Where You Should Go on Your Next Adventure

Adventure travel holiday ideas

Explore the world, and your own potential, on your next big trip. This year is about taking a leap into the unknown. Throw off the cape of safety and jump off a cliff (literally). Whether dipping a tentative first toe in the world of adventure, or seeking an adrenaline-fuelled bucket-list experience, here’s a travel menu to nourish and draw out the explorer within.

Seek adventure in Iceland

Ice, Ice, Baby
Do you have big dreams? Like 16-year-old Australian Jade Hameister, who skied to the South Pole? Then you have to start somewhere. Feel the energising sting of frigid air, the ache of tired muscles and the thrill of adventure on a seven-day polar training course. For many, this is the ultimate action-packed experience, learning 14 topics from hydration to polar camping to crevasse rescue. After lectures and practical exercises, test your new knowledge on a four-day expedition across the Vatnajökull ice cap, nudging the Arctic Circle. They’ll also teach you cross-country skiing, but your biggest lesson while surviving the raw elements will be realising you are capable of more than you ever imagined.
Push your limits at mountainguides.is, from $4405.

Extreme snorkelling
Ice-cold Iceland is hot right now. This mystical land of lava and supercharged splendour, where geysers gush and glaciers ruthlessly rip the landscape, offers a plethora of activities to stoke your adventurous soul.
Start with snorkelling the Silfra Fissure. This isn’t an average one-hour snorkel trip, it’s 4°C dry-suit snorkelling in the rift between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The water is breathtaking – it’s not the cold, but the 100m clarity of unexpected Caribbean-esque turquoise water, vigorously filtered while slowly percolating from glacier to fissure through subterranean lava fields for over 100 years.
Imagine floating in a giant diamond, over an underwater landscape millions of years in the making, where algae wafts like chiffon, and it’s clear why this experience is a little life-changing.
Dive in with extremeiceland.is, from $175.

Adventure travel holiday ideas

Sail into the sunset

Sardinia bareboat sailing
Another day, another bay. Sounds good? Add to the picture hidden coves accessible only by boat and medieval towns tumbling down to water’s edge, on-board picnics with local bounty and afternoon dips from the back of the yacht. The idea of bareboating (chartering a yacht where you are the sole crew) can be intimidating. But the on-land team will thoroughly show you the ropes before you set off. So where to go? Drop in for tapas on the Balearic Islands in Spain? Set sail for Turkey’s Bodrum? Our hot tip is Sardinia, Italy, the Mediterranean’s second largest island. Start at chichi Porto Cervo, then bob along the Costa Smeralda, with 55km of 80 bays, coves and famous beaches like Spiaggia del Principe.
Ship ahoy: head to bareboatsailingholidays.com. From $3140 (peak season).

Adventure travel holiday ideas

Around the world
Had any Jessica Watson dreams lately? You may have thought about being a crew member on a vessel on the open ocean, but never thought it was possible. So how do you leap from novice to round-the-world yachtswoman? It’s easier than you think – just sign on with the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race.
Twelve 70ft yachts, manned by amateur crews (and helmed by a qualified skipper), race a path around the globe. During four training courses in Sydney, you’ll learn yacht maintenance and management, racing tactics, survival and teamwork. It won’t be luxurious, or easy. The yachts are stripped-down race vessels, and each of the eight legs is around 33 days. So which race leg would you choose? There’s the race to Rio, or you could combat trade winds in the Caribbean. Along with ocean skills, you’ll return home with memories of camaraderie and satisfaction from bravely stepping in to the adventure zone. Commit at clipperroundtheworld.com, from $8552 (one race leg).

The great outdoors

Long-distance hiking
Time to step it up a notch! Tackle the Northern Territory’s 223km Larapinta Trail, Tasmania’s six-day Overland Track, or start training for the Big Kahuna, the Grand Randonnée 20 (GR20) over the Mediterranean island of Corsica, France.
The GR20 is to hikers what the North Shore in Hawaii is to big wave surfers, minus the after-parties. It’s legendary as one of the toughest and most exhilarating walks in Europe – two weeks of heaving ascents and descents across the scorched, mountainous interior of the island the French call le terre sauvage.
As the training ground for the French Foreign Legion, the 12-day trail commands respect for making or breaking hikers – mainly due to the Cirque de La Solitude, the vertiginous section of the walk that delves in and out of a stony abyss with chains and ladders bolted to the rock in places. This hike will not only empower you, but also seduce with rustic mountain-hut dormitories, cascading waterfalls, and stunning Mediterranean vistas.
Sign me up! Find self-guided treks at utracks.com, from $1650 for the northern route of the GR20.

Adventure travel holiday ideas

Reach for new heights

Rock climbing
Rock climbing doesn’t always mean hanging around (pun intended) in isolated crags with chalky hands. It can also be an activity you can try between a massage and a cocktail, with mere footsteps in-between.
The area around Krabi in Thailand is a climber’s paradise. This Andaman Coast pocket is one of the only places in the world to offer all-level climbing directly above a white sandy beach. And your base? Rayavadee Resort on Railay Beach, surrounded by three azure-lapped beaches crowned by jagged limestone cliffs.
Whatever your age or level, the overhangs, stalactites and craggy surfaces of Railay Beach’s rock face will challenge, with Insta-worthy views making the climb an unforgettable experience.
Rope up, with a private half-day beginner’s climb plus equipment for $120 at rayavadee.com.

Adventure travel holiday ideas

Mountain climbing
So many mountains, so little time. For your first ‘bigger’ mountain climb, it’s a coin toss between Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain at 5895m, and Europe’s Mt Blanc (4810m). Kilimanjaro rewards those who can travel slowly and acclimatise properly, taking around a week. Mt Blanc is supremely physical, a hard and fast overnight climb, (all novice climbers must do a three-day training course prior to the climb). Frankly, we can’t choose, so why not do both? Find a meditative pace above the savannah, or pit yourself on an iconic alpine odyssey.
Take me higher... worldexpeditions.com.au offers Mt Blanc trips from $3950, and Mt Kilimanjaro climbs from $3569.

Holiday essentials for every kind of trip