For some, a holiday is all about testing your limits, living on the edge and experiencing the extraordinary. Forget about relaxing beach getaways or shopping trips, this breed of holiday makers want stomach butterflies and heart pumping excitement. With an increasing number of adventure holiday options on offer, it’s hard to sift the great from the good. Thankfully, being a travel expert has its perks. We’ve shortlisted the top places to go to get that adventure buzz.
Your buzz: Heights
Not for the faint of heart, heights are something you either love or hate. While some daredevils prefer getting their buzz a little closer to the ground, for this bunch of adrenaline junkies, the higher, the better! If bungee jumping is your poison, centre your holiday around Africa’s famed Victoria Falls. Not only is the scenery a wonder in itself, jumpers at the Victoria Falls Bungee get the opportunity to take it all in from a whole new perspective. Lying on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, travellers can tempt fate as they plunge off a suspended bridge 111 metres above the flowing rapids below.
(Source: Victoria Falls Bungee, Skydive the Beach)
After something a little higher off the ground? Venture to adventure-hub Australia for one of the best sky diving experiences the world has to offer. Located in Wollongong, Sydney, Skydive Sydney offers jumps from Australia’s highest altitude of 14,000 feet, directly over North Wollongong beach below. Experience the ultimate thrill of falling at a speed of over 200km/hr for up to a lengthy 60 seconds before the parachute is ejected and jumpers experience 5-7 minutes soaking in the incredible view as they float to the coastline.
Your buzz: The Ocean
As the best kite surfing spot in Asia, Boracay in the Philippines is a one-stop destination for thrill seekers wanting that sweet mix of pristine beach and extreme activity. Whether at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level, Isla Kite Surfing offers lessons to budding kite surf enthusiasts and the most experienced who are comfortable being at the mercy of the wind.
(Source: Travel and Leisure, Thaumaturgical)
For those preferring to be submerged in the ocean, deep-sea adventure divers can get their adrenaline fix at the Samaesan Hole, in Thailand’s Samae San Islands, within the Pattaya region. Known for its perilous location in the middle of a main shipping channel, the Samaesan Hole is a dive only for the most experienced. The site gets its name from the 90 metre deep crater that funnels south of the surrounding sea-bed which used to be an ammunition dump for the Thai military. Aside from the unexploded munitions deep below, the depth of the funnel means there are stunning and untouched coral shelves which are decorated with an abundance of sea life that escapes the fishing nets nearer the surface.
Your buzz: Mountains
If land adventure is your kryptonite, then climbing to the top of some of the region’s tallest peaks is sure to get you energised. At over 4,000 metres above sea level, Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu is a popular challenge for travellers seeking thrill and a beautiful view. In fact, over 40,000 people from around the world travel to Kinabalu National Park just to climb the foreboding peak. The journey to the summit commonly takes two days, and the fact that no special equipment or expertise is needed to reach the top, means it is one of the more attainable adventures for the budding adventurer.
(Source: Wrt Design, Trek Earth)
For something a little different, but by no means less stunning, adventurists can explore the challenging terrain in East Java, Indonesia. Close to the famed active volcano, Mount Merapi, keen climbers can follow the prominent trails and take a hike up the Ijen Crater, a magnificent sulphur lake which lies 2,799 metres above sea level. Hikers typically set off early in the morning to reach the rim of the rich crater in time to witness the magical blue sulphur flames sparking off the lake – something that can only be seen in the dark. Come light, darkness and the blue flames give way to the stunning turquoise water and white sulphur smoke.
Your buzz: Snow
For the snow-loving extreme sport fiends, there’s no better way to get your wintery fix than through heli-skiing or snowboarding. New Zealand’s Southern Lakes is one of the country’s premier heli-skiing operations. Best suited for intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders, adventurers are air lifted in a helicopter high above the snow-capped peaks below. Take in the stunning expansive view before the jump onto the untouched powder and a heart-stopping speedy 400 – 600 metre run to the base of the slope.
(Source: Heliski NZ)
After something a little more extreme? Hakuba in Japan will leave you craving more. Despite Heli-skiing in Tsugaike being one of Hakuba’s lesser known adventures, it’s one of the few places where adrenaline seekers can actually heli-ski in Japan. Keen skiers and boarders are lifted to untouched back country of the Tsugaike Highlands located 14km from the base of the mountain, and 2200 metres above sea level, making it a fantastic way to start a snowy day on the slopes.
Whatever your adventure buzz or level of expertise, there are options to suit all travellers wanting a thrilling overseas experience. Not only will you get your inner risk-taker fix, you’ll also get to see some pretty incredible sights from whole new perspectives, so stop thinking and get booking!