Best Adventure Vacations in Australia and the Pacific
Australia and the Pacific possess a sense of adventure that few regions in the world can rival. Here, you can find excitement above and below sea level; you just have to know where to look. From the reefs of Fiji to the peaks of the Queenstown, U.S. News Travel ranks the best destinations for intrepid travelers in Australia and the Pacific.
Why Go: For thrill-seekers, New Zealand's capital of adventure is a must. The birthplace of bungee jumping offers many adrenaline-pumping activities, including sky-diving, skiing, rafting, and mountain biking. The city's setting is perfect for these sports, while the water of Lake Wakatipu and the slopes of the Remarkables provide prime real estate for outdoorsmen and women. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Queenstown
Why Go: You'll have to dive beneath the surface to reach this natural marvel. The Great Barrier Reef lies off the eastern coast of Australia and covers an immense amount of underwater territory. Numerous tour providers offer boat rides and guided dives to introduce you to the phenomenon. However, the true explorer might prefer to charter a private boat and survey the reef on his or her own.
Why Go: One of the world's best national parks, Kakadu features several different terrains—from deserts to wetlands—that host a variety of species. We encourage you to join an organized tour through the park: Only experienced travelers should venture deep into the park without a guide for safety reasons.
Why Go: Fiji's natural landscape will lure you from your luxury resort and into the water or the jungle. For example, take Taveuni: This island possesses dazzling coral reefs, a towering waterfall, and a trail through the rainforest. That's only one tiny slice of Fiji! Just imagine the adventure to be had on the Yasawas, a chain of 20 islands with volcanic peaks and intimate lagoons. Fiji's beauty will surprise you again and again. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Fiji
Why Go: Kiwis are some of the most adventurous people on the planet. You'll find them enjoying the great outdoors across New Zealand. While Queenstown caters to dare devils, Auckland touts more traditional activities, like hiking in the gorgeous Waitakere Ranges and fishing off rocky Rangitoto Island. Plus, you can still find bungee-jumping thrills here at SkyJump. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Auckland
Why Go: Despite its cosmopolitan appearance, Sydney has a rugged spirit. With the wind in your sails, you can coast out of Sydney Harbour, admiring the urban landscape from the blue water. Or, you can opt to explore the harbor on land and hike through the national park that surrounds it. If you're brave enough to ride a few waves, head to Bondi Beach for exceptional surfing conditions. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Sydney
Why Go: In the shadow of Melbourne and Sydney, Brisbane attracts a more intrepid traveler, one possessing a sense of adventure while also looking for a substantial city. Athletic visitors will find Mount Coot-tha's numerous hiking and biking trails irresistible. When you reach the summit, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking city views. Outside of Brisbane, you can easily access Mount Mee National Park as well as several islands, which all have their own merits.
Why Go: Playful Melbourne is always up for a bit of fun outside. Just ask the penguins that patrol the beach of Phillips Island Nature Park. Or if they're not home, try speaking with the giraffes at the Werribee Open Range Zoo; this wildlife park features walking and driving paths, offering a safari-like experience right near the big city. Lastly, you can patrol the rows and rows of vines in neighboring wine country. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Melbourne