Crazy outdoor things to do in Australia
When it comes to letting loose on vacation in Australia, there are usually 2 types of people: the one who eats, sleeps, and repeats, hard. And then there’s the other who constantly needs to dive off cliffs and swim with sharks.
Here are 10 for the latter. While these crazy outdoor activities may not kill you, they might seem so when you take the plunge into a dark sinkhole, dive into a pool of crocodiles, and twist upside down on a zipline track.
1. Cage swim with great white sharks
Yes, we’ve binge-watched Jaws a hundred times and know Baby Sharks’ lyrics like the back of our hands. But when it comes to getting up close and personal with actual sharks, we might sit that one out. You, however, can hit up any shark swim tours at Port Lincoln for this jaw-some experience.
Image credit: Port Lincoln
In a spacious metal cage that can hold up to 8 people, you’ll be dropped into the ocean where the Great White Sharks live. The crystal clear water surrounding Neptune Islands is home to an abundance of sharks. But since you’ll be near the shallow surface, expect to see at most 1 or 2.
Come between April and August for the highest chance of crossing paths with these enormous creatures. Although they feed on mostly seals, there have been rare past incidents where these great whites crashed into the human cage. So, dive at your own risk.
Book a shark cage dive.
Price: From AU$486 (~S$466.26)Address: 3/10 South Quay Boulevard, Port Lincoln, South Australia 5606Opening hour: Mon-Fri 9:00am – 5.30pm (Closed on Saturdays, Sundays & PHs)Contact: +61 (8) 86823939 | Shark Cage Diving Tour website
2. Submerge in a pool with a 700kg saltwater crocodile
Sharks might have been named the “Kings Of The Ocean”, but when they face the saltwater crocodiles, they’ll be nothing but a target for these giant predators. To see how terrifying these reptiles are, head over to Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin to swim with giant crocs.
Grab your waterproof camera and sit comfortably in a cylinder as it slowly sinks into a pool of crocs. Unlike the thick metal shark cage, the cylinder here is transparent, made of plastic, and can only take 2 people at a time.
Once you’re down there, the folks at Crocosaurus Cove will start the feeding session to ensure these reptiles will be circling you at all times. Time to take your obligatory YOLO selfie and then get the heck out of there.
Book a swim at Crocosaurus Cove.
Price: From AU$180 (~S$172.69)Address: 58 Mitchell Street, Darwin City, Australia 0800Opening hour: 9am-6pm, DailyContact: +61 (8) 8981 7522 | Crocosaurus Cove website
3. Trek the iconic 1,200km Heysen Trail
The best way to tour a country’s landmarks is undoubtedly on foot. But when that leisure stroll turns out to be a 60-day hike through Australia’s longest walking trail, then it’s a whole different ballgame.
Image credit: @heysentrailfriends
Measuring 1,200km, the Heysen Trail takes roughly 2 months to complete and covers beaches, sea cliffs, forests, and touristy hotspots including the Barossa Valley and Wilpena Pound. The walk is divided into 2 sections: the flatter Southern part that’s beginner-friendly and the Northern trail that’s more difficult to navigate due to its rugged terrain.
Image credit: @justin.sprecher
Besides the breathtaking landscape, catch a variety of Australian wildlife along the trail such as kangaroos and koalas. As usual, remember to bring plenty of water, food, and clothes for different weather conditions.
Price: FreeOpening hour: April-October
4. Scuba dive 60m down a dark sinkhole
With 30,000 miles of coastline, it’s not difficult to find a dope diving spot in Oz. But those who seek a bit more thrill might want to head to Kilsby Sinkhole for one of the creepiest underwater adventures.
Image credit: @beyond_amy
Sitting in the middle of a sheep farm, this hidden sinkhole is 60m deep and looks pitch black from above. However, once you take a leap of faith, what you’ll find underneath are shimmering shards of light cutting through sheer blue water and turtles swimming next to you.
Image credit: @immersiafreediving
To get down under, you’ll need to be a certified scuba diver and book a trip with one of the diving operators. They’ll help sort out the equipment and ensure you’re safe and sound.
Those with no diving experience can opt for a snorkel tour and float on the surface instead.
Book a dive at Kilsby Sinkhole.
Address: 525 Sisters Road, Moorak, South Australia 5291Contact: +61 408 826 355 | Kilsby Sinkhole website
5. Embark on a 4-day water rafting trip through a rainforest
Who cares how fast the rapids are on the North Johnstone River? The fact that it takes 4 days to complete the rafting journey – and the only way out is by paddling down powerful torrents – is enough to turn most people away.
Inside the jungle lies a rapid river where rafting enthusiasts come to play.Image credit: @kat_kandy_hearts
Because the river is secluded and hidden inside a rainforest, you’ll need to be airlifted in via a helicopter. But the good thing about this is you’ll most likely have the river all to yourself.
Image credit: Ultimate Wild Trip
As you drift along, try to catch a glimpse of the unique stinging trees and volcanoes, as well as the buzzing wildlife full of water dragons and bird spiders. At night, make a pitstop in the jungle and find a comfy spot for camping.
