five Unexpected Sydney Activities to Do with Your Best Mates
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Do something different this weekend.
You know the drill. The weekend rolls around and you and your mates end up doing exactly the same thing as last week — or at the very least, something pretty darn close. Sure, you chums are guaranteed to have a blast no matter what you're doing, but maybe it's time to spice up those group hangs (just a tiny bit, okay?). We've found a few perfect ways to do exactly that, from a spot of puppy patting to floating in a salty tank. Book in a friend date and head out of your usual comfort zone for one of these unexpected activities to do with your mates.
BORROW SOMEONE ELSE'S PUP FOR THE DAY
Dog-sharing. Yep. Read it again: dog-sharing. Services that allow pooch owners to connect with other pooch owners to help with everyday care, pupsit for holidays, do walks and so on. It's a thing (thanks to Australian service Dogshare) and you and your dogless mates can 'borrow' a pup for a walkie or sleepover from time-poor dog owners in your local area. To become a borrower, you just have to create a profile on Dogshare's website, list your previous experience with dogs and flag any services you're keen to volunteer for — like walks, park playdates, overnight stays or going to the vet. Can you think of a more joyous way to spend a sunny day with your squad? Just remember — you've gotta give them back at the end. Look after dem pooches, people.
If playing tug-of-war or riding a bike across a balance beam four storeys in the air sounds like your kind of thing, then read on. Sydney's newest aerial park, Skypeak Adventures is now open and, let us put it this way — it's definitely not your stock standard Sunday arvo activity. The adventure park features a series of obstacle courses and challenges, all suspended high in the sky. Think bridge walks, barrel runs, rope climbs, chasm jumps or trapeze swings, 22 metres above ground. Get you and your mates a 'Momentum' pass and you'll be taking a 15-metre freefall/leap of faith into the unknown (hopefully a net?) together, while the 'Skypeak Tree' course involves scaling a huge ancient River Red Gum. High tea, minus the scones and cakes will be available, in the form of a picnic table suspended nine metres above a void. Just make sure one of you takes a phone up for ultimate group Snapchats.
You might be a few years off being able to float around with your mates in outer space, but you can enjoy the feeling of zero gravity, right here, right now. It seems like sensory deprivation tanks (yes, just like Stranger Things) popped up on just about every shopping strip overnight, offering an out-of-this world experience designed to take your relaxation levels to the max. Each tank is light-proof, sound-proof, and filled with a mix of Epsom salts and water, which takes away the sensation of gravity and leaves you floating in a temperature-controlled bubble of absolute peace. Those cortisol and adrenaline levels dip, as any external stimuli and distractions (read: all that stuff that's currently stressing you out), disappear completely. Do a simultaneous float with a mate and go grab lunch afterwards.
Sometimes it feels like the only way to catch up with friends is over food. Brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, second dinner, second dessert are all great options (don't get us wrong), but sometimes you feel like doing something active and building muscle rather than building up a bill. Round up the crew and get vertical with a climbing session at your local indoor wall. With most rock climbing centres boasting a wide range of routes and climbs, you can tailor a visit to suit your group's abilities, whether that involves putting Spidey to shame with your ninja skills, or simply squashing that mild fear of heights. Sessions at most indoor rock climbing centres clock in at under $20 (safety demo included) with harness and shoe hire available for a few extra bucks each. You'll need someone to spot you, so take a friend who you trust with your life in their hands.
Make the most of that impending sunshine and those bearable water temps this summer, and gather your mates for a stand-up paddleboard group lesson. Imagine gliding across the water, catching some rays, seeing fishies — or, alternatively, laughing at your mates and belly-flopping into the water as you try to stay standing. Both sound similarly fun. A carry-over from ancient Polynesian times, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as a brilliant way to sharpen that balance and exercise on the high seas. Plus, the sport's a whole lot easier to master than its gnarlier cousin surfing — one lesson usually enough to have you paddling like a pro. Fish and chips — perhaps with a Rekorderlig Strawberry-Lime Cider or two — on the beach post-paddle is, of course, a given.