There are many excellent specialist operators for private surf lessons, hot air ballooning, guided walks and cycling trips, diving, snorkelling and quality operators delivering more extreme sports and adventure. There are a few suggestions below but many more to discover.
For active travellers, Great Walks of Australia and Great Golf Courses of Australia have made travel planning very accessible with their collection of flagship products in both fields.
Tasmania is arguably the walks capital of Australia with the Bay of Fires Walk, Cradle Huts Walk, Freycinet Experience Walk, Maria Island Walk – all Great Walks of Australia – covering wilderness, mountain and coastal terrain in fully guided and hosted comfort.
Wineglass Bay Sail Walk is a walk and sail combination. Cradle Mountain Canyons and Gordon Dam Abseiling offer fully guided challenges for the more adventurous. And for golf, Barnbougle Dunes and Lost Farm Golf Links are exclusive, remote and must-play courses on any global golfer’s bucket list.
There are multiple ways to connect with the Northern Territory’s tropical Top End and iconic Red Centre, in comfort.
On the Larapinta Trail by World Expeditions, or an interactive family visit to a working outback cattle station at Bullo River.
Discover the enchanting beauty and prolific wildlife of the Top End via safari-style and fully guided activities including riding airboats across the floodplain, fishing and hiking while ensconced at luxe base camp Bamurru Plains on the Mary River floodplain.
For those with less time but desire for adrenalin, Outback Floatplane Adventures offer an exciting half-day adventure from Darwin including floatplanes. choppers, airboats, off-road buggies and a breakfast or lunch billabong cruise down the pristine waters of Sweets Lagoon.
And Sail Darwin offer small group or private charters on Darwin Harbour and extended voyages along the remote north coast of Australia.
Western Australia boasts some of the least inhabited land on earth with vast wilderness and coastal areas to explore. ‘Floating’ luxury lodge, True North operates its flagship Kimberley adventure cruises from March to September. With six expedition boats and onboard helicopter, it is all about getting off the boat to explore the wilderness.
Horizontal Falls Adventures take guests through this great wonder of the natural world, a tidal phenomenon that produce a horizontal waterfall, via a combination of seaplane, jet-boat and helicopter.
And Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef – the best place in Australia to swim with the whale sharks (April-July) and humpback whales (August-October), as well as snorkelling the World Heritage reef, the second largest in Australia, and hiking the Cape Range National Park. Sail Ningaloo offer a unique, personalised, eco-experience of the reef on their superbly appointed catamaran.
And in the south, in the Margaret River, a wine region by the sea, Walk Into Luxury takes guests on the Cape to Cape walk, in style.
South Australia has an absolute medley of active adventures. From the guided Arkaba Walk in the ancient and dramatic Flinders Ranges, to playing a round or two at Royal Adelaide Golf Club; exploring the Eyre Peninsula, the seafood capital of Australia with Goin’ Off Safaris, or exclusive private touring with Australian Coastal Safaris by The Tailor combining wildlife, fishing and a swim with sea lions, dolphins and sharks. If visiting the Barossa Valley wine region, take in the views of this beautiful region with Balloon Adventures Barossa Valley or Barossa Helicopters.
Queensland’s active luxe experiences are largely water-based but with a few exceptional inland options too. Lizard Island is known as the quintessential active luxury reef experience with diving and snorkeling to fringing reef, giant clam gardens and the world famous cod hole dive sites. Far North Sports Fishing based in Port Douglas are the exclusive operator for sports fishing in the region.
Further south on the Great Barrier Reef, qualia and One&Only Hayman Island are great bases from which to take a day trip to the outer reef for more dive and snorkel adventures on this great wonder of the world.
Hamilton Island Golf Club must be one of the most picturesque, on its own island overlooking the Whitsundays and glistening ocean. And for hikers, the Scenic Rim Trail ending with a night at luxury lodge Spicers Peak Lodge, explores Queensland high country and the protected wilderness area of Main Ridge National Park.
Floating Images hot air ballooning over the Gold Coast Hinterland and Gold Coast Adventures flights offer aerial adventure over this golden stretch of coastline and its beautiful hinterland.
New South Wales
There are multiple, exclusive ways to connect with both Sydney, the sparkling city, and surrounding regions of New South Wales including: a private climb of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with Bridgeclimb, a guided cycling tour of the city with Bonza Bike Tours, private surfing lessons with Lets Go Surfing at Bondi or Maroubra beaches in Sydney or beautiful Byron Bay, or with Rusty Miller Surf in Byron Bay. Explore by Porsche with Cliff to Coast Sports Car Drives, or charter a superyacht with Ocean Alliances or Harbour Days and Eastsail for sunset sailing or cruising on the harbour.
For golfers, two of the Great Golf Courses of Australia are in Sydney: New South Wales and The Lakes. And if visiting the Hunter Valley wine region, take a hot air balloon ride with Balloon Aloft Hunter Valley.
Victoria is arguably the golf capital of Australia, with ten of the Great Golf Courses of Australia, including five courses in the World’s Top 100.
The four-day Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk is a fully guided and hosted walk for a maximum of ten people along the last, most picturesque half of the Great Ocean Road, staying at the lodge each night, and ending with a scenic helicopter flight.
Australian Capital Territory
There’s no better way to fully appreciate Canberra’s charm than from the air with Balloon Aloft. Equal parts exhilarating and relaxing, a balloon ride is one of the best ways to see this remarkable planned city and its changing carpet of seasonal colours.
Explore the bush, wineries and ski fields surrounding Canberra with Canberra Helicopters. For the most adventurous, try your hand at heli fishing in the snowy mountains via a private helicopter trip.
Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk