Let’s face it I’ve always been fitter in my imagination than in reality. However it’s not always necessary to be super-fit to explore some really amazing outdoor activities. Here are my top tips for the great outdoors for the unfit
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The high salt flats of Bolivia are look completely other-worldly, but are in fact easily accessed, once you get to remote Uyuni that is! No walking is involved as there are regular 4WD treks across the salt plains in the dry season. You may choose to walk away from the vehicle for the perfect photo, but it’s all dead flat walking! The sun it brutal though so bring plenty of sun protection!
Highest Mountain in Australia
Ever fancied climbing the highest peak of a continent? Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mt Blanc in Europe, Everest – all require fitness and significant cash. The highest mountain on the Australian continent, Mt Kosciusko, not so much. Mt Kosciusko is near Thredbo a ski resort in NSW. To get to the top, outside of ski season, involves a chair lift ride to 1940m plus a 3-4 hour walk to the 2240m summit. A child could do it, in fact many have, either pushed in a stroller or walking.
Able Tasman National Park Great Walk
New Zealand has some amazing mountain walks, but even the popular Tongariro Crossing, is a very serious walk, which the unfit would be wise to avoid. The Able Tasman National park, in contrast has a delightful walk along the coastline. Tired of carrying your pack? Get the frequent water taxis to drop it off at your destination. Really tired? Get them to drop you off! Plus there are several lodges which will offer you gourmet meals nad clean sheets and ensuites, rather than the traditional, and basic, New Zealand tramping hut.
The Swiss Alps have some of the most dangerous climbing conditions in the world. They also have some of the most developed train systems of any alpine area. The mountain train to the Jungfrau, isn’t cheap, but it will get up among the high peaks without getting sweaty.
Staying Dry On The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef has any number of options for non-divers: from one-day resort courses, to full certification. But what if you really are nervous, of don’t like getting wet? No problem, out of Cairns you’ll find semi-submersibles which run from fixed dive platforms – which will give you an up-close view without getting wet.
Igauazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina
The Igauzu Falls on the Brazilian/Argentina border are some of the world’s most impressive waterfalls. You don’t need to kayak or canoe to see them though. Instead you hire a boat, or walk some of precarious walkways near the top edge of the falls. The whole area will have you very, very wet, as the fine mist from the falls spreads for hundreds of meters, but the only reason your heart rate will be up is the scenery.
Trekking in Nepal
Requiring a bit more fitness than the previous options, the Annapurna trek, in particular can be a fairly easy walk, if you hire porters to carry your gear, and give your body time to acclimatize to the altitude. There are plenty of tea-houses on the route so there is no need to carry anything except warm cloths and a sleeping bag.
Invented in New Zealand, there are now bungy jumping options in many parts of the world. It might be bad for your heart, but you don’t actually need to be fit to jump from a high object with a rope attached to your ankles. Not however recommended if you have some medical conditions such as high blood pressure or extreme short-sightedness.
Snowmobiling in Canada
Cross country skiing is hard work, so why not hire the quad-bikes of the snow and take the hard work out of it? I popular sport in Canada and the US for good reason. Only thing you need to have is warm clothing!
Hot Air Ballooning
The safest way to fly, and one of the most spectacular requires little to no physical fitness. Usually done at dawn, the views and peace makes the early start well worthwhile. Popular in many locations worldwide.
So don’t make being unfit your excuse to stay inside and miss some of the world’s most beautiful. As they say; just do it!