Adventure Destination - Alice Springs NT Walk and Ride

Top 10 Inspiring Aussie Outdoor Destinations

Written by: Tom Crew



Time to read 7 min

Sometimes a landscape doesn’t just pique your interest or simply whisper to your adventurous heart. Rather, it shouts at it: "Get here NOW! And bring the adventure kit." So, where are Australia’s top ten most inspiring adventure destinations that are just too hard to ignore? Here’s our pick of places and matching adventure activities that will leave you breathless and eager for more.

Blue Mountains, NSW – Canyoning

Canyoning is an adventure pursuit more often associated with European mountains than Australian terrain. Yet, in New South Wales’ hinterland hides a veritable library of canyoning experiences that will blow your mind. The terrain that once held back early explorers is dramatic in its drop-offs. Escarpments and fissures define the mountains, creating otherworldly oases of waterfalls, gullies, caverns, caves, and underground streams, all ripe for exploration. Of course, canyoning is not for the faint-hearted nor the inexperienced – either choose easily accessed and safer options or go with fully qualified guides. For those seeking a big thrill, try Kanangra Main, a Grade 6-rated drop that is simply giant and takes a very long day to descend, followed by a big climb back out. If rope-work isn’t your thing, the Blue Mountains also hosts a plethora of trail walking and running opportunities, with great bush camping spots.

Blue Mountains NSW Canyoning

Whitsundays, Queensland – Sea Kayaking

Whitsundays, Queensland - Sea Kayaking

Known as a sailing and cocktail-swilling haven, the calm waters of the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland also offer quality sea kayaking experiences. There’s even an official kayaking trail – the Ngaro Sea Trail – that links some of the islands and the mainland into a paddling circuit. There’s some walking matched to the boating, with trails enjoyed at each white sand berth across Whitsunday, South Molle, and Hook Islands. Walk through open forests, grasslands, and rainforests. Climb rugged peaks or stroll along winding pathways. Then grab the paddle again and float over crystalline waters, catching glimpses of abundant sea life and perhaps plunging in for a refreshing swim after each paddle leg. The main route loops from Sandy Bay on South Molle, linking north to Hook Island and then all the way around Whitsunday, with an offshoot route tracking down the west coast of the latter. Camping is the accommodation of choice here.

South West Tasmania – Trekking

Tasmania’s South West National Park is recognized as the most remote bush and mountain wilderness in Australia and hosts some of the most beautiful, if challenging, multi-day walks. Choose from the South West, Port Davey, Federation Peak, the Western Arthurs, or any number of shorter but no less impressive walking trails. Be prepared for slow going and to be self-sufficient – this is not a hosted hut-to-hut experience, like the Overland Trail to the north. Weather can be unpredictable year-round. However, the reward for effort is a true sense of being in an isolated wilderness, with big views from atop stunning ridgelines, and a sense of being amid a giant landscape that will leave you impressed.

Munda Biddi Trail, WA – Multi-day Mountain Biking

The Munda Biddi Trail, meaning ‘path through the forest’ in the Noongar Aboriginal language, is a world-class 1,000km riding experience through the southwest region of Western Australia. Riders journey through towering eucalyptus forests and unspoiled bushland, enjoying gentle terrain that connects huts and villages en route. The trail starts at Mundaring, east of Perth, and travels south through the world-famous Margaret River wine region before heading east to finish in the southern seaside town of Albany. The region’s mild climate offers a year-round experience suitable for riders of all levels, with many access points and a range of accommodations, from camping sites to luxury B&Bs.

Munda Biddi Trail WA - Mountain Biking

Gippsland River, Victoria – Paddling

The Mitta Mitta River in Gippsland, East Victoria, is often described as a classic snow-fed river, “rising quickly with the onset of spring and depending largely on the season’s snowpack.” This river is a paddler’s favorite and is frequently used by guiding companies as an entry-level trip. Successfully navigating the Mitta without screaming is a prerequisite before tackling more challenging rapids. Paddlers will be awestruck by the sight of the Mitta gorge walls, with soaring rock columns dubbed the ‘Faulty Towers’ marking the start of the serious rapids. There are fifty rapids on the most popular run, providing a thrilling experience. The Mitta is just one of many rivers in East Gippsland, including the Cobungra, Avon, Mitchell, Dargo, Genoa, and Snowy rivers. This region boasts the highest percentage of national and state park wilderness areas in Victoria, offering endless paddling options for all levels of experience.

Mount Buller, Victoria – Mountain Biking

It’s the mountain biking mecca not just of Victoria, but Australia, as the only temple of singletrack sweetness that has been granted the International Mountain Biking Association’s (IMBA) prestigious ‘Ride Centre’ accreditation (the only one of its kind in Australia), meaning it epitomises IMBA’s high-quality standards for large-scale mountain bike facilities that offer something for every rider.

