How to Ambush Your Morning Like an Aussie

A special edition of the "miracle morning," from the country that does it best

June 12, 2023 5:46 am
Make like a Sydneysider and rise with the sun this summer.
Make like a Sydneysider and rise with the sun this summer.
Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Australia’s top export is technically iron ore. The country ships out hundreds of metric tons of the stuff per year.

But the country’s less official — and much more fun — top export is their embrace of the early morning. An overwhelming majority of the country reportedly wakes up before 7 a.m., while global sleep pattern research (published by the University of Michigan) confirmed that the average Australian wakes up just after 6:45 in the morning.

The country, and Sydney, especially, has spent years spreading its crack-of-dawn gospel far and wide, most famously in the form of workout classes and brekkie cafes. If you live in New York or Los Angeles, you might be surprised to learn just how many familiar names are actually imports from Oz:

  • Fitness: F45 Training, 12RND Fitness, Body Fit Training, KX Pilates, Happy Melon Studios, Flow Athletic
  • Food: Bluestone Lane, Two Hands, Ruby’s, Banter, Paramount, Little Collins

All are worth a visit if you happen to live nearby. But you don’t need to frequent a literal Australian establishment in order to import a more energized and inspired morning into your own life. With an assist from one of Australia’s other top exports — the affable ex-pats crawling all over North Brooklyn — we’ve crafted together a special Aussie edition of the miracle morning. When to wake up, what to do, in hour to even half-hour increments.

The outline is likely best imagined for an off-day with warm weather (as Sydneysiders are spoiled by forever-Ferris Bueller skies), but various tenets can be applied to literally any morning in the calendar year.

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5:30 a.m.

Time to get up: While the average Aussie wakes up 75 minutes after this, we’re vying for an above average, Bondi Rescue-worthy morning. That has you up a bit before the sun (or right around sunrise, depending on where you live in the States). Try not to eat anything at this point. A swig of water is encouraged.

6:00 a.m.

Time to leave the house: And head straight into your workout. Most gyms worth their salt have a 6 a.m. class you can sign up for. Australia’s workout exports trend towards the high-intensity side — think nonstop circuits where you screw over your teammates if you don’t give maximum effort — and will help you reach Zones 4 or 5 meres minutes after the start.

It’s an assault on the system to burn so many calories so early in the morning, no doubt, but it’s pretty special to have logged your primary workout for the day before 7 a.m. Wellness experts talk about the perils of being regularly reactive to the morning; you’re always starting the day on your back foot. But committing to an early workout scheme puts you firmly in the driver’s seat.

If you’d rather not get screamed at so early in the morning, which is totally understandable, know that Aussies are eager runners, too. Just lace up your shoes and go for a few miles. If you’re lucky enough to live near a coast, end it with an ocean swim, which is another favorite. My personal “greatest hits” of wake-ups have all started in this exact fashion.

7:30 a.m.

Time for brekkie: Early bird gets the fluffy ricotta hotcakes. Or the scrambled egg sandwich, or the avo toast, or the passionfruit yogurt bowl, or the banana bread…you get the idea. Aussies rightfully recognize that breakfast is no sin; done right, with attention to detail and fresh ingredients (which the continent has in droves), it’s a perfect way to start off the day.

Some other, Aussie-specific reasons that brekkie works so well: Australia has extremely high standards for its coffee, often winning international roasting awards. Plus, Aussie cafes open as early as six in the morning — ex-pats we spoke to expressed their endless surprise that some prominent New York cafes don’t get going until eight.

And finally, it’s important to remember that brekkie is a time for Aussies (famously social creatures) to convene and chatter with friends, which makes the prospect of getting out of a bed a whole lot less daunting. Sydney’s pavement cafes are an excellent example of a “third place,” or any location outside of the home or workplace where peers can gather on a consistent, informal basis. Falling into a similar routine could legitimately work wonders for your mental health.

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9:00 a.m.

Time for a coastal walk: More exercise? Yeah, sort of. Coastal ambles are sacrosanct in Australia, unsurprisingly, and the morning is the best time of day to unfurl a nice long one. With your workout done, this is less about counting stops or frying calories, and more about taking more time outside, talking with a friend, perhaps just watching the water. (While you’re at it, familiarize yourself with the benefits of “blue mind theory.”)

If you don’t have a body of water to walk along, that’s okay. Wherever you go, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of walking off a meal, especially after a big brekkie. Meanwhile the movement will provide some critical “active recovery” after the difficult class or running season from earlier.


Time to relax: Note that everything up until this point could be conceivably completed before a workday. But since we’re more or less simulating a summer’s day in Sydney — and locals don’t really work too much in December or January — we’ll stick to the script that you’re working with weekend or vacation day. So: what next? That’s up to you. There’s nothing particularly Aussie about the afternoon that we don’t have here: sports, BBQ, more socializing, a book in a sunny spot. Do what feels right and take a load off after your dynamo of a morning.

5:30 p.m.

Time for your dinner reservation: Believe it or not, this is actually a very popular time to eat out at a restaurant in Sydney, where most places start stacking chairs before 10 p.m. Settle in somewhere for an hour or two, if the place permits, and if it’s your thing, add a couple drinks to whatever you got going in the late afternoon. There’s no pressure to stay up all night — the goal’s to coast into the evening, catch some of the sunset and call it a day while you’re still riding high.

9:30 p.m.

Time to wind down for bed: A nugget we neglected to mention earlier — Aussies have some of the earliest bedtimes, too. They head to sleep right around 10:45 p.m. Considering we’re on an aggressive Aussie’s wake-up schedule, though, we advise that you start winding down in the 9:30-9:45 p.m. window, to make sure you’ll definitely get your seven to eight hours. You’ll need every minute. Another g’day awaits.

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