Outdoors NSW and ACT, the umbrella organization that supports outdoor recreational, educational and adventure tourism, have partnered with Canberra Tourism to encourage the NSW community to explore Canberra – not only to help revitalize the local economy, but also to take the time to reconnect. regroup and recharge in the great outdoors.
With the 2019/2020 fires and COVID-19 causing dramatic losses to the ACT tourism industry over the past 12 to 18 months and with international tourism still non-existent, local outdoor providers across ACT have been severely affected. The variety of outdoor experiences makes the ACT the ideal destination for everyone who wants to get some fresh air and enjoy the vastness.
Lori Modde, Managing Director of Outdoors NSW and ACT said that since more than half of the ACT is a wildlife sanctuary, “the native beauty that is featured throughout the ACT is incredible. Whether you ride a bike or mountain bike, float in a hot air balloon, ride a horse, jump in a boat, climb facades, paddle rivers, fish in lakes and camp or stay overnight in one of the most important and beautiful bushland in Australia, the outdoor tourism operator of ACT now more than ever need the support of our local neighbors.
“We encourage families, couples, groups of friends, and individuals to experience the gorges, waterfalls, viewpoints, mountains, native animals, and scenic flora. Come and discover what our capital has to offer as the international borders are closed for the foreseeable future. “
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a number of negative effects on physical and mental health across society; with increased anxiety, depression, isolation, sedentary lifestyle, harmful alcohol consumption, and vitamin D deficiency, to name a few; Family doctors, psychologists and physical therapists have joined the call to take responsibility for their wellbeing and just get outside.
Dr. Kevin Cheng, a family doctor and founder of Osana, added, “As we move into the cooler months, it is especially important that we focus on being outdoors as much as possible. Since one in four Australians is deficient in vitamin D, which is critical to healthy bones, teeth, and muscles, the easiest way to increase your vitamin D is just to be in the sun as your skin produces its own vitamin D. Be more active, get some fresh air, and avoid pandemic risks by being indoors when active outbreaks occur. “
Dr. Kirsten Hunter, clinical psychologist, also joined the conversation, explaining how the restrictions on social gatherings, curfew, school camp cancellation and, in general, less human contact have affected children’s psychological wellbeing.
“Our contact with the world in general for the past 12 months has mainly been through a computer screen, especially for our children. That is why it is more important than ever to leave our concrete walls and immerse yourself in nature. Exercise and engaging in the great outdoors are an important part of honoring our mind and body. it is our natural and very effective antidepressant. Just a short time in nature can improve mood, increase creativity and increase productivity, while for families it can neutralize stress and improve family communication, leading to healthier, more balanced lives, “said Dr. Hunter.
The ACT offers a range of outdoor activities that are suitable for all budgets, abilities, and ages. Here visitors can reap the full spectrum of mental and physical health benefits.
Right in the heart of Canberra lies the Jerrabomberra Wetlands, a water bird wonderland that is home to a diverse panorama of flora and fauna, including over 170 different species of birds. With hiking trails, boardwalks and renovated birdhouses, visitors can spend their time completely in nature and admire the wildlife without disrupting their habitat or natural behavior.
Alternatively, visitors can take nightly tours at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary to spot Eastern Bettongs, Eastern Quoll, some Bush Stone curlews, and perhaps some New Holland mice – and learn why their existence is so important to forest habitat.
On family property in the Canberra area, visitors will find Burnlee Horse Riding, where getting back to nature on horseback is suitable for all skill levels, including absolute beginners.
Cycle Canberra allows you to traverse Lake Burley Griffin or choose your own adventure. Cycling gives you the freedom and luxury to do it your way, but with all the added benefits of exercise and enjoying the great outdoors.
If you’d prefer to be more “city-bound”, you can take a bespoke walking tour with Marg Wade of Canberra Secret Tours. From discovering local street art and artists, to local history, to some hidden gems in the galleries.
Modde adds, “The easy accessibility for NSW visitors to get to the ACT and experience all it has to offer makes it an attractive destination for those who want a change of scenery without having to travel too far. With Canberra only a two and a half hour drive from Sydney and this year encouraging all Australians to vacation locally, now is the best time to support ACT outdoor operators. It’s been a turbulent 12-18 months, it’s time to explore the wonders in our own back yard instead of dreaming about the commercialized international destinations!
“With a number of airlines offering reasonably priced round-trip flights to Canberra, or maybe it’s time to get the Spotify road trip playlist out, now is definitely the time to get outdoors on the ACT.”
Find out more about ACT specials through Outdoors NSW & ACT here.
Image above from Cycle Canberra and above from Jerrabomberra Wetlands
On the subject of matching items
April 19, 2021 – Outdoors NSW and ACT raise funding to help teens engage in active recreation
March 14, 2021 – Lori Modde is named AuSAE Association Influencer 2020
December 16, 2020 – Event highlights the importance of developing nature games across NSW
October 1, 2020 – Outdoors NSW and ACT named finalists in the Western Sydney Awards for Business Excellence
September 2, 2020 – The outdoor industry continues to urge the government to reconsider its COVID restrictions
August 14, 2020 – Outdoor industry calls for a responsible return to outdoor education
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