Australia in the Southern Hemisphere, also known as the continent where everything wants to kill you, is home to poisonous reptiles, Great White Sharks, scorching sun, deadly Box Jellyfish and all the rest in-between. The land down under isn’t for the faint hearted but it is for those looking for an adrenalin rush and some action-filled memories. In this article we explore some of the best and most exciting activities you can expect to find in Australia.
There’s no shortage of water sports to try in Australia, and thanks to the consistent winds that blow all summer long in Western Australia, kite surfing is a must-try activity for thrill seekers. Picture crystal clear waters, warm sun and perfect winds and you’ll have a good idea of what it feels like to kite surf in West Oz, whether you have your own equipment and want to improve your level or you’re flying your first ever kite, there are kite surf schools equipped with qualified instructors and safety-tested gear who are ready to show you the ropes and take you for an unforgettable session out on the water. Schools on Safety Bay and Scarborough Beach in Perth offer lessons all summer and boast some of the best and safest training grounds in all of Western Australia, just grab your boardies or a swimsuit and start your kite surfing adventure in this tropical haven.
Great waves and surfing is as synonymous to Australia as kangaroos and Vegemite. The entire east coast of Australia from New South Wales to Queensland is lined with world-class waves and talented surfers, as is the slightly more rural west coast which is home to the world famous Maragret River (and a few more sharks). There is no shortage of consistent swells, heavy reefs or beach breaks on this continent, with spots for beginners as well as seasoned pros, this coastline is a surfers dream, and it’s not just about the waves, the picturesque locations of these breaks add even more to an unforgettable surf session in Oz. Some of the most famous spots and must-see breaks are Bondi Beach, North Narabeen and Manly in Sydney, Byron Bay and Lennonx Head in Brisbane and Snapper Rocks in Queensland, all of which have local surf schools on the beach kitted out with highly experienced and qualified instructors with an array of equipment suitable to all levels. Home to a leg on the World Surf League Championship Tour is the famous Bells Beach in Victoria, a prestigious spot with a rich Australian surf history and slightly chillier waters. (Please refer to our article on the best surf spots in Australia for a more information.)
The Tully River in Cairns Queensland, regarded as the best white water rafting river in all of Australia and New Zealand, is lined with the jungle-like terrain of the World Heritage Rainforest to provide a memorable backdrop. There is a range of descents to choose from depending on your ability, but better suited to those with a bit of previous experience, all lead by expert certified guides ready to navigate you around boulders, down natural slides and through eddies. Perfect for first time rafters from 13 years old and above is the Barron River, situated in the heart of the Barron Gorge National Park in Queensland. Lose yourself in a fun and exhilarating descent on this river while being surrounded by lush rainforests, sweeping gorges and towering cliffs, all the while being lead by fully trained instructors who’ll kit you out with the best safety gear and equipment.
Skating and BMX
With the number of skateparks in Oz on the rise, the world of skateboarding is booming. Slap bang in the middle of Bondi Beach in Sydney is Bondi Skatepark, a public park with a famous bowl, street course and vertical ramps. On the well known surf spot of Maroubra Beach in Sydney, made famous by the controversial Bra Boys surf gang, is an unique park with a 4-10ft keyhole bowl lined with pool tiles on the deep end and other more user-friendly ramps dotted around it. If the rain is holding you back from skating outdoors then there is a awesome indoor park in Melbourne called Rampfest, a wooden-constructed park with all the classic ramps and rails you could hope for and only for a small admission fee. Saving the best for last, if your a true adrenalin junkie, is the Elanora Skate Bowl in Elanora Park on the Gold Coast, this park offers an epic double bowl joined by 25ft full pipe for 360 degrees of total madness.
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
The Great Barrier Reef doesn’t need an introduction, this famous world-renowned reef stretching all the way down the east coast is a scuba diving and snorkelling haven, with more varieties of marine life than you could even imagine. If you find yourself on the other side of Australia in WA then don’t miss a chance to scuba dive on the Ningaloo Reef, a marine paradise home to colourful fish and fauna of all shapes and sizes and the perfect place to learn the basics or fine-tune your existing skills. A variety of dive schools are ready and raring to take you out on these reefs and show you the best fish hangouts, coral utopias and maybe even some more toothy characters. Your instructor will kit out with all the necessary equipment, including tanks, fins, wetsuits, masks and snorkels, finally ensuring you are properly briefed before heading out into the big blue.
Jet Boating in Sydney Harbour
Take a tour of Sydney Harbour from a new perspective and jump aboard a Jet Boat, speed past the famous Opera House, Harbour Islands, Rose Bay suburbs and then out onto Sydney Heads for a breath of that fresh ocean air. Experience the speed and agility of these 23-seater Jet Boats which will take to the air over swell bumps and perform full 360 degree spins, before heading back to base camp past the Taronga Zoo and under the dramatic Harbour Bridge.
Bungy Jumping and Jungle Swing
One of the most extreme of the extreme sports has got to be throwing yourself off the edge of a bridge attached to huge rubber band and falling into the apparent abyss… also known as bungy jumping. Leap out of your comfort zone and off a 50-metre high platform in Cairns, Queensland, with the security of knowing you’re in the best hands and equipped with the highest of industry standard gear. If bungy jumping isn’t really your thing then how about a giant swing in the jungle to be shared with up to two friends, you’ll speed through the lush forests of the Minjin reaching up to speeds of 120km per hour and in total awe.
Mt Arapiles in the Victoria outback hosts over 2000 different climbs which are suited to the more experienced climbers, but don’t count yourself out if you’re only just starting out because Mitre Rock next door offers a far more beginner-friendly face and spectacular panoramic views over Mitre Lake. One of the most beautifully unique attractions in Australia is the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, an absolute must for anyone coming to climb in Australia, with a huge array of lines suited to any ability, you’re sure to find a climb suited to you and which will test and confirm your skills. The Blue Mountain is an enormous sandstone plateau carved out through countless years of erosion and surrounded by dramatic gorges for a jaw-dropping backdrop, all in all making this spot a perfect playground for climbers.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Snow capped mountains may not be the first thing you think of when someone mentions Australia, but there’s plenty of shred potential in the mountains in both Victoria and New South Wales. The season typically runs from July to October, where there is the majority of snowfall to make conditions perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass are located in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, and are ready to satisfy the needs of first time riders and advanced thrill-seekers alike. In Victoria, only 4.5 hours away from Melbourne, there is the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort in the Great Dividing Range, known as the “powder capital of Australia” and proving itself as an Aussie-favourite for over 125 years.
Australia is a world-renowned country for the incredible level of its riders. Whether surfing (Mick Fanning of course), BMX (with mainly Logan Martin in park and Simon O’Brien in flatland) or all the armada of gifted like Ryan Williams in front, we know that wonders generally come from this side of the globe. The ride and adrenaline are home.