26.06.2019

The best indoor activities to hit up this winter

Northside Boulders

Keep toasty when the season begins to bite.

Northside Boulders

Tell us a bit about the background of Northside Boulders. How did it begin and when?

The Northside Boulders ‘I-hate-my-day-job’ project began five years ago when five climbers bought a small gym in Abbotsford: the Lactic Factory. Then it started getting a little cramped, so we opened our second gym in Brunswick in 2015. Our newest gym in Northcote came in early 2018.

How does it stand out from other rock climbing or bouldering gyms?

The Northside Boulders are gyms run by climbers for climbers. We try to blend old-school hard training with new-school gymnastic movement in a relaxed and friendly setting. We provide weekly workshops on climbing techniques and etiquettes, as well as yoga sessions.

You guys have dedicated Women’s Nights and ladies-only bouldering sessions too. What do these entail?

Gyms can be intimidating places for many people. Our aim is to cultivate a diverse community of climbers that feel comfortable in our spaces. For women’s nights, there’s a female coach on hand to help get people off the ground (nice) along with free shoe and chalk hire. We also regularly host the Climbing QTs, an amazing community run project for the LGBTQI community (check their FB for details).

Is there anything you’re trying to push this winter in particular?

Our winter social competition, the Boulder Ladder starts July 5 and runs for eight weeks at all gyms. It’s our favourite way of staying warm.

Find Northside Boulders at 109-113 Helen St, Northcote, 1 Studley St, Abbotsford and 329 Victoria St, Brunswick. For more info, head to northsideboulders.com.

Gravity Worx

Gravity Worx

Tell us a bit about Gravity Worx. How did it start and when?

I desperately sought an indoor gym that would set new routes every week. This wasn’t available in the current gyms, so I decided to build a gym that would provide climbers with the challenge of new routes every week.

How does it stand out from other rock-climbing gyms?

We have 50 walls to climb on with 16 auto belays, this means you climb by yourself on tall walls with huge varieties of styles and grades. We’re the only gym with the Olympic speed route, so you can try a world class climb.

For someone who has never rock climbed before, why should they get involved?

Climbing is an amazing hobby as it not only works your whole body, but your mind as well! As climbers, you get to solve new problems with every climb and get fit in the process.

The Gravity Worx Jump Free Fall Experience sounds great. What does this entail?

The free fall experience is climbing 13m, standing above this height, and jumping off. An auto belay drops you the first few meters then catches and lowers you to the ground. It’s great for any thrill seekers’ climbing experience.

Is there anything you’re trying to push this winter in particular?

We’re taking advantage of the early evening darkness and switching off all the lights and climbing in the dark! Using only a headtorch to guide your path, it adds new elements to your climbing experience normally only experienced outdoors!

Find Gravity Worx at 182-184 Sussex St, Pascoe Vale. Head to gravityworx.com.au for more info.

Paint for Fun

Paint for Fun

Tell us a bit about Paint for Fun. How did it start and when?

Paint for Fun started three years ago. The idea was combining painting with alcohol and now it’s a creative hub for all levels, specialising in social painting classes in seven venues with a team of five amazing artists.

How does it stand out from other art classes around Melbourne?

Our moto is ‘Art Made Easy’; we’re inclusive and supportive. Your art isn’t being graded or labelled. We provide great equipment, and each class teaches new techniques or methods to try at home. The more you paint, the better you get!

For someone who has never painted or been into art, why should they get involved?

Magic happens outside of your comfort zone; the joy of creativity is achieved every time we teach a person who ‘isn’t artistic’. Painting is beneficial, it encourages creative thinking, develops communication skills, problem solving, and it’s FUN!

You have heaps of events coming up. What should people keep an eye out for?

Our most fun and social classes are Paint your Dog and Painting Partners. We take you step by step to create a beautiful portrait of your loved ones while having some drinks, eats, and laughs.

Is there anything you’re trying to push this winter?

We started regular Saturday painting classes in a BYO drinks studio at Gasworks Art Park. We also hold private painting events for 15+ people. It’s great and a different idea for parties or a team building event.

Find Paint for Fun at various locations around Melbourne. For more information, head to paintforfun.com.au.

Aussie Brewery Tours

Tell us a bit about Aussie Brewery Tours. How did it start and when? 

Aussie Brewery Tours started when the owner, Scott, wanted to go on a brewery tour and none existed. Seven years later and last week TripAdvisor ranked us as one of the Top 10 beer experiences in the world…And Scott still hasn’t been on that tour as a drinker! 

What do the tours include? 

Everything: transport, mega tastings – and we mean mega – complimentary drinks, food, expert guides and the best beer, cider and spirit venues in the state!  

What are some of your more popular tours and why are they so popular? 

The Yarra Valley is the most popular tour as it has the most variety in what you get to drink, eat and the types of venues. Our Melbourne Urban and Mornington aren’t far behind though and are both cracking tours!  

For someone who has never been into brewery tours or tours in general, why should they get involved?  

Expect quite a few laughs, karaoke on the bus, ample amounts of awesome booze, great food and stories about how German nuns, marijuana, smashed up chickens, Harry Potter and orgasms gave us one of the world’s most popular beer styles.   

Are there any tours coming up this winter that you’re trying to push in particular? 

I understand why everyone wants to tour in summer, but in winter there are better drinks, better food, the staff are generally more relaxed and there is just something about sitting next to a fire with a high-abv drink and a full belly that is wonderful! 

For more info and a full list of the tours Aussie Brewery Tours offer, head to aussiebrewerytours.com.au.