The label brings to mind visions of zip-lining over verdant rainforest canopies, trekking up jagged mountain faces, and getting nose-to-nose with fierce, snarling Tasmanian devils. Any and all of these experiences could be a part of an adventure travel holiday. Adventure tourism is a worldwide travel phenomenon that has grown in popularity and accessibility over the past couple of decades. With enough money and the right mindset, the possibilities for an adventure travel experience are limited only by the imagination.
Any tourist activity that includes strenuous physical activity, inter-cultural interactions, and/or engagement with nature or wildlife falls under the broad umbrella of adventure tourism. From obscure, often risky forms of travel such as disaster or ghetto tourism in third-world countries, to safer, less strenuous experiences such as guided Australian wilderness tours in open-air lorries, this kind of travel broadens travellers’ horizons and provides a deeper understanding of the world around us.
Recently, advances in personal digital technology and social media have made adventurous, adrenalin-inducing holidays a goal for many travellers. GPS systems, wireless technology, and tiny, impact-proof, wearable digital cameras add to the ease and allure of venturing into the wilderness or among exotic cultures, and sharing these one-of-a-kind experiences with friends and relatives back home. Travellers who want to step outside of their normal comfort zone and experience remote and exotic landscapes and wildlife — can plan their own adventures or sign on with adventure tourism companies. Whether a person is seeking physically challenging activities — such as mountain biking, extreme kayaking, or mountaineering or a “culture shock” experience like ghetto tourism, there are niche tours available to fulfill even the most audacious tourist’s dreams of exhilarating exploits.
There are many factors one must consider before booking an adventure holiday such as expenses, physical challenges, required equipment, and ease of navigation. To avoid many frustrations and risks, those just getting their feet wet should look into adventure destinations closer to home, or at least in a country where the travellers’ language is spoken by most of the populace. Fortunately, there are many areas of the world where English is spoken and understood, giving Brits and Americans a wealth of alternatives from which to choose from. Travel to Australia or New Zealand are two brilliant options.
For just about any type of adventure, travel Australia and New Zealand provide a dizzying array of possibilities. Adventures in Australia run the gamut of adrenalin-inducing activities. From assisting local miners in their quest for the elusive giant opal, to swag camping in the Australian wilderness, intrepid travellers can experience this wilful, lavish land in a myriad ways.
The continent of Australia is massive, with an incredible range of geographical regions and climates. Adventures in the Australian outdoors can take many forms, but one of the most thrilling and satisfying is overland travel, a form of extended adventure journey, provided by an overland tour company. A group of overlanders travel together with an Australian guide for weeks (or even months) in a converted lorry or bus, experiencing vast areas of the continent in one comprehensive trek. On an extended Australian safari such as this, travellers have more opportunity to experience the timelessness and ephemeral beauty of the harsh, sweeping landscapes, and come into contact with a greater variety of wildlife and local personalities than a more localised holiday might provide.
For the rugged, independent traveller looking for more extreme adventure, Australia offers seemingly endless possibilities as well. Exhilarating activities such as 4X4 off road driving in the Australian outback, scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef, spear-fishing along the banks of the Daintree River, or trekking through the coastal rainforest and an aboriginal guide can give adventurous souls the rush of a lifetime and a true, abiding sense of the “Land Down Under” and its people. Scud smoothly over reed beds and sunken forests in a Bamurru Plains air boat. Take a spine-tingling boat ride down the Horizontal Falls — through a roiling cauldron flanked by rocky cliffs — into Western Australia’s Talbot Bay. Hike, wade, then swim on a trek to the emerald waters of a hidden pool deep within Hancock Gorge. For its sheer variety of types of adventure travel Australia is unsurpassed as a holiday destination.
Adventure tourism is an addictive and transformative endeavour. When one travels to spectacular destinations to experience nature up close and personal and shocks the system with bursts of adrenalin, the mind opens up and the soul desires even more. Experiencing one wilderness or one exotic culture simply does not seem to be enough. Adventure travellers will come to fully appreciate the words of author Mark Twain, who once wrote, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” So take heed, go on an adventure and travel to Australia!
Michael Roberts is a freelance journalist, photographer, and self-described adventure junkie. He spends as much of his free time as possible journeying to remote areas of the globe to experience and record the incredible diversity of cultures, wildlife, and geography to be found in exotic locales, and he experienced this through Travel Wild’s Kakadu tours in the Australian outback. For adventure travel Australia calls to Michael again and again with its tremendous miscellany of wildlife and majestic scenery.