Awe­some ad­ven­tures

Our in­trepid trav­eller and oc­ca­sional fun­ny­man of­fers sug­ges­tions on how to get that adren­a­line rush while down un­der.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TRAVEL - By JA­SON GOD­FREY star2­travel@thes­tar.com.my land­scape, you can go from strolling in warm tem­per­a­tures to sip­ping co­coa in front of a cosy fire sur­rounded by chalets and snow in just a few hours’ time. Falls Creek, Mount Buller, Mount Hotham, Vic­to­ria; Th

TO­DAY’S savvy trav­ellers are look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent from the same stock ex­pe­ri­ences that ev­ery­one else has. If you’re look­ing for ad­ven­ture, few con­ti­nents do ad­ven­tures bet­ter than Aus­tralia. Is it any co­in­ci­dence that Aus­tralia and ad­ven­ture both start with an “A”?

With­out fur­ther flap­ping my gums, here’s my list of Awe­somely Ad­ven­tur­ous Aus­tralian Ad­ven­tures! (Rep­e­ti­tion done on pur­pose, to stress just how ad­ven­tur­ous it can get Down Un­der.)

Moun­tain-bik­ing

Aus­tralia is a par­adise for moun­tain-bik­ing, with its huge va­ri­ety of ex­cit­ing sites that com­bine cross-coun­try and downhill tracks for all lev­els of bik­ers, from pro­fes­sional to fright­ened be­gin­ner. Bike through an­cient for­est, over deserts in the out­back, along scenic oceanic coast­lines – what­ever the en­vi­ron­ment, Aus­tralia’s got it.

Mount Buller and Mount Beauty in Vic­to­ria; Stromlo For­est Park and Thredbo in the Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory; Mount Royal Na­tional Park trail in New South Wales; Glenorchy Moun­tain Bike Park, Welling­ton Park, and Ben Lomond Na­tional Park in Tas­ma­nia; Ea­gle Moun­tain in South Aus­tralia; and Mt Stu­art, near Townsville.

Where:

Rock-climb­ing

Want a phys­i­cal and sur­pris­ingly men­tal chal­lenge? Try rock-climb­ing in Aus­tralia. With ev­ery­thing from shorter routes to multi-pitch climb­ing, there are a va­ri­ety of crags to test your phys­i­cal stamina and men­tal for­ti­tude. And if climb­ing is al­ready your thing, test your abil­i­ties in Tas­ma­nia’s Fed­er­a­tion Peak Blade Ridge, which pre­dictably looks like a blade tow­er­ing out of the ground, and get 600m above the val­ley floor. At this height, even ex­pe­ri­enced climbers can get sketched out.

Greater Blue Moun­tain, New South Wales; the Grampians and Bun­go­nia State Re­cre­ation Area, Vic­to­ria; Or­mis­ton Gorge, North­ern Ter­ri­tory; and of course Fed­er­a­tion Peak, South-west Na­tional Park in Tas­ma­nia. Climb on!

Where: Div­ing (with crea­tures that could eat you)

Specif­i­cally, sharks and croc­o­diles. There are plenty of nat­u­ral cage div­ing ex­pe­ri­ences in Aus­tralia where you get in the wa­ter with the dark-eyed preda­tor that is the Great White Shark. As some­one who has been cage­div­ing, I find that it’s not just see­ing these beasts while be­ing in the wa­ter with them, but there is also some­thing omi­nously ex­cit­ing about be­ing in a boat cir­cled by 5m-long Great Whites. Of course, this be­ing Aus­tralia, you could also get in the Cage of Death and go into the wa­ter with a gi­ant crocodile at Dar­win’s Cro­cosaurus Cove. Crikey, mate!

Port Lin­coln, South Aus­tralia; Nin­ga­loo Reef, Western Aus­tralia; Ocean World, New South Wales; Cro­cosauraus Cove, North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

Where:

Get spaced!

Aus­tralia is the home of one of only three deep space com­mu­ni­ca­tion com­plexes in the world. Head to the Can­berra Deep Space Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Com­plex (part of NASA’s deep space net­work) to check out real moon rocks or a Mars Rover replica, or just to gawk at the largest com­mu­ni­ca­tions dishes in the south­ern hemi­sphere! Aus­tralia’s clear skies and wide open spa­ces are per­fect for stargaz­ing and astron­omy, so check out one of the nu­mer­ous ob­ser­va­to­ries and plan­e­tar­i­ums there.

If ex­trater­res­trial life were to con­tact Earth, this would be the place the mes­sage would be re­ceived, and if said life were to stage an In­de­pen­dence Day- style in­va­sion of Earth, these gi­ant dishes may just get enough of their at­ten­tion to be ground zero for the at­tack!

The Honey Suckle Creek Track­ing Sta­tion and Tid­bin­billa Deep Space Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Com­plex, Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory, Syd­ney Plan­e­tar­ium at the Syd­ney

Where:

Ob­ser­va­tory; Mel­bourne Plan­e­tar­ium

Put your win­ter woolies on

Aus­tralia may not be known for its snowy peaks but it does have them. Go ski­ing, snow­board­ing or just get on a to­bog­gan and head down the slope at break­neck speed but don’t ac­tu­ally break your neck. In an in­cred­i­ble dis­play of the ver­sa­til­ity of the Aus­tralian

There are few things that are as ad­ven­tur­ous as har­ness­ing the power of na­ture to sail a ship across the hos­tile seas, and there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to do ex­actly that in Aus­tralia. Sail a Tall Ship – the same ships the first set­tlers ar­rived on – or join one of the nu­mer­ous world fa­mous yacht races Oz of­fers. If ex­treme ad­ven­ture is what you’re look­ing for, head to Tas­ma­nia for their Three Peaks Race in April where teams sail north of Launce­s­ton to Ho­bart, only stop­ping to tackle three moun­tains on the way. I would def­i­nitely sail my yacht, if I had one, to climb those peaks.

Whit­sun­day Is­lands, Queens­land; Syd­ney, New South Wales; Launce­s­ton, Tas­ma­nia; Dar­win Sail­ing Club, North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

There you have it. Whether it’s sail­ing, climb­ing, or sim­ply fend­ing off “alien in­vaders”, Aus­tralia has an ad­ven­ture wait­ing for all. Of course, this is barely scratch­ing the sur­face. Check out www.aus­tralia.com for an ad­ven­ture that suits you.

Where:

Catch the re-run of Ja­son Down Un­der on Feb 27 at 11.30pm ex­clu­sively on Life In­spired (Astro B.yond Ch728).

Pre­mium rush: Noth­ing to get the blood pump­ing like rock-climb­ing. you can get a piece of the ac­tion at Hang­ing rock, New South Wales.

there are plenty of choices when it comes to bik­ing. bit­tangabee bay in New South Wales is just one of them.

div­ing with the whale sharks at Nin­ga­loo

reef, Western aus­tralia.

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