Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published August 5th 2012
Get naked and play some golf
Spring in Sydney
Spring is the silly season, where it's warm enough to leave your gloves at home but not quite warm enough yet for everybody to start sweating all the time. When you've fallen into a routine, though, it can be difficult to adjust. You might wear your heavy coat out in the suddenly warm weather, for instance – or keep going out to the same mulled wine bars and stuffy pubs that you frequented during winter.
It's hard to get back into the swing of things. Sometimes it helps to just do something you've never done before, or go someplace you've never been. Here are some activities to bridge the gap between winter and summer.
Riverside Oaks Golf Course
Golf is the perfect spring sport: not quite energetic enough to keep you warm on a cold winter's day, but, if you don't cheat and use a golf cart, it's easy to overheat during summer. Visit your nearest public golf course or, if you've got the money, head down to the Hawkesbury River and play at Riverside Oaks. It's at 74 O'Briens Road, Cattai, and hosts events as prestigious as the Australian PGA championship.
No matter your skill level, it's always fun to get a few friends together and play. Not great at fine control? Hire a club and whack some balls Happy-Gilmore-style at a driving range. Too feeble for that? There's always the putting green, which is much harder to humiliate yourself on. A little friendly competition – perhaps assisted by a handicap – is an excellent way to ring in the changing of the seasons.
Lady Bay Nude Beach
One of Australia's oldest nude beaches, Lady Bay Beach at Watsons Bay has been a legal naturist's paradise since 1976. It's protected by surrounding cliff faces, but still easily accessible – just take the ferry from Circular Quay. Sometimes it's called 'Lady Jane' Beach, for unknown reasons, so don't be confused if some of the signs or locals use that name.
Paul Fischer's 'The Bathers'.
Surprisingly, spring is the perfect time for nude bathing. The same cold weather that makes it uncomfortable to swim also drives away most people from the beaches, creating the perfect secluded atmosphere. Even some of the more questionable nude beaches like Cobblers Beach or Obelisk Beach (both on Middle Head) are good to visit in spring: you'll only find die-hard naturists, not the oglers and perverts that flock to nude beaches in summer.
Royal Botanic Gardens
You knew it was coming: ask anybody to describe the seasons, and when they get to spring they'll mention trees and flowers. This is the time of year when gardens are at their most beautiful – no yellowed grass or fading flower petals. Bring a picnic blanket and a hamper (a partner and a bottle of wine, if you're looking for a little romance) or just wander by yourself like some itinerant poet. In any case, head on down to Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.
There are thirty hectares' worth of flora to explore, and you've only got ten hours to do it, since the gardens shut at 5pm. If you miss something interesting, though, or if grim-faced gardeners frogmarch you out at 4:59, you can always come back the next day. Entrance is free (except for the Tropical Centre, which doesn't have a particularly spring-friendly atmosphere anyway).