Find your inner adventurer.
Yes, you could go on a cruise on beautiful Moreton Bay but cruises are for wimps. Take kitesurfing lessons instead – all the fun of surfing without the monotonous paddling out; the buzz of soaring without jumping off a cliff; and the kind of adrenaline rush that usually can’t be bought legally.
You can spend your life in Melbourne and know nothing of French Island in Western Port Bay – 16,900 hectares with no sealed roads, no police, almost no people and accessible only by a passenger ferry. But if mudflats, mangroves, sea eagles, shearwaters and black swans are your thing, get over there and start exploring.
Horizontal Falls flows across the water’s surface rather than onto it, courtesy of millions of litres of fast-moving seawater gushing and coursing into Talbot Bay through narrow breaks in the McLarty Range on the Kimberley Coast. Thrill-seekers can strap in for high-speed boat rides through the maelstrom-like water.
Tucked away on Manly’s North Head, Store Beach is a hidden harbourside haven that can only be reached by water. Hire a kayak from Manly Wharf and make your way to this flat (and often deserted) strip of sand for a romantic picnic, refreshing dip and, with no facilities in sight, a blissful – and convincing – illusion of seclusion.
Explore an abandoned railway
High in the mountains of Canberra’s Tuggeranong region is the abandoned (this section, at least) Bombala railway line, once running from Goulburn to the Victorian border. Bushwalk or mountain-bike as the line winds through hills, farms, ravines and horse paddocks. Begin by trekking up through the thrilling mountain bike trails of Tuggeranong Pines.
For an adventure with such Instagram cred, you’d think you would need a bit of practice. But on this Cradle Mountain canyon tour, you can strap yourself in for a full day of abseiling six waterfalls with no experience required. Leap into deep pools from natural water slides in this World Heritage-listed wilderness. And while you shouldn’t be put off by the final 30-metre challenge at Petrifying Falls, it probably isn’t the best time for a selfie.
The four-day Arkaba Walk showcases the natural wonders of South Australia’s Flinders Ranges but the action after dark is just as memorable. Walkers are rewarded each day with a three-course meal, fine wines and the most opulent swags in the outback. Custom-made and set on raised platforms in the wilderness, stargazing has never felt so smug, er, snug.