While you’re in this Oz, you’ll never want to tap your shoes to go home. With Australia’s wildlife of 570,000 different living species, from cassowaries to sugar gliders, landscapes that span from rugged mountain ranges to tropical rainforests, and activities as different as SCUBA diving and bungee jumping, it’s no wonder that this island-continent attracts more than six million visitors each year. The Land Down Under will please adrenaline junkies, environmental enthusiasts, culture lovers, and everyone else who wants to experience the Aussie lifestyle. Start your adventure in Australia now!
Whether you love the land, the sky, or the sea, you can experience an endless roller coaster of adventure activities in Australia. There are locations and adventures that will keep your energy soaring both indoors and outdoors. You can explore Aussie culture, leap off a plane to skydive, and snorkel in the ocean all in one day if you really want!
Cairns is the “Adventure Capital” of Australia. Throw on a wetsuit in this tropical hotspot located in North Queensland where you can snorkel, scuba dive, and spot a Dory in the depths of the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll have the opportunity to skydive, bungee jump, or white water raft if you’re really feeling frisky too. To take a breather from the daredevil activities in Cairns, you can learn how to throw a boomerang and play a didgeridoo at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Later in your trip, you can hold a koala at Kuranda Koala Gardens if you so wish!
Surf’s up, mate, in Byron Bay! This coastal laid-back town, located south of Brisbane, offers tourists the chance to learn how to master the Pacific Ocean waves on a surfboard with a little choreography and practice, but keep up your energy to kayak later with dolphins. Wake up before dawn the next morning to be the first person of the day to view the sunrise from Cape Byron Lighthouse. If you’re in this relaxing getaway between May and November, plan to cruise the waters to spot the humpback whales. To be adventurous or to be chill? There are answers for both moods in Byron Bay!
Located off the coast of Queensland lies Fraser Island, which is the largest sand island in the world. The heritage island’s mild climate, abundant species, and diverse landscapes make it an outdoorsy paradise full of sandy beaches, colored sand cliffs, tall rainforests, and over 100 freshwater lakes. Visitors can take a trip in a four-wheel-drive vehicle along the beach highway and spot dingos, trek through the lush rainforests and shallow creeks, jump in the sand dunes, and fly in a small plane for a joy ride to view the shipwreck Maheno. Your camera will be overflowing with pictures of this rare and captivating island, but only in person will you experience its mysterious vibes.
ADVENTURE TRAVEL IN AUSTRALIA
Australia’s total area of 2,941,300 square miles makes it the sixth-largest country by area in the world! Oz’s immense vastness offers a plethora of exciting and rewarding adventures like hiking, volunteering, and eco-tours, all in a laid-back environment.
With over 500 national parks, throw on your boots and hike the Australian countryside to see the waterfalls, forests, wildlife, rivers, swimming holes, and more. Some adventures in Australia will give you the chance to go hiking through the Glass House Mountains National Park or in the Blue Mountains, where you can see the infamous Three Sisters. Many of the national parks in Australia offer opportunities for travelers to rock climb and abseil, too!
Australia offers overs 10,000 beaches, making it the ideal place to become a surfer! Most adventure programs in Australia offer some type of surfing safari excursion, where certified instructors will teach you about ocean awareness, surf etiquette, and wind patterns through structured lessons; instructors will do everything to ensure you have the time of your life riding the waves. Breathe in the fresh ocean air and soak up the sun, play some volleyball, and have a beach barbeque with the locals in an easygoing atmosphere.
If you’re interested in ecology and environmental studies, Oz is the place for you. Australia is home to a rich biodiversity with an abundant variety of mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, flora, and fauna. With many of these species becoming threatened or endangered due to natural disasters, habitat destruction, or disease, conservation efforts are essential in Australia. Therefore, you can make a difference by volunteering to join land and wildlife conservation programs that help preserve habitats for wallabies, wombats, and kangaroos. You could find yourself trekking through rainforests, mountains, beaches, or deserts on any given day in these programs.
