Adventure Down Under
With its vast distances and remote, rugged terrain, many of Australia’s journeys are ready-made adventures. Travel across northern Australia on the Savannah Way, which starts in Cairns and ends on the other side of the country in Broome. Or cut the continent from south to north on the Explorers Highway, which takes you from Adelaide through Australia’s Red Centre to Darwin. On the comprehensive South Australia Loop, you can climb to the rim of Wilpena Pound, hike part of the Heysen Trail and dive shipwrecks in Kangaroo Island. Go on and off the Gibb River Road on a 4WD adventure through the vast Kimberley.
Gibb River Road, Kimberley, WA
Tackle one of Australia’s greatest four-wheel-drive adventures on this 660-kilometre journey through the vast Kimberley. See freshwater crocodiles in the Windjana Gorge National Park and swim, bushwalk and camp at Lennard and Bell Gorges. Take a scenic flight over Mitchell Falls and the vast Mitchell Plateau. Stay on the one million-acre El Questro Wilderness Park. From here you can go horse trekking, get up close to Kimberley wildlife and boat down Chamberlain Gorge past towering escarpments and Wandjina rock art.
Red Centre Way
The Red Centre of Australia’s Northern Territory is adventure come alive. Swim in Glen Helen Gorge and spot rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap, both in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Listen to the Dreamtime legend surrounding the comet crater of Gosse Bluff. Climb to the rim of King’s Canyon and swim in the tropical pools of the Garden of Eden. Do a dawn camel trek around Uluru and wander between the steep russet domes of nearby Kata Tjuta. Journey through red desert sands, spinifex and mulga forest. Learn about the area’s Aboriginal history from the Arrernte people who have lived here for 20,000 years. Immerse yourself in Aboriginal art and pioneer history in Alice Springs. Don’t miss this unforgettable adventure through Australia’s ancient centre.
It’s hard to beat the romance of sailing through the Whitsunday Islands-74 idyllic, mostly uninhabited islands tucked inside the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Think clear moonlit nights, spectacular sunsets, secluded beaches and pure air. You can sail, swim, snorkel and dive at sheltered anchorages such as Blue Pearl, Butterfly and Hook Island Bays. Soak up the resort atmosphere of Hamilton Island, bushwalk through national park on South Molle and relax in Hayman Island’s five star luxury. Visit Whitsunday Island and walk the pure white, silica sands of Whitehaven Beach.
The Overland Track, Tasmania
Travel through the heart of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wilderness on this famous 65-kilometre trek from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. Walk the entire Overland Track in six days or take short day walks from the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Dove Lake. Remember the end-to-end walk requires planning. You’ll need to book in advance with Tasmania’s Parks & Wildlife Service and take with you a good tent and warm sleeping bag. While the route has eight basic stove-heated huts, there’s no guarantee of space.
Six Foot Track, New South Wales
Take in breathtaking Blue Mountains scenery and 200 years of history on this original 1884 horse track from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. Suitable for walkers of average fitness, the 45km route can be broken into day walks or conquered comfortably in three days. True athletes can sign up for the tough and iconic Six Foot Marathon, but walking is the best way to absorb the scenery. Wind through fragrant bushland, past cliffs, caves and waterfalls. Spot kangaroos, wallaroos, echidnas, wombats, butterflies and many of the 150 bird species that live along the track. Camp along the way at three campgrounds, two with basic facilities, or pitch your tent in the tranquil bushland.
Great Southern Touring Route, Victoria
The Great Southern Touring Route turns the romance of the road trip into a grand love affair. Drive along the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent rock spires of the Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and watch whales from the historic town of Warrnambool. Stretch out your journey with a stay in any of the many scenic seaside towns, from Apollo Bay to Port Fairy. Away from the wild and windswept Southern Ocean, you can explore Aboriginal history in the Grampians and gold rush heritage in Ballarat.