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Best Adventure Vacations in Australia and the Pacific

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

This part of the world possesses a sense of adventure that few places 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 Queenstown, U.S. News ranks the best destinations for thrill-seekers. Nominate your top picks below to help us determine next year's ranking. 

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Australia & The Pacific Rankings

#1 Great Barrier Reef

#1 in Best Adventure Vacations in Australia and the Pacific

Why go: Covering 1,250 miles off the eastern coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is a natural wonder. With over 1,500 types of fish and coral, the reefs are sure to enchant even the most seasoned traveler. What's more, numerous tour providers offer boat rides and guided dives. Read More »

Aquatic Life View 27 photos
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#2 Kakadu National Park

#2 in Best Adventure Vacations in Australia and the Pacific

Why go: This national park features several different terrains – from deserts to wetlands – that house a variety of species. Join an organized tour through the park: only experienced travelers should venture deep into Kakadu without a guide for safety reasons.

Crocodile
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#3 Sydney

#3 in Best Adventure Vacations in Australia and the Pacific

Why go: Despite its cosmopolitan appearance, Sydney has a rugged spirit. With the wind in your sails, you can coast out of Sydney Harbour and admire the urban landscape from the azure water. If you're brave enough to ride a few waves, head to Bondi Beach for ideal surfing conditions. Read More »

Sydney Opera House View 40 photos
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#4 Queenstown

#4 in Best Adventure Vacations in Australia and the Pacific

Why go: The birthplace of bungee jumping offers many adrenaline-pumping activities, including skydiving, skiing, rafting and mountain biking. The city's striking landcape – composed of the water of Lake Wakatipu and the slopes of the Remarkables – is perfect for these sports. Read More »

Aerial View of Queenstown View 18 photos
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#5 Auckland

#5 in Best Adventure Vacations in Australia and the Pacific

Why go: You'll find plenty of outdoor pursuits across New Zealand. Auckland touts more traditional activities than Queenstown, like hiking in the Waitakere Ranges and fishing off rocky Rangitoto Island. But you can enjoy heart-pumping thrills here, too, such as bungee jumping at SkyJump. Read More »

Auckland Skyline View View 58 photos
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#6 Fiji

#6 in Best Adventure Vacations in Australia and the Pacific

Why go: Fiji's natural landscape will lure you from your lavish accommodations and into the great outdoors. Take Taveuni: This island possesses dazzling coral reefs, a towering waterfall and a rainforest trail. Or explore the Yasawas, a chain of 20 islands with volcanic peaks and lagoons. Read More »

Fiji View 24 photos
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#7 Tahiti

#7 in Best Adventure Vacations in Australia and the Pacific

Why go: While Tahiti has a reputation for relaxing honeymoons, this French Polynesian island offers its fair share of adventure. Hiking to the Fautaua Waterfall or through the rugged landscape of Moorea will definitely get your heart racing. Just be warned: The island's poorly marked and limited roadways can add some extra "excitement" to your trip. Read More »

Colorful Tahiti View 25 photos
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#8 Perth

#8 in Best Adventure Vacations in Australia and the Pacific

Why go: Visitors who come to Perth are shocked to find adventure in the middle of the city. Kings Park is one of the world's largest inner-city parks, measuring almost 1,000 acres. In addition to 19 urban beaches, nearby Rottnest Island (accessible by ferry) boasts 63 beaches of its own. Read More »

Cottesloe Beach View 12 photos
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