Adventure travel in Australia is typically organized so you can experience thrilling adventure activities and discover hidden gems in the most Aussie way. Most adventures in Australia operate during the winter, which is between June and August in Australia. The winter is the best time of year to dive in the Great Barrier Reef, as Queensland has dry and mild winters and the temperature is warm year-round. Visiting Sydney? The climate in New South Wales is temperate year-round, and the winter is the best time for whale watching. In Perth, the months that bridge the winter and spring seasons offer milder weather.
COSTS & AFFORDABILITY
Adventure programs in Australia will help you get the most bang for your buck and experience the true Aussie lifestyle! However, flying to and from this remote island-continent will be the biggest cost, and program fees won’t usually cover airfare.
Once you’re on the ground, you’ll need to keep some budget-saving tips in mind. But most importantly, you should know that one U.S. Dollar equals $1.31 AUD. Refill your water bottle at a public bubbler (water fountain) to cut drinking costs. Australian meat pies are an inexpensive and delicious treat for lunch. Food and alcohol at restaurants can be expensive, so consider shopping at the supermarket and cooking your own food. Don’t forget to try Vegemite and Tim Tams!
No worries about not being able to feed or shelter yourself, as most organized adventures in Australia include accommodations, food, in-country transportation, and activities in upfront program fees. Some adventure programs in Australia will be more expensive than others, depending on the included adventure activities and the duration. It may require some creativity to raise money for your journey if you want to do A LOT for a long period of time, so consider making a budget to save money, fundraising, or applying for a scholarship.
ACCOMMODATIONS & VISAS
Wake up and fall asleep to the calls of Australia’s wildlife. Just kidding! Most areas of Australia offer modern amenities, like safe drinking water and electricity. The sights, sounds, smells, and sensations you’ll experience during your adventure in Australia will take you out of your comfort zone, but program coordinators will ensure that your safety is their highest priority (and your comfort when you sleep at night too).
Adventures in Australia will often give you the chance to traverse everywhere from metropolitan areas to off-the-beaten path locales. So you might experience the fun atmosphere of sharing rooms with fellow travelers in hostels or rented houses, or swaying in hammocks or camping in tents under the Outback moon. Don’t fret too much though, the living accommodations will offer toilets facilities too!
Australia requires visitors to have a valid passport and a visa or Electronic Travel Authority to enter the country. Visitors traveling to Australia for adventure purposes can purchase an Australian Tourist Visa online, which has a fast turnaround and lasts for a maximum of 90 days. Some adventure programs in Australia will include visa costs in upfront fees, but some will not. However, regardless of costs, program coordinators will be able to help you through the process. For more information about visas, visit GoAbroad’s Australian Embassy Directory.
BENEFITS & CHALLENGES
For adrenaline junkies and conservationist enthusiasts, Australia is a travel haven. You’ll be on an immense island with dreamy white beaches where you can learn to surf, snorkel, and scuba dive alongside manta rays and sea turtles. But on any given day you could also be trekking along the coasts and spot an echidna or a platypus.
Whether you’re on the beaches or in the rainforests, the ozone layer over Oz is thin, so wearing sunscreen and protective clothing is compulsory. You’re likely to be outside every day during your adventures in Australia. No matter the season, you’ll need to take care of your skin.
Although Australia is a developed country where English is widely spoken, the nation has its own customs, culture, and dialects too. Locals will value your willingness to learn the phrases and slang used throughout Australia, so mind your p’s and q’s. If it seems like they’re giving you a rough time, take it as a compliment; Australians love to laugh, so go along with it!
Australia’s variety of wildlife, cultures, and landscapes knows no bounds; you’ll get the feeling you’re not in Kansas anymore that’s for sure! Tap into your wild side to experience adrenaline-pumping adventure activities and explore the breathtaking sights of this vast nation. Your adventurous spirit will thank you!