If you like an adrenaline rush, you’ll love Australia. Australia is a sports crazy country and there’s nothing they like more than extreme sports. They love them so much, in fact, that many of the world’s most daring champion sportsperson’s are Australian, in spite of the country’s relatively small population. These are just a few of the extremes you can go to when you visit Australia.
Kangaroo Island in South Australia is one of Australia’s and the world’s most pristine nature reserves. Totally committed to maintaining their island and protecting its wildlife, the 4000 odd residents of Kangaroo Island still make it available to the thousands of guests they receive each year. There is a vast sand dune area on Kangaroo Island that doubles as an extreme sports mecca for board riding enthusiasts. Sandboarding feels like surfing or snowboarding, the only difference being that, as the name implies, you ride your board down steep sand dunes, carving turns, jumping “moguls” and pulling off “rad” moves just as you do on a surfboard or snowboard.
Have you ever wanted to soar like a bird? That’s exactly what hang gliding feels like. Hang gliding is a niche sport and one that very few people become expert at. Australia happens to be the home of some of the world’s best hang gliders and the place where many world hang gliding records have been broken. In Byron Bay, on the far north coast of New South Wales and at Stanwell Tops near Kangaroo Valley, just south of Sydney, you can have a taste of tandem hand gliding with an expert. If you like it, lessons are available and before you know it, you’ll be taking your first solo flight over some of the most stunning scenery in the world.
Abseiling and Rock Climbing
Believe it or not, Australia, one of the world’s least mountainous continents is home to some of the world’s best abseiling and rock climbing sites. In New South Wales you have the Blue Mountains. In Victoria, Mt. Arapiles is the mecca of rock climbers from around the world and in Queensland, the Glasshouse Mountains, too, are becoming world famous. Even if you’ve never tried abseiling or rock climbing before, you needn’t miss out on the experience. Lessons and guided climbs and abseils are available wherever climbers gather in Australia.
For the adrenaline junky who wants to avoid a learning curve, there’s nothing like bungy jumping. All you have to do is work up the courage to jump and your bungy cord will (hopefully!) do all the rest for you. Arguably the most thrilling bungy jump in Australia is located near Cairns, on the tropical far north coast of Queensland. The AJ Hackett facility in Cairns includes some odd variations on the traditional swan dive. You can take off on a skateboard or BMX bike if you prefer or if you really want to have a frightening experience, try night bungy jumping.
When you watch trapeze artists, you are torn between thinking they must be insane and wanting to try it yourself. When you’re visiting Sydney, you can actually take flying trapeze lessons and learn the basics in relative safety. When your lesson is finished, you have the opportunity to let go and let a professional trapeze artist catch you in mid-flight. The trapeze studio is located in Moore Park, practically in the heart of Sydney, so there’s really no excuse not to “give it a go.”
Of course, Australia is also home to some of the world’s most extreme surfing spots, ranging from the deep barrels on the Gold Coast to the monster waves off the Victorian coast. These are not for beginner’s, though. If you want to get your first taste of the thrill of surfing, there are great surfing schools in Byron Bay, where you can start off on gentle waves off sandy beaches and work your way up to the big stuff later.
Rob writes about popular things to do and see in Australia. If planning a vacation in Australia check out our range of Kangaroo Island accommodation and other great holiday accommodation across Australia.