With the latest news of NSW's mid-October re-opening ( YAY!), it doesn't hurt to take some of the socially distanced hobbies we have picked up over the last 18-months with us well into the future.
Here are our top picks:
There has been no evidence of community transmission in swimming pools or the ocean. So far, so good. Even if your local pool isn't open (a magnet for crowds on hot days anyway), there are plenty of places to get your swim fix.
In Newcastle we are blessed with 2 huge ocean baths and an epic stretch of coastline easily accessible and freely available to everyone. It's time to make the most of them!
'Don a swimming cap, grab a pair of goggles and you're off any racing. Both a solo-hobby and something you can enjoy with friends and in organised groups, swimming is also one of the best forms of low impact exercise with huge health benefits.
Swimming not your vibe? The relative safety of being outside and in the water also opens you up to sports like surfing, bodyboarding, standup paddle-boarding and kayaking.
Top tip: Check City of Newcastles cleaning schedule at both Merewether and Newcastle Ocean Baths before you make the plunge to avoid an empty pool. Check it out here.
Played on a huge court, with you and your playing partner are separated by a net i.e. plenty of space! Even if you play doubles it's easy to keep your distance with everyone on the court.
You can play the whole game only physically striking the ball with your racquet, avoiding physical contact with your opponents all together. With the added bonus of being a great physical sport this is a hobby you can play long after lockdown.
Book a court by visiting City of Newcastle's tennis court information page here
With staggered starts (tee times), your own equipment and acres and acres of outdoor space, you're in luck with this one. Golf has a bit of a learning curve to getting started and green fees (the cost to play) are steep at some clubs but never fear, learning is half the fun of it and you can find the right club near you.
It's also a sport that promotes a huge social following with golf clubs promoting camaraderie amongst members, food and drink specials and loads of other initiatives. All great things to look forward to post lockdown.
One of our favourites is Merewether Golf Club with our mates Smokin' Irons (Smokin' Hot 'n' Saucy' on the grills there too. Check it out here
With a camera built into every smartphone these days, everyone is capable of snapping a photo. Investing some time and effort into taking a great photo pays off long into the future.
A great solo-venture, photography is an art that takes years to master with loads of different gear and resources available for beginners and pros. With a buzzing community of likeminded photographers online you can easily share you work, get feedback and learn by connecting with a huge community of artists.
You knew this one was coming right? With all the fresh air, bike lanes and public roads available, cycling has experienced a huge boom over the last 18 months (one of the reasons we started Newy Rides was because of its popularity). Be it socially with mates or solo for commuting or fitness, cycling is a great socially distanced option to keep you active.
Post lockdown, keep the pedals spinning by organising group rides, join clubs and meet a friend for a coffee after a whole bunch of kilometres in the saddle.
Newy Rides has a FREE self-guided cycling tour of Newcastle you can do right now. Click here