You’re standing on the edge of adventure with butterflies churning your stomach, eyes wide with awe and heart thumping out of your chest. Chasing thrills around the globe is challenging, inspiring and, the more you do it, seriously addictive. Whether you want to scale towering summits, trek through the wilderness or leap from cliffs, waterfalls and planes, here are five top spots to get your blood pumping.
Adventure Travel Destinations
When you want to push the boundaries of thrills, New Zealand is your wonderland. Queenstown alone offers jet boating, bungy jumping, whitewater rafting, zip lining, sky diving, caving and skiing. Hike glaciers, mountain bike through wild terrain, scale active volcanoes and leap off cascading waterfalls – whatever gets your adrenaline going, you’ll find it here.
In Auckland, jump off Sky Tower, the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. You’ll plunge 53 floors at 85kph, with only a wire between you and the ground. To ride wild rapids, raft the seven-metre Tutea Falls on the mighty Kaituna River in Rotarua. No self-respecting daredevil can leave New Zealand without plummeting 134 metres – in just eight seconds – on a bungy jump over the Nevis River in Queenstown.
Extreme sports take place on a backdrop of incredible natural surrounds, across Finland. Take a husky ride through snowy forests, dare to dip in freezing lakes, go on a wildness hunt to spot the Northern Lights and dive beneath broken ice to catch a glimpse of mysterious shipwrecks.
Korouoma Canyon in southern Lapland is ice-climbing central, with frozen waterfalls that are jagged, sparkling and waiting for you to test your skills on in winter. Take kitesurfing to another level by snow-kiting, with powerful gales pushing you to zoom across frozen rivers and lakes. For speed demons, hop on a snowmobile and race across dense forests and clear expanses of raw, arctic wilderness.
Dive with Great White sharks – or crocodiles in the Cage of Death – do hot laps around the track in a V8, ride grade VI rapids on Tasmania’s Franklin River and attempt the world’s highest commercial abseil down the face of the Gordan Dam. The Land Down Under is truly a land of thrills per minute.
Journey into the Northern Territory and skydive over Ulura, then go on a quad bike safari across red sand dunes and remote cattle stations. When you explore the Great Barrier Reef, dive at the Snake Pit inside Ribbon Reefs among venomous, though docile, olive sea snakes. For a more relaxed adventure, soar over vineyards, mountains and glistening coastlines in a hot air balloon from any capital city in the country.
In terms of adventure travel destinations, India is more about getting out of your comfort zone than jumping out of planes. For example, a sunset boat ride on the Ganges, in Varanasi, is a mind-expanding experience like no other.
However, you can certainly embark on guided tours to spot snow leopards, trek the sacred mountain of Kinner Kailash, mountain bike in Kerala and cliff jump in Rishikesh. For one of the most colourful adventures you’ll ever have, visit during the Holi Festival in March. The celebration of good versus evil sees bonfires blazing and rainbow-coloured powder hurled through the air at anyone, and everyone.
If city-based adventures are more your thing, Singapore delivers. Body dive in the world’s largest themed vertical wind tunnel, at iFly, or hop in a Lamborgini for heart-stopping laps on the Formula One circuit. Dare the G-Max Reverse Bungy at Clarke Quay and gaze at panoramic views from the Singapore Flyer, which is one of Asia’s largest observation wheels.
Have you caught your breath yet? When you explore the world’s top adventure travel destinations, ‘breathlessness’ is your new state of being.