You know how you always end up pulling out that classic story about the time you went travelling and stayed in every night? No? Me either.
That’s because the best travel stories are filled with lines like, ‘we ending up ditching the car and miming to the Russians who spoke zero English that we needed a lift to the nearest town’ or, ‘I definitely shouldn’t have climbed up there but the views were SO WORTH IT!’
Travel memories are made in the moments that get our hearts beating quicker. The moments on that tiny brink between fear and excitement where your brain is asking ‘what on God’s green earth are you doing?’ but your body is screaming ‘HELL YES!’
Reckon you might be an adventure-junkie? Take our quiz below to find out. If you score the badge of thrill-seeking honour, read on to discover our top twenty spots to hit for crazy adventures in Australia. And don’t worry if you’re not ready to fling yourself out of a plane, there’s something in there for every level of adventurer.
So what makes an adventure-junkie? Take this quiz to find out.
Be honest - are these statements true or false?
TRUE OR FALSE: I don’t follow the guidebook, I write it.
You know that rumoured hidden beach that you have to clamber over the rocks at low tide to reach but is apparently the most beautiful spot on the coast? You’re not going to find it in any of the guidebooks, it’s the intrepid souls who wondered what was around the corner that found it.
TRUE OR FALSE: I’m happy to change my plans on a whim.
No plans? No worries! Adventure-junkies get to have those wicked adventures because they said yes when that bloke in their hostel room asked if they wanted to take a road trip to some little town they’ve never heard of instead of heading to the beach like they’d planned.
TRUE OR FALSE: I’m pretty fearless (although I still know better than to stick my bare toes into a boot that’s been sitting outside - I’m fearless but I’m not stupid!)
The good kind of fearless is not letting that worst-case-scenario voice in your head stop you from doing the shit you actually really want to do, like learning to surf. The bad kind of fearless is getting bitten by a red back because you were too cocky to check your shoe for spiders.
TRUE OR FALSE: I’ve climbed a mountain or thrown myself down one
We will accept snowboarding, mountain biking, skydiving, abseiling, canyoning, camping, waterskiing, bungee jumping, heli-skiing, white water rafting… you get the gist. Heck, even bushwalking counts!
TRUE OR FALSE: I’ve done something that makes people say, ‘wait - you can do that!?’
The coolest stories and most incredible journeys come from experiencing a place in an out-of-the-ordinary kind of way. Adventure-junkies don’t just walk around Stonehenge and snap some pictures, they visit at the Summer Solstice and party inside the stone circle all night long. A bonus point if it’s something insanely worthy like volunteering with a women’s rights organisation overseas. Minus one point if it involved pestering an animal.
TRUE OR FALSE: I’ve had so much fun in 2020!
Sounds like a trick question right? But adventure-junkies get super antsy if they have no adventures booked so they will go and seek them out, even if they’re stuck on their parents couch out in woop woop. While a wannabe-junkie is having a whinge about their trip getting cancelled, a true junkie will have already found something new and exciting to do, no matter what hell on earth (cough, COVID) you throw at them.
Add up how many times you answered ‘true’ and see how you scored.
0-1 You’re a ‘cheer on your mates’ from the sideline kind of traveller. Next time someone suggests something a wee bit crazy I dare you to say yes!
2-4 Okay now we’re getting somewhere! You’re on your way to junkiedom.
5-7 Can you bring us along on your next adventure? You are WILD.
Okay, so I’m DEFINITELY an adventure junkie. Give me the membership card, I’ll see ya at the next meeting. Now where should I go to fuel my wonderful addiction?
Yeah, we’re biased. So what?
See above. ‘Nuff said.
#3 Get your hands on a van and do The Big Lap
Allllllllll the way around Australia, she’s a big one indeed.
#4 Venture into the gorges of Karijini National Park
Plunging into the gorgeous (pun intended) swimming holes and chasms of this gem will be the most memorable part of your trip, guaranteed.
#5 Sleep in an underground town
The opal mining town of Coober Pedy is out of this world.
Imagine being able to cruise around the islands at your own leisure, bliss.
#7 See the Aurora Australis
It’s like the Northern Lights but down under.
Six days through some of the most rugged and beautiful wilderness Australia has to offer.
#9 See ancient Aboriginal rock art in Ubirr
This pocket of Kakadu National Park alone has more history than Europe’s little toe.
#10 Watch the sunrise over Uluru
We couldn’t be more pleased that they’ve banned climbing Uluru. Now you can experience the iconic rock as it is meant to be enjoyed - marvelling at its grandeur from below.
You have to see those vivid colours and flurry of fish up close while you still can.
#12 Experience secluded island life
The Tiwi Islands, Kangaroo Island, Rottnest Island, Lord Howe Island… take your pick. You can’t go wrong here, just get off the mainland!
#13 Chase waterfalls in Byron Bay
If you want to escape the mayhem of the tourists, Byron’s hinterlands are filled with gorgeous spots to hike and swim.
One of Victoria (and Australia’s) most underrated nooks, the Grampians are a gorgeous mess of bushland and grand sandstone mountains.
Hey, there’s one we missed in our extreme sports round up.
You have all the best bits of camping in a super stunning location and still get to sleep in a comfy bed.
#17 Drive across the Nullabor
Depending on how you look at it, this looooooooong straight road will either be the most boring or incredible drive of your life.
#18 Marvel at the Pinnacles
What are these otherworldly rock formations in the desert? We have no idea. But damn they’re cool!
#19 Visit a random tiny town in the middle of nowhere just for its name
To get you started, check out Nar Nar Goon, Yass, Mount Disappointment and Eggs and Bacon Bay.
This brand new viewing deck has some of the best views in WA.
How many of these experiences have you conquered?
We love a good adventure and down here on the Surf Coast we have the ultimate adventure of a lifetime- the Great Ocean Road. Starting in Torquay just 1.5 hours from Melbourne, it is the perfect place to explore stunning waterfalls, beaches you have only dreamt about, amazing hikes and so much more.
Ready for the next adventure? Book your stay at Bells Beach Backpackers from just $30 a night.
Written by Rachel Wagner.
Bells Beach Backpackers Content Writer.
CONNECT WITH US: @bellsbeachbackpackers
Rachel Wagner is a freelance producer who writes about the good things in life - travel, culture, creativity and how to tread lightly on our Earth along the way.
She previously flexed her creative muscles as a Podcast Producer for the Mamamia Women’s Network before she gave up the desk life to travel the world. Over the past three years Rachel has found her home in Melbourne, Scotland, England, Mount Buller and the Bellarine Peninsula. And now? Torquay baby!
Her top travel tip is not to be afraid of exploring a new place alone. You’ll be amazed at how many locals and other travellers you meet along the way, plus you’ll never have to say no to a spur of the moment adventure.