Book a rafting trip at North Johnstone River.
Contact: +61 7 40402100 | North Johnstone rafting website
6. Zipline on the world’s fastest rollercoaster track
Forget about the traditional zipline that sends you in a straight line. The Crazy Treetop Rider “Xtreme” cables will have you twisting, turning, and flying down a 3,280ft-long roller coaster zipline track.
Image credit: @treetopsadventureaust
Billed as the world’s fastest ride, the experience involves hurling yourself in a series of unexpected bends and can go up to 50km/h. Beware: the zipline track wraps around trees, so you’ll need to keep your arms tucked in and legs straight to avoid being whacked by branches.
Book a ticket to Treetops Adventure.
Price: From AU$30/child (~$28.77) | AU$36/adult (~$34.53)Address: 749 Elizabeth Drive, New South Wales, Australia 2716Opening hour: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm | Sat-Sun 9am-5pmContact: +61 476 865 602 | Treetop Adventures website
7. Abseil off 140m-tall Gordon Dam Wall
Taking a plunge off the 140m-tall Gordon Dam Wall is a crazy outdoor activity you never knew you needed. But you can’t call yourself a true adventurous soul if you skip out on one of the world’s top 10 scariest things to do.
Image credit: @brad_g4
Before strapping the harness on, ask yourself whether you’d like to try either the 30m or 50m drop prior to going full speed down the entire 140m wall. Summon whatever strength you have left in your bones and get going. The wall is concave so most of the way down feels like free falling.
Once you hit bottom, prepare to trek up 43 flights of stairs to get back to the top.
Book tickets to Gordon Dam Wall.
Price: AU$210 (~S$201.21)Address: Gordon River Road, Strathgordon, Tasmania, Australia 7139Opening hour: 24 hour, DailyContact: +61 3 6230 5111 | Gordon Dam Wall website
8. Spend a night on a 300m-tall cliff
The term “camping” isn’t usually associated with danger unless you find yourself camping on the cliffs of the North Wall of Mount Buffalo.
Image credit: Visit Victoria
At 300m, the death-defying camping experience offers expansive views of the surrounding mountains and ocean. Besides absolute tranquillity, brave campers will also get a 3-course dinner, breakfast, and coffee delivered to them.
However, we’d suggest you skip the coffee because the only portable toilet is at the top of the mountain. Imagine how much effort a trip to the bathroom will require.
Book a portaledge camping experience.
Price: AU$899 (~S$861.50)Address: Mount Buffalo Road, Mount Buffalo, Victoria, Australia 3740Opening hour: 24 hour, DailyTelephone: +61 (03) 9079 4600 | Beyond The Edge website
9. Hike 134m up Sydney Harbour Bridge
We’ll admit: the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb is probably one of the safest activities on the list. But that doesn’t mean the steep hike up a 134m-tall towering structure won’t inspire serious terror.
Image credit: @robin_whalley
Due to its beginner-friendly nature, the famous climb attracts busloads of tourists daily. There are 3 different routes you can take to reach the summit, with the longest option taking 3.5 hours to complete. Once you make it to the top, the panoramic views of Sydney’s iconic landmarks will make you want to stay for a while.
The best time to go is either at dawn to catch the sunrise or at dusk to see the sunset. Both options will ensure you beat the heat and the crowd at the same time.
Book tickets to Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Price: From AU$139/child | AU$348/adultAddress: 3 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, New South Wales, Australia 2000Opening hour: 24 hours, DailyContact: +61 1300 908 057 | Bridge Climb website
10. Learn wilderness skills in a bushcraft survival course
Tom Hanks might have taken almost a year to learn wilderness skills in Cast Away to stay alive. But you will only need roughly 7 days and 2 bushcraft survival courses to master the art of starting a fire, building shelter, and fishing – among other valuable techniques.
Learn how to build shelter and light fire.Image credit: @bushcraftsurvivalaustralia
At Bushcraft Survival Australia, you’ll be able to choose between 7 courses ranging from fundamental modules to advanced training with first aid casualty care. Each module lasts between 3 and 4 days, but those who are tight on time can opt for the survival 1-day crash course.
Don’t worry, you’ll still walk away with the necessary skills to survive in the wild in the event a crisis hits your ‘hood.
Book a course at Bushcraft Survival Australia.
Price: From AU$105/child (~S$104.46) | AU$210/adult (~S$201.25)Address: 77 Marshall Way, Nambucca Heads, New South Wales, Australia 2448Contact: +61 417 693 904 | Bushcraft Survival Australia website
Bookmark 10 craziest outdoor activities in Australia
By now, you must have realised that Australia is home to some of the most deadly activities. But if you’re still thinking about dipping your toes in the dangerous water of Oz, then go ahead and add these outdoor activities to your to-do list.
Just make sure you pad yourself with good travel insurance. You never know.
For more vacay inspos: