Never let it be said there are no things to do in The Hills District, no matter how your age. For starters, Sydney’s Hills District abounds with beautiful bushland and parks – it’s a paradise for young and old, ready and waiting on your doorstep.
It’s the start of a new year and what better time than the present to put into place a couple of new routines in your life that are simple to organise yet can make a world of difference to your wellbeing.
Bushwalking and gym classes, whether you are 30 or 80, live in Castle Hill or Kellyville, are our top suggestions to kick off the year.
Indeed, we’re lucky in The Hills District to be surrounded by a wonderful world of bush trails and parks that tick all the boxes when it comes to healthy living and healthy ageing.
“The Hills District is peppered with beautiful reserves, parks and forests, so you’re spoilt for choice.”
And on those inconvenient rainy days, or when temperatures soar into the 40s, why not take part in a fun class at your local gym?
As you research these new activities, you’ll quickly find so many things to do in The Hills Shire, you won’t know where to begin. Let us help you get started.
Exploring The Hills’ bush wonderland
The form of exercise you choose will depend on your individual level of fitness and ability, or personal interest, but one particularly great activity for keeping you stimulated mentally and physically, no matter how old or fit you are, is walking outdoors.
As young children we squat or leap from rock to rock without giving it a second thought. By the time we reach adulthood, and after a lifetime of sitting, our body has forgotten these important movement patterns. Bushwalking is a great remedy ‒ it allows you to delight in new sights, sounds and scents while enjoying fresh air, being with friends and family, and keeping active.
“Reduce stress as you enjoy nature in the company of friends and family”
Spending time outdoors is also particularly important the older we get, as our bodies require more Vitamin D, which we absorb through sunlight combined with a diet rich in calcium.
Hit the bush trails
So no more excuses; head out and immerse yourself in one of those amazing bush tracks as they meander through the forests.
Each is specifically designed for you to be able to explore and learn about the stunning bushland in The Hills, and the plethora of options means there’s a track to suit every level of ability.
On a hot summer’s day, head to Hunts Creek Reserve in Carlingford and check out the gorgeous Balaka Falls. Multiple walking and cycling tracks (the longest at just 2.5 km) throughout the reserve lead to the waterfalls.
Alternatively, take in the views of waterholes and cascades along Cattai Creek in Castle Hill and learn more about Sydney’s native plants. No matter what the season there will be plants to marvel at.
If you’re interested in the history of The Hills District, head for one of the heritage walking paths.
The Baulkham Hills 6km heritage trail takes you through early settlement areas. Grab a map and information from The Hills Shire Council website, then head out and follow the bollards with interpretive signage.
Explore the Bidjigal Reserve in Baulkham Hills, which is also one of the largest bushland reserves north of Sydney Harbour.
This reserve is named after the Bidjigal people who lived in the area, and is also home to a number of Aboriginal rock shelters containing archeological deposits. It can be accessed from North Rocks, Northmead, Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill, West Pennant Hills or Carlingford.
Keep an eye out for Powerful Owls and the Eastern Water Dragon as you wander this trail.
Outdoors for garden lovers
The Cumberland State Forest, entered at 95 Castle Hill Road, is 40 hectares of native forest. The Cumberland Plain Woodland has been listed as a critically endangered ecological community, with many plant species found nowhere else. Visit the Forestry Corporation website for maps and information about our native flora.
Boronia Tours also offer a number of tours to suit plant lovers.Try the ‘First Contact’ walk on which you’ll learn about plants such as Warrigal greens, samphire, geebung and native sarsparilla used historically by the local Aboriginal people.
For a change of pace, walk along a sandstone ridge vegetated with a stunning diversity of now-rare plants before descending a steep hillside to walk among the Blue Gums and Blackbutts in the valley as part of the Blue Gum Creek walk in Kenthurst in The Hills.
Late winter or early spring is the perfect time for the Wildflower Walk, when our normally grey-green bush bursts with colour.
The Boronia Tours guided walks last about two hours and are a perfect introduction to bushwalking. For the more adventurous, night walks are also on offer. These tours allow you to explore the bush in safety and security, while learning about Sydney’s unique flora.
Alternating outdoors and indoors
Let’s face it, the Hills District isn’t known as the Garden Shire for nothing ‒ and we love its incredible bush and gardens ‒ but it does rain from time to time, or it’s so hot you can’t move.
On those occasions, why not try out one of the classes at your local gym? It’s never too late to get started. Many classes are tailored specifically for seniors, classes are fun, and enrolling in a class can provide a good incentive to go no matter what your level of enthusiasm on the day.
- Castle Hill Fitness and Aquatic Centre (C2KFitness) runs the highly popular ‘Live Long Stay Strong’ classes for older adults. Classes run for 45 minutes to an hour, and are designed to improve balance, co-ordination and flexibility as well as cardiovascular fitness. They provide a fun, social setting suitable for all levels of fitness.
- The Fitness Centre also has special yoga classes for seniors, as well as aquagym classes, perfect for the heatwave days. The New South Wales Government directory, ‘Active and Healthy,’ also provides a multitude of options for seniors when it comes to fitness in The Hills District, from Stepping On in Baulkham HIlls to Tai Chi in Castle Hill.
So, with just a little bit of planning and a good dose of enthusiasm you’ll quickly find that there many fun things to do in Castle Hill, Kellyville, Kenthurst and nearby suburbs. It’s a great time of the year to head outside and start exploring our beautiful surroundings, while keeping healthy and fit at the same time. Go get moving.
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