How to start your Australian adventures? With its vast outback, ancient forests, pristine marine environments and unique wildlife, Australia offers many choices. Challenge yourself or enjoy soft beds and gourmet meals on more luxurious Australia adventure tours.
Learn about Australia's many adventure journeys, which range from Outback Australia's 4WD routes to challenging long-distance walks and picturesque sailing trips. Read about places to visit in the remote, rugged Australian outback, from Australia's Red centre to South Australia's Flinders Ranges and the magical Kimberley in Western Australia.
Australia is a surfer's paradise, and we'll tell you where first-class waves crash across the country, from Victoria's Surf Coast to Western Australia's Margaret River. Discover our hot-spots for diving and snorkelling, from Queensland's Great Barrier Reef to Tasmania's East Coast Dive Trail. Then learn more about the beautiful Australian places you can canoe or kayak, from dramatic Katherine Gorge to the pristine waters of Tasmania's Freycinet National Park.
Crossing the Nullarbor
Widen your horizons driving the Eyre Highway across the vast, treeless and mesmerising Nullarbor Plain. You can connect to this journey from Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth and drive west to east or east to west along the highway. Whatever your direction, the scale of the scenery has a powerful impact. Watch wooded hills flatten into bluebush-studded plateaus and see mobs of kangaroos lining the road. Visit vast cattle stations, historic homesteads and remote railway outposts. Get up close to rare birds in Eyre, spot southern right whales from the rugged Bunda Cliffs and fish in Fowlers Bay. Sleep overnight in the roadhouses and campsites dotted across the highway. While this is a sealed road, it travels through remote areas and requires thorough preparation. You’ll need a 4WD vehicle to venture off the highway.
Surfing in Australia
Australia's surf beaches, where first-class waves for all surfing abilities crash, are born from the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Indian Ocean in the west and the Southern Ocean in the south . Visit iconic Bells Beach, near Torquay, the gateway to Victoria's Surf Coast on the Great Ocean Road. In New South Wales, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Sydney and its south coast offer a superior swell. Hang out in Burleigh Heads or coast along one of the world's longest waves at Snapper Rocks on Queensland's Gold Coast. In South Australia, great surf beaches dot the Fleurieu, Yorke and Eyre peninsulas as well as the Limestone Coast. In Western Australia, Perth, Margaret River and Esperance are home to an abundance of surf beaches. Brave Tasmania's Southern Ocean swells in Hobart, Bruny Island, Launceston, Devonport and Marrawah. You'll find a wave to yourself on our uncrowded and pristine coastal beaches.
Walking is the best way to explore the natural sanctuary of Wilsons Promontory. Known as ‘The Prom' to locals, it embraces 50,000 hectares of coastal wilderness on mainland Australia's southernmost tip. The many well-marked trails traverse empty beaches and eucalypt forest, heath and swamp, cool rainforest gullies and rocky mountain tops. Opt for short and scenic trails, like the Loo-Errn Track, ideal for families and the mobility-impaired. Do a day trek to the lighthouse or spend three days on the Wilsons Promontory Circuit Trail, which starts from the main tourist hub of Tidal River. Scale Mount Oberon or hike out to remote and beautiful Millers Landing. Stay at campsites throughout the park and get up close to the park's incredible array of native plants, birds and animals. You can also dive and snorkel with magical marine life in the clear, protected waters offshore.
The Overland Track, Tasmania
Travel through the heart of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wilderness on this famous 65-kilometre trek from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. Walk the entire Overland Track in six days or do short and day walks from the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Dove Lake. Remember the end-to-end walk requires planning. You’ll need to book in advance with Tasmania’s Parks & Wildlife Service and take with you a good tent and warm sleeping bag. While the route has eight basic stove-heated huts, there’s no guarantee of space. The best time to walk the track is between November and April, when the weather is milder and days are longer for Daylight Saving. During April, you can see the spectacular changing colours of the deciduous beech. As well as a physical challenge, this walk is a true communion with nature. You’ll see lakes, forests and gorges, mountains and moors, spectacular waterfalls and steep, stony peaks.
