Andrew from SportUNEs Outdoor Adventure Club, rock climbing

Interview with Andrew Woolley, Outdoor Adventure Club

We live in an awesome part of the world, with many national parks less than 100km away that boast incredible hiking, camping, and rock-climbing activities – it’s safe to say that adventure is well and truly in our backyard.

If you’ve visited SportUNE during the evenings of Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, you might have seen people scaling our indoor climbing wall. That’s run by UNE’s Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC). They’ve been running some pretty cool outdoor activities for UNE and Armidale community members for some time now, and so we thought we’d highlight some of the adventurings they get up to!

To kick things off, we spoke with the OAC President Andrew Woolley. Andrew gave us some insight into membership and the cool events the club runs throughout the year. Thanks for spending some time with us Andrew!

What is your role within OAC?

As President of the Outdoor Adventure Club, I am the point of contact for both UNE and SportUNE and am heavily involved with organising events and setting up the calendar for the club. I am also involved with ensuring the club has all the equipment required and organising the climbing gym at SportUNE.

So, what really is the UNE Outdoor Adventure Club?

It’s fun! The OAC is a club for people interested in a variety of outdoor activities. Anything adventurous and outdoors is fair game. We are blessed in the New England, there’s such a great diversity of local outdoor areas and national parks which offer countless adventure opportunities.

What activities does the club undertake?

The activities undertaken by the club depend on what activities the members are keen to run. At the moment the focus has been on climbing and bushwalking/camping, but this can change depending on member interests and skills. We recently dusted off our club kayaks and will run some kayaking events to test the craft – so watch this space!

Some of the events on our calendar include:

  • a camping, bushwalking, and climbing trip to Mount Kaputar National Park;
  • a climbing trip to Coffs Harbour where there will also be opportunities for bushwalking in a unique patch of bushland;
  • A Winter Solstice camp at the New England National Park;
  • A multi-activity trip to Kwiamble National Park near Inverell

Some event we’ve recently ran include:

  • Kayak test event at Dumarsq Dam;
  • Relaxed fun day at Gara Gorge – climbing and walking;
  • Bushwalk at Dangers Falls

In addition to running these activities, the club is also involved with the running and upkeep of the SportUNE’s climbing wall. This includes providing instructors to man the wall on public nights (currently Wednesday and Friday from 1730), setting routes, and general maintenance. In 2012, the club designed and arranged for an extension to the climbing wall so that there is now a bouldering cave.

Outdoor Adventure Club, male rock climbing
Outdoor Adventure Club, female rock climbing

Who can get involved with the club?

Anyone with an interest in outdoor adventure activities. No experience is necessary, as we will provide the necessary training, and in many cases, also provide equipment. We are open to UNE students or members of the Armidale community – so get in touch and come along!

What benefits might club members receive?

Our club trips of course! Additionally, club members can also borrow club gear for their own personal adventures! We’ve got a selection of tents, sleeping bags, hiking backpacks, and a range of climbing gear. SportUNE also opens its climbing wall for members only on Monday nights.

Andrew - Outdoor Adventure Club, Rock Climbing
Outdoor Adventure Club, Female rock Climbing

What’s the best way for someone to find out more about the club or to sign up?

You can reach out to us via our Facebook page, or drop by the SportUNE climbing wall on either Monday, or Friday and have a chat with one of the members on supervision duty. This is also an opportunity to meet and talk to other members.

To join the club as a full member you can access the club registration page via the UNE Life website here.

What do you enjoy the most about being part of the club?

The opportunity to develop skills from experienced people, I have learned a lot of skills from other club members. It is also great to see people get out into the great outdoors and have a wonderful time.

Thanks so much for chatting with us Andrew – we’re super excited to see the pictures from your next trip!

If you’re a student at UNE and interested in joining a Club or Society you can check out all the details here!