When it comes to locating adventure vacation destinations for travelers seeking a thrill or two, there are many that provide plenty of nail-biting experiences, but one of the best in the world is – undoubtedly – Australia’s second-largest state – beautiful Queensland. Known as the “Sunshine State” and home to fabulous Brisbane, Queensland was named for Queen Victoria and it has long been among the country’s top vacation destinations, thanks to its beautiful Gold Coast beaches, vibrant cities, theme parks, and more.
But hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Queensland each year to get their adrenaline pumping with activities that range from mildly thrilling to all-out daredevil craziness. So, if you’re up for some adventure, check out what Queensland, Australia has to offer.
1. Bungee (or Bungy) Jumping – Queensland is home to Australia’s only bungee tower – 164 feet in the air and a thrill from the moment you dare to step off the ledge. Located in Cairns, it offers all-day jump packages and a 16-style jump menu. Real daredevils can even sign up for a BMX bungee jump off the tower roof. Crazy!
2. Canopy Tours/Zip Lining – There are a number of locations within Queensland that offer zip lining opportunities, often combined with the chance to enjoy a canopy tour high up in the trees. These nature-based adventures are often located in a so-called “adventure park” that also includes a number of different courses for visitors of various skill levels. Check out the newest, Green Challenge Adventure Parc near Coolangatta.
3. Parasailing – What better way to enjoy the beautiful coastline of Queensland then from hundreds of feet in the air? You’ll get 360 degree views of the Gold Coast and won’t even get wet, if you prefer. This is a great family activity for parents with brave kids as most outfitters will accept children from about 8 and up as long as they’re accompanied by an adult. Try it!
4. Jet Boating – Popular in the U.S. on the Snake and other western rivers, jet boating in Queensland is offered at a variety of locations. These powerful boats seemingly blast you across the water, executing fish tails, power slides, and much more…and you’re sure to get plenty wet on this adventure.
5. White Water Rafting – A number of tour companies offer excellent whitewater adventures on the rivers of Queensland, including the Tully, Barron, and North Johnstone. The North Johnstone and Tully are best for experienced rafters, with Class 4 and 5 rapids that’ll have you holding on for dear life. The Barron has some great Class 3 rapids and travels through the national park of the same name, offering excellent scenery as well as rafting fun.
6. Surfing – From beginners to those who’ve been “hangin’ 10” for years, Queensland boasts beaches that are suitable to a variety of skills. Truly one of the best surf spots on the planet, it’s also an area where – if you don’t surf – you can enjoy watching great surf competitions or just everyday surfers who’ll knock your socks off. There are also plenty of places to take lessons and receive some coaching.
7. Rock Climbing – Queensland is gradually becoming well-known as a great location for climbers to enjoy their hobby. There are plenty of climbing destinations throughout the region, especially in the southeast portion of the state, like Kangaroo Point, Mt. Maroon, and the popular Frog Buttress. Look for an outfitter that offers guided tours for your level of expertise and provides you with the gear you’ll need.
8. ATV and Quad Tours – Head towards the town of Kuranda – known as “The Village in the Rainforest” – and look for opportunities to sign up for an ATV or quad tour of that spectacular terrain, which is only about a 30-minute drive from Cairns. Take a guided ride through the rainforest and experience the lush landscape. Beware, however…this is not for those who don’t like to get a little dirty. You’ll probably come back good and muddy and worse-for-wear but it’s tons of adrenaline-pumping fun! Family-friendly, too!
9. Scuba Diving – Considered the healthiest coral reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef provides Queensland visitors with an opportunity to dive among the most beautiful underwater scenery on the planet. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is located directly off the coast of Queensland and dozens of dive shops offer guided tours that’ll leave you wanting to come back for more. It’s every diver’s dream!
10. Story Bridge Climb – If you’ve got a problem with heights, this one’s not for you. But if being 265 feet above the Brisbane River doesn’t bother you, head to Story Bridge for the climbing adventure of a lifetime. Enjoy narration from your climb leader about the history of the area and take in awesome views of Brisbane and the area around it that are truly unsurpassed. You can even sign up for a package that lets you abseil down one of the bridges pylons. Unforgettable!