Canoeing and Kayaking in Australia
From tranquil inlets and backwaters to picturesque rivers and gorges, Australia offers many places to paddle. Canoe the Blackwood River, which meanders through Western Australia's south-west, or along the maze of calm waterways in South Australia's Coorong. Sea kayak off St Kilda Beach in Melbourne or under Sydney's Harbour Bridge. White water raft the furious rapids of Tasmania's Franklin River or the Tully River in North Queensland. Canoe or kayak through the Northern Territory's Katherine Gorge or paddle around Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin. Hire a kayak for a few hours or spend a few days on a canoeing safari through one of our pristine national parks.
Gibb River Road
Tackle one of Australia's greatest four-wheel-drive adventures on this 660-kilometre journey through the vast Kimberley. See freshwater crocodiles in the Windjana Gorge National Park and swim, bushwalk and camp at Lennard and Bell Gorges. Take a scenic flight over Mitchell Falls and the vast Mitchell Plateau. Stay on the one million acre El Questro Wilderness Park. From here you can go horse trekking, get up close to Kimberley wildlife and boat down Chamberlain Gorge past towering escarpments and Wandjina rock art. You could even take in the sights on a mountain bike for the Brisbane to Broome Charity Bike Ride. However you take on this outback challenge, remember it's one that needs planning.
Whale watching in Australia
Each winter, watch humpback whales gliding north past Byron Bay and Hervey Bay. Marvel at their complex acrobatic communication and listen to the males' haunting underwater song on a hydrophone. Watch the slow, graceful southern right whales sail up the Western Australian coastline from Geographe Bay, Dunsborough and Albany. Or spot these endangered creatures - once hunted almost to extinction - from the Head of Bight whale sanctuary or Victor Harbor in South Australia. See them mate and calve in the nursery waters of Warrnambool or arrive from Antarctic waters with humpback whales in Tasmania's picturesque Great Oyster Bay. From late April, southern right whales journey to temperate breeding waters off Southern Australia and Victoria. Meanwhile the energetic humpback whales continue north to warmer waters along the west and east coasts. Which means between May and November, you can spot whales from many scenic spots along Australia's coastline.
The Thorsborne Trail
Trek the 32km Thorsborne Trail along the eastern coast of Hinchinbrook Island - an untouched tropical paradise on the coast between Townsville and Cairns. Over four days you'll traverse cloud-cloaked mountains, jungle-like rainforest, melaleuca swamps and pristine white beaches. See a panorama of wildlife, from bright butterflies and birds to crocodiles, sea turtles, dugongs and dolphins. This is a true wilderness walk for the experienced walker - the path isn't graded or hardened so can be difficult to traverse in places. Walk in either direction, camp in any of the seven designated sites and remember to ‘leave no trace'. Only 40 people can walk the trail at any one time, so book your permit well in advance. Planning and following safety guidelines is vital. The best time to walk is during the cooler months from April to September. You can reach the island on a ferry or water taxi from Cardwell or Lucinda.
Trace the trail of pioneer John McDouall Stuart as you travel from Adelaide to Darwin on the Explorers Highway. Explore the cellar doors and vine-lined chateaus of the Barossa Valley and rugged Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound. Stay underground in the opal capital of Cooper Pedy and the outback town of Alice Springs. Walk around Uluṟu with an Aboriginal guide and to the rim of Kings Canyon. See ancient Aboriginal rock art in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park and swim in the crystal-clear pools of Litchfield National Park. Your adventure continues in the parklands, outdoor markets and festivals and historical attractions of tropical Darwin.
Diving in Australia
Completely surrounded by water and rich in islands and reefs, Australia is a diver's dream. Our waters shelter a treasure trove of marine life, with more than 4000 species of fish and the world's highest diversity of sea grass. Swim with the giant, gentle whale shark on Ningaloo Reef or with sea-lions and dolphins on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. Learn to dive on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef - the world's largest living organism. Or snorkel in sheltered and scenic Clovelly in Sydney. Discover kelp-encrusted submarines off the Mornington Peninsula or a maze of underwater caves along Tasmania's east coast. Our temperate waters are calling, so come dive in.
10 days sailing It's hard to beat the romance of sailing through the Whitsundays - 74 idyllic, mostly uninhabited islands tucked inside the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Think clear moonlit nights, spectacular sunsets, secluded beaches and pure air. You can sail, swim, snorkel and dive at sheltered anchorages such as Blue Pearl, Butterfly and Hook Island Bays. Soak up the resort atmosphere of Hamilton Island, bushwalk through national park on South Molle and relax in Hayman Island's five star luxury. Visit Whitsunday Island and walk the pure white, silica sands of Whitehaven Beach.
