You’re more extreme than a Mountain Dew® commercial but can’t seem to find a vacation spot that truly gets your blood flowing. Grab your Crocodile Dundee hat, daredevil, because Australia is the perfect place for you. Say g’day to five reasons that make this island nation the essential vacation locale for adrenaline junkies:
1. The Great Barrier Reef is right over there
You know that giant coral reef that’s visible from space? The one where Nemo was finally found? It’s basically Australia’s backyard. Perched just off the coast of Queensland, this oceanic wonderland–the world’s largest reef at 133,000 square miles–beckons to adventurers of all stripes: divers, snorkelers, surfers, and even glass-bottomed boaters. Plus, if the Great Barrier Reef isn’t exciting enough for you, there are roughly a trillion other spots to windsurf, kitesurf, and dive with sharks. You’re going to need a bigger boat.
2. Bushwalking is totally a thing
It may sound like something that belongs at the X-Games with Shaun White, but bushwalking is actually a common activity around here. It’s essentially just a DIY hike with one major exception: The activity tends to involve rambling through the wilderness for days at a time. Tasmania is tops for these types of treks–the Overland Track is especially good–but Western Australia’s Bibbulmun Track is among the more scenic. Fire up your Instagram app, pack some extra water, and prepare to make your friends very jealous.
3. Undara National Park has lava tubes
These things sound completely terrifying, but don’t start piling on the SPF just yet. Queensland’s tubes haven’t seen much action since a Cenozoic eruption formed them nearly 200,000 years ago, so you’re mostly scoping out the cave-like byproducts. Still, it’s a fully subterranean experience that often includes a nose-to-nose look at microbats and creepy tree snakes. Our pulses are racing just thinking about it.
4. There’s a billion different ways to fly in the air
From skydiving in Perth and hang gliding in Sydney to bungee jumping in Queensland and hot air ballooning in Hunter Valley, the options are basically endless for thrill-seekers who love to get airborne. Plus, if you’ve got a need for speed, you can suit up like Maverick for a jet-fighter flight in Adelaide. We’ll give you bonus points if you listen to “Danger Zone” the entire time.
5. Good ol’ terra firma has plenty of thrills of its own
Australia is home to more than 500 national parks, so there’s very little you can’t do while you’re down under. Biking? Head to the trails in Sydney’s Royal National Park. Climbing? Try the nerve-wracking rocks in Victoria’s Grampians National Park. You can even do a little off-roading in the sandy wilderness of Windy Harbour’s D’Entrecasteaux. Leave the flying to the birds; this place is paradise for anyone who prefers solid ground. Enjoy your adventures in Australia, mate.