More than 100km of singletrack weaves across the flanks of Mount Buller and Mt Stirling Resorts and with the recent addition of the 40km Australian Alpine Epic Trail – the only IMBA accredited ‘Epic’ trail outside of North America – there are now more grades and gradients to satisfy beginner through experienced on everything from fast cross country and hardcore downhill trails. Trails involve a range of technical features and obstacles, varying in altitude from 600 to 1,700m and guarantee incredible views, an amazing alpine environment – and best of all, they’re free to use.

Mount Buller Victoria - Mountain Biking

Sapphire Coast, NSW – Adventure All Sorts

The Sapphire Coast of New South Wales is an unheralded gem for multi-pursuit ‘soft’ adventuring. Too far from Melbourne and Sydney for weekenders, it benefits from a backwater relaxed vibe while packing more natural fun than most regions. This area offers a diverse range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Mountain biking enthusiasts will find the trails at Tathra simply awesome, while trekkers can explore the Ben Boyd Light to Light trek, one of the nation’s best coastal trails. The pristine inlets, bays, and coves make for stunning sea kayaking and coasteering adventures. For those who prefer calmer waters, kayaking at Lake Brogo is a must-try. Surfing options are plentiful with many excellent breaks to choose from, and the Bega River is perfect for stand-up paddleboarding. For 4WDing, the inland national parks such as Wadbilliga, Biamanga, Nadgee, and Deua offer thrilling off-road experiences. Or, you can simply stop, prop, camp, and enjoy the serene beauty of this region.

Sapphire Coast NSW - Adventure of All Sorts

Alice Springs, NT – Walk and Ride

A desert experience is a must in adventure circles, and Alice Springs offers some of the best options with its sheer grandeur of scenery. Stretching west from Alice Springs is the Larapinta Trail, renowned for its ancient landscapes and undulating challenges as walkers (and runners) traverse the West MacDonnell and Chewing Ranges. Adventurers alternate between expansive vistas from atop knife-edge ridgelines and peaks, and the cool respite of chasms, gorges, and hidden oases. Whether you choose to tackle the trail independently or with a guided tour, the experience is unforgettable. World Expeditions offers luxe ‘glamping’ at its permanent tented sites, while Tour de Trails provides trail running tours, utilizing camp kitchens and hot showers. The Larapinta has numerous trailheads and easily accessible attractions, such as Standley Chasm and Ormiston Gorge, making it perfect for independent travelers. Additionally, Alice Springs boasts some of the best singletrack mountain biking in Australia, courtesy of extensive trail development by the local mountain biking club.

Alice Springs NT - Walk and Ride

Jatbula Trail, NT – Trekking

The Jatbula Trail, located in Nitmiluk National Park, Northern Territory, offers a breathtaking 66km trek that follows the western edge of the Arnhem Land Escarpment. This trail traverses diverse landscapes, including sandstone plateau scrub, woodlands, open forest, sandstone monsoon forest, and riverine areas. Walkers journey through the stunning Katherine Gorge, past magnificent waterfalls, and enjoy panoramic views of the Seventeen Mile Valley. The trail follows an ancient Song Line or Dreaming Trail used by the Jawoyn people, connecting it to the Dreamtime creators. Typically completed in five days, trekkers can expect to cover between 10 to 17km per day. The walk is less heavily signed than many other trails in Australia, so it is essential to be well-prepared with detailed maps or consider using a guided tour option for a safer and more informative experience.

Grampians, Victoria – Rock Climbing

The Arapiles in Victoria and the Blue Mountains in NSW are often the focus of the climber community's attention and are considered the cultural heartlands of rock climbing. However, many top climbers will tell you that the Grampians, also in Victoria, is actually the premier destination to harness up. According to experts, this granite region offers more climbing routes than any other place in Australia, spread across a vast yet easily accessible National Park. The dramatic mountain ranges and rock faces within the Grampians provide spectacular climbing opportunities. Popular climbs include The Gallery, Van Diemen’s Land, and the ever-popular Summer Day Valley. For those tackling bigger climbs, Taipan Wall is a must-try. Independent climbers will need a car to navigate the area, and there are plenty of camping spots to base yourself from if you prefer to stay outside the central village of Halls Gap. Alternatively, you can connect with one of the local climbing guides for a more structured experience. The Grampians' combination of varied routes, stunning scenery, and accessible camping makes it an unparalleled climbing destination.

Grampians Victoria - Rock Climing

Ensure that you are well prepared for these destinations with all the right hiking gear from Camping Australia.