Off-season adventures

Weekend sports are great. They are a great opportunity to meet new people, feel part of a team, get some exercise, release some pent-up energy, improve your skills and give you something to do on the weekends.

Ah, the weekends. During winter sport seasons, spare weekends to do something other than play sport are a rarity. However, the routine of training and game day is something that goes missing during the off-season. You may love or hate this. Me, personally? I’m feeling a little lost with my evenings and weekends sans sport. And as a sportsperson who doesn’t do so well with racquet or bat striking sports, my weekends are opportunities for exploring this great area. But what to do? If you’re like me, you may well be wondering the same question. So I’ve put together a list of things to do on those balmy evenings you don’t have to go to training, or for those weekends you aren’t commited to representing a team.

Go to the theatre:

By theatre I mean the one with real people acting in front of you, having only one chance to get their lines right. And you thought there was pressure in sport?! No way would you catch me up on stage, I’d prefer to leave it to the experts. Starting this week (8th-12th Nov), Moliere’s Tartuffee is being performed at the Swan Hill Theatre (47 McCrae St, Swan Hill; tickets $20 adult, $18 concession, $15 student). A comedy written in 1664 about money and power, its themes still strike a chord with the attitudes of today’s society.

If opera is more your thing (and even it it isn’t, maybe you should give it a go?!), the upcoming production of Death by Soprano at the Swan Hill Town Hall should tickle your fancy. Another humourous storyline; in this one the soprano dies. And no, I didn’t forget the spoiler alert- apparently sopranos dying is a rule of opera. The things you learn when you try new things. Sunday the 20th of November is the only performance, starting at 5pm, tickets $20-30. Get there at 4pm to enjoy the complementary afternoon tea. Death and scones- do you need any more convincing?

Play mini-golf:

Yes, I know, I’m not overly good at sports where an object is required to make the ball move. But mini-golf is one I can seem to manage well enough. The Big 4 Swan Hill has an 18-hole course which non-guests are also welcome to use. Let us know if you score a hole-in-one on hole 18: it’s the hole that will bring your impressive lead undone. $6 including putter and ball hire. Whilst the course at the Tooleybuc Sporting Club is a little older than the Big 4 one, it still offers enough challenges to cause you to want to have Happy Gilmore-esque meltdowns once or twice (or maybe that’s just me?). Putter and ball hire is around $5-6 from memory.

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Sunset at Lake Tyrell

Visit Lake Tyrell:

Yes, it’s been all over facebook, on instagram (guilty), in tourist guides, on travel blogs and even the television news. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid it. Embrace the hype and enthusiasm and take the 50 minute drive from Swan Hill out past Sea Lake. This is a perfect after-work treat if you want to impress someone. Take some gourmet nibbles and enjoy watching the sun go down, attempt to take some photos using the lake’s reflections, or simply sit back, people watch and soak it all in. Hot tip: wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty/muddy. Gumboots are ideal.

Visit the home towns of your opponents:

Often on game day you head straight to the ground and spend your time there. Well, now’s your chance to see what the town has to offer beside the banter of their supporters and eye candy of their players.

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The Gunnawarra Wetlands

*Koondrook/Barham– take a bike and explore the well-designed bike tracks around town or go a little further and head into the forest to explore Gunbower Island and the Gunnawarra wetlands.

*Cohuna– head out to another part of Gunbower Island and be in awe of the (more than) 400 year-old red gums.

*Tooleybuc- a fantastic playground on the foreshore should keep children (young and old) entertained for ages, the flying fox is a ripper. Bring along a picnic or grab something from the local store.

*Nyah West- drive down the main street and imagine all the store fronts in their former glory. Pick up some award-winning sausages from Leo at the Nyah West Butchery.

*Wycheproof- the gorgeous Bakery on Broadway is serving awesome coffee and great food. Make the trip and spend the morning out there.

Markets:

These are the perfect thing to spend your weekends visiting, as it is nigh on impossible to do during the season.

*First Saturday of the Month- Murrabit Market (a favourite of 3585livestayplay). One of the biggest outdoor markets in the area, if not the state.

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Some of the goodies you can pick up at the Swan Hill Farmers Market

*First Sunday of the Month- Swan Hill Farmers Market; a small market with fresh produce and products from the local area. A definite must.

*Second Saturday of the Month- Nyah Lions Market; go for the donuts. They are worth the drive. I promise.

*Third Saturday of the Month- Anglican Boot Sale Market, Swan Hill. Range of goods on offer out the front of the Anglican Church Function Centre.

*Third Sunday of the Month- Rotary Club of Swan Hill Market. Pick up some fruit and veggies, look through the books and satisfy your green thumb.

What are you going to tick off your list first? I’m personally off to the theatre this Thursday night to watch Tartuffee. And then I’ll be getting my donut fix this Saturday… Pre-season will be here before we know it, so best start making the most of the free weekends. Enjoy!

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The bike trail in Koondrook

 

 

 

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