Balingup autumn colours, by Dave CastroDon’t you love being outdoors?

If you’re reading this then perhaps not! I know how addictive the internet can be, and many’s the time I’ve put off going for my daily run under the pretext of, ‘just one more thing I need to look at on Google before I put on my running shoes and head for the beach.’

But when I’m outside and the sun is shining, a peace descends upon me that’s almost spiritual by nature. I love the sound of birds, rustling trees, crashing waves and the soft feel of grass or the squeaky clean texture of sand between my toes.

The trend for children to spend more time inside the house than outside has led The National Trust in London and South East England to launch a nationwide campaign to encourage sofa bound children to get outside and enjoy classic adventures. You know, the Swallows & Amazons type of adventures.

As I read through the list I realized that perhaps many older people haven’t yet had the chance to do all the things on it, and felt encouraged to go and tick a few more off myself.

National Trust has 50 things to do checklist before you’re 12

So although the National Trust’s ’50 Things to do before you’re eleven and three quarters is a checklist for the under 12s, it could also be a checklist for the young at heart.

They’re encouraging people to share stories on and If you’d like the full list, then go to

With apologies to the National Trust, here’s an amended, shortened list of 20 outdoor things to do in Western Australia  for the young at heart, with suggested places to do them.

Climb a tree in Pemberton,

  1. Climb a tree – Pemberton, South West Australia. The Bicentennial Tree above is 75m high. Can you spot the climber?
  2. Roll down a really big hill – The Pongorup Range, Albany
  3. Camp out in the wild – The Kimberley, North West Australia
  4. Build a den – Nannup, South West Australia
  5. Skim a stone – Big Brook Dam, Pemberton
  6. Run around nude in the rain – Nudist beach, Bunbury in Autumn
  7. Fly a kite – Dongara
  8. Catch a crab with a net – Leschenault Estuary, Bunbury
  9. Eat an apple straight form a tree – Donnybrook, South West Australia
  10. Hunt for treasure on the beach – Middleton Beach, Albany
  11. Swing on a rope swing – Blackwood River, Bridgetown
  12. Take a look inside a tree – Valley of the Giants, Walpole
  13. Visit an island – Rottnest
  14. Canoe down a river – Collie River to Honeymoon Pool
  15. Try abseiling – Bluff Knoll, Stirling Ranges
  16. Find your way with a map and compass – Wellington National Park, Ferguson Valley
  17. Go on a nature walk at night – The Bibbulman Track anywhere between Kalamunda and Albany
  18. Feed a bird from your hand – Gloucester National Park, Pemberton
  19. Watch the sun set – Broome, North West Australia
  20. Eat grapes fresh from the vines – Margaret River

Where in the world might you do some of these things?

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  1. Steve Digby

    Seems like we missed a lot of things to do in WA!!! And as I’m still so young at heart, we’ll have to get back there and finish the trip off!!!

  2. Thanks so much for popping by, Steve. Appreciate you taking time to comment here. Yes, reckon a WA adventure is in order soon 🙂

  3. Jenny Buzer

    To really camp in the wild you have to come here and pitch tent where things can eat you! And I don’t mean mosquitoes.

  4. I feel so great now! I have done some of these. I might have to try and achieve the rest….though I don’t know about running nude in the rain……not at my age now…..
    BUT, what I love more than anything else is being out in nature, walking, camping, sitting by a camp fire, star gazing out in the bush, climbing a mountain to see the view, watching the early morning mist rise at dawn, walking bare foot in my pyjamas to take photos at dawn, sunset drinks on the beach under a beautiful sunset, just sit in the bush and listen to the birds, taking photos of wildflowers…and yes, roll in the grass with a lover (not done that for a while!)…Oh to be young and carefree again!!! Isn’t Western Australia the most amazing place! Forget aging, get out and be young!
    Wonderful post Jo!

  5. Ha Ha Jenny! So true! But, I’m thinking about it didn’t Bill Bryson say something to the effect that there’s more deadly things in Aus that can kill you than anywhere else in the world?

  6. Thanks Jill 🙂 I loved all your ‘get-out-and-do-them’ descriptions of being out in nature. Totally relate to them all. As long as we’re young at heart we can still do most of the pursuits on the list, although as you say, running nude in the rain could shock a few people!

  7. I checked out the National Trust list and happy to say I’d well and truly ticked off all of those by my 12th birthday –
    A bit worrying that kids are having to be reminded to get out there and have fun :/
    But love your adaptation for WA reminding us of some great places to go (and have fun!) 🙂

  8. Thanks Linda. Definitely a change in generation norms. Me too, ticked all of before I was 12 . Despite all good intentions not sure if my kids did. Still I’m going to have fun with the grandies one day methinks! How about you? glad you enjoyed the WA take – Any suggestions for over in your neck of the woods?

  9. Back in the day (by eck) before mobile phones, computer games and risk assessments we would disappear for the whole day and only return at dinner time or dark – whichever came first – after a hard day in the outdoors riding bikes, making rope swings, sliding down big hills on bits of cardboard, scrumping apples and eating wild blackberries. Sublime.

  10. So relate Tracey! Scrumping apples from the manor house, over the wall, running the gauntlet of yapping yorkshire terriers, damming streams, mucking out … and about, so different to the pressures and indoorsiness kid face today.

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