Red Centre Way
Swim in Glen Helen Gorge and spot rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap, both in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Listen to the Dreamtime legend surrounding the comet crater of Gosse Bluff. Climb to the rim of Kings Canyon and swim in the tropical pools of the Garden of Eden. Do a dawn camel trek around Uluṟu and wander between the steep russet domes of nearby Kata Tjuṯa. Journey through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest. Learn about the area's Aboriginal history from the Arrernte people who have lived here for 20,000 years. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal art and pioneer history in Alice Springs. Don't miss this unforgettable adventure through Australia's ancient centre.
Glamping in Australia
Camping is probably the best way to immerse yourself in Australia's natural splendour. But while we all love the romantic notion of sleeping beneath the stars, not all of us enjoy ‘roughing it'. If you're used to travelling in style, the idea of lugging heavy supplies, pitching a tent or cooking tinned food over a campfire can be less than appealing. Enter glamping, or glamour camping, which lets you commune with nature in the comfort of a luxury tent. We're talking fresh linen, private bathrooms, spa treatments and gourmet meals prepared for you. You can glamp in some of Australia's wildest and most remote places - from the Red Centre to the Kimberley and Kakadu.
Munda Biddi Trail
Ride from the Perth hills to Nannup on the Munda Biddi Trail, which means ‘path through the forest' in the Nyoongar Aboriginal language. As well as magnificent native forests, you'll wind through the scenic river valleys and charming towns of Western Australia's south-west corner. The track follows bush tracks, firebreaks and disused railway lines and has sections for of all levels of cycling experience. Do short rides or have a week-long adventure, spending the night in pretty towns or one of five purpose-built campsites, situated a comfortable day's ride apart. You can drive to many different starting points along the trail.
The Heysen Trail
Hike all the way from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula to the mountain town of Parachilna on the 1,200 kilometre Heysen Trail. Or mix and match day and multi-day walks, choosing from dramatic coastlines, farmland and forests, picturebook towns, vine-lined valleys and rugged mountain ranges. Like a quality box of chocolates, this trail offers the best of South Australia's wildly assorted scenic beauty. Walk next to waterfalls in Deep Creek Conservation Park and visit the historic German village of Hahndorf. Taste wine in the world-famous Barossa Valley and see settler-relics in the grazing country beyond. Head into the Flinders Ranges, where fossils date back millennia and Aboriginal rock art is as old as the Dreaming. Walk over Mt Remarkable and to the rim of the ancient, awe-inspiring crater of Wilpena Pound. Sleep in campsites, huts and shelters or in any of the towns dotting the trail.
Fishing in the Barra Build-up
Snare a prize barramundi during the Northern Territory's ‘build-up'. Lasting from October to December, this pre-monsoon season brings a barra bonanza to the billabongs and estuaries of the Top End. Discover the fishing hot-spots around Darwin Harbour or share the shore with professional anglers on the Daly River. Take a heli-fishing trip to Adelaide River or find the promised barra waters along Mary River. In World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, you can cast your line from a boat in South and East Alligator River. Hire a boat, join a fishing charter with experienced guides or stay at a remote fishing lodge. However you angle it, a fishing holiday in the build-up offers both barramundi and the wild, natural beauty of the Top End.
Houseboating along the Murray River
From slow food to high-speed adventure, a houseboat holiday down Australia's mighty Murray River has something for everyone. Kids and captains alike will love discovering the Murray, which winds between New South Wales and Victoria, then through South Australia to the ocean. Moor at secluded beaches or at historic riverside towns such as Echuca-Moama, Mildura, Swan Hill, Renmark and Loxton. Enjoy leisurely indulgence at the restaurants, wineries and golf courses. Or embrace one of the Murray's many natural adventures. Learn to water ski, canoe the lagoons, bird-watch in the wetlands and bushwalk through the red gum forests.
Mountain biking in the Blue Mountains
Nothing beats the adrenalin rush of careering through the cliffs, deep canyons and pristine bushland of the Blue Mountains on a bike. The World heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains area takes up over a million hectares. What's more, the region is so densely forested that the world's oldest tree - the Wollemi Pine - flourished here undetected in a remote valley until 1994.
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