Canoeing and Kayaking
From tranquil inlets and backwaters to picturesque rivers and gorges, Australia offers many places to paddle. Canoe the Blackwood River, which meanders through Western Australia’s south-west, or along the maze of calm waterways in South Australia’s Coorong. Sea kayak off St Kilda Beach in Melbourne or under Sydney’s Harbour Bridge. White water raft the furious rapids of Tasmania’s Franklin River or the Tully River in North Queensland. Canoe or kayak through the Northern Territory’s Katherine Gorge or paddle around Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. Hire a kayak for a few hours or spend a few days on a canoeing safari through one of our pristine national parks.
Completely surrounded by water and rich in islands and reefs, Australia is a diver’s dream. Our waters shelter a treasure trove of marine life, with more than 4000 species of fish and the world’s highest diversity of sea grass. Swim with the giant, gentle whale shark on Ningaloo Reef or with sea-lions and dolphins on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. Learn to dive on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest living organism. Or snorkel in sheltered and scenic Clovelly in Sydney. Discover kelp-encrusted submarines off the Mornington Peninsula or a maze of underwater caves along Tasmania’s east coast. Our temperate waters are calling, so come dive in.
Each winter, watch humpback whales gliding north past Byron Bay and Hervey Bay. Marvel at their complex acrobatic communication and listen to the males’ haunting underwater song on a hydrophone. Watch the slow, graceful southern right whales sail up the Western Australian coastline from Geographe Bay, Dunsborough and Albany. Or spot these endangered creatures - once hunted almost to extinction - from the Head of Bight whale sanctuary or Victor Harbor in South Australia. See them mate and calve in the nursery waters of Warrnambool or arrive from Antarctic waters with humpback whales in Tasmania’s picturesque Great Oyster Bay. From late April, southern right whales journey to temperate breeding waters off Southern Australia and Victoria. Meanwhile the energetic humpback whales continue north to warmer waters along the west and east coasts. Which means between May and November, you can spot whales from many scenic spots along Australia’s coastline.
Australia’s surf beaches, where first-class waves for all surfing abilities crash, are born from the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Indian Ocean in the west and the Southern Ocean in the south . Visit iconic Bells Beach, near Torquay, the gateway to Victoria’s Surf Coast on the Great Ocean Road. In New South Wales, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Sydney and its south coast offer a superior swell. Hang out in Burleigh Heads or coast along one of the world’s longest waves at Snapper Rocks on Queensland’s Gold Coast. In South Australia, great surf beaches dot the Fleurieu, Yorke and Eyre peninsulas as well as the Limestone Coast. In Western Australia, Perth, Margaret River and Esperance are home to an abundance of surf beaches. Brave Tasmania’s Southern Ocean swells in Hobart, Bruny Island, Launceston, Devonport and Marrawah. You’ll find a wave to yourself on our uncrowded and pristine coastal beaches.
With 50,000 kilometres of spellbinding coastline, Australia is the perfect place for a coastal journey. Drive the Pacific Coast Touring Route from Sydney to Brisbane via bohemian Byron Bay and the neon-lit Gold Coast. Or follow the spectacular coastal route from Sydney to Melbourne, then the Great Southern Touring Route to Bells Beach, lush national parks and the Twelve Apostles. Take in Fremantle, the lush Margaret River and Esperance’s snow-white beaches on a journey through Western Australia’s south-west. Sail through the idyllic Whitsundays Island or immerse yourself in the uncrowded beauty of Tasmania’s East Coast.
Hot Air Ballooning
Hot air balloons fly from Cairns, the Gold Coast, Brisbane & Port Douglas, so if this is your first time. HOT AIR is Australia’s well established hot air balloon operator and offer a number of rides to tourists and visitors. Queensland is the most popular place in Australia to float in a hot air balloon. Take to the skies daily over Cairns and the Gold Coast, come hot air ballooning with Australia's biggest fleet of balloons. Experience the wonder & romance of ballooning over such picturesque scenery & after there's Hot Air's delicious champagne breakfast (Gold Coast & Brisbane). Time to raise a toast!
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most accessible reefs and offers excellent snorkelling. The only requirements for snorkelling are an ability to swim, fairly good fitness as it a strenuous activity, and the ability to laugh at yourself when you first don the gear and feel rather like a fish out of water. Most of the day trips offer instruction and include a guided tour as well. Some even take you to sandy cays or islands where you can walk straight in off the beach instead of jumping from a boat. Sometimes large resting buoys are placed short distances from each other so you can snorkel from float to float and rest when you need to. Or if you are still a little apprehensive some companies offer float coats designed to give you extra buoyancy, and all you have to do is kick and gaze.If you have not snorkelled before, give it a go and you will be richly rewarded. Many of the sites on the Great Barrier Reef are shallow enough that once kitted out and shown where to go, in no time at all you will find yourself mesmerised by the beauty below you. The water is warm and you simply will not notice how long you have even been swimming. If you are a novice, look for the companies that include the things mentioned.