Amazing friendships and deep bonds are formed because of travel. All of my close friends are connected to me through travel in some form. When we get together, there’s usually lots of giggles as we reminisce over our shared adventures.
Experiences can be so profound that someone can move from a stranger to a best friend over a period of a week. You can visit a friend you met on a three-day hill tribe trek after five years and it feels like it was yesterday.
We’re sharing six Aussie adventures best experienced with friends and family. These are the adventures that help you face your own fears and discover what you’re truly capable of.
1. Karijini National Park, Western Australia
The ultimate adventure to have with friends is Karijini National Park. We spent four nights here with our friends Nikki and Drew and their daughter Maddie, who is Kalyra’s age. It was incredible for the kids to enjoy this adventure together and help support each other through the challenge of it.
Not only did each gorge walk have heart racing adventures like spider wall climbs, scaling backward down small rock faces, wading through water, and shuffling along small ledges, there were stunning swimming holes at the end of each walk to cool off in and narrow crevices to swim down and explore.
The adults had a ball doing the same thing. For the super challenging walks, we tagged team the child minding so each couple could enjoy the walk on their own.
Then at night, while the kids played, we sat under the stars telling scary stories.
2. Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
Kakadu is one of the most spiritual places I’ve visited AND it’s full of adventure begging to be experienced with friends. We spent five nights with our friends, Nick and Emma, (the Blockshoppers) and their two children, Scarlett and Jack, who are almost the same age as our girls.
We experienced Aboriginal tours, Aboriginal art classes, walks and spectacular sunsets together during our visit to Kakadu.
The best adventure we had together in Kakadu was the sunrise cruise on the Yellow Water watching the billabong come to life and the crocs on the hunt for breakfast. After that, we drove through grass fires and walked to the top of the cliff to Gunlom Falls, a series of croc-free swimming holes with the most magnificent views over the valley below.
It was one of the most epic experiences of our 18-month road trip around Australia.
3. Moreton Island, Brisbane
We recently visited Moreton Island just as a family. It would be a fun destination for extended family and friends. It’s the third largest sand island in the world with awesome 4×4 sandy tracks on the inland of the island, beach driving and beachside camping.
There are also plenty of adventurous activities on offer. A favourite is snorkelling around the Tangalooma Wrecks, which are comprised of 15 ships sunken to create a calm place for mooring boats. The bonus was that it created an underwater reef system as well.
One of the most exciting adventures is the night-time transparent kayaking in and around the wrecks. It was one of the spookiest things I’ve done and to experience that with Kalyra was incredible. It definitely showed me how brave and adventurous she was.
You can also go quad bike riding and head to ‘The Desert’ to clock up speeds of 60km/hr whizzing down the sand dunes on a toboggan. Seriously good fun.
4. Coral Bay, Western Australia
There’s a bit of relaxation thrown in with your adventure at Coral Bay – it’s a condition of entry into this secluded town in the Ningaloo Marine Park.
The adventure at Coral Bay is mostly underwater. Step from the shore into the water and drift along with the current over coral reefs and with colourful fish – perhaps a turtle or two. Jump on a boat for a short ride to the outer reef to swim with turtles, small sharks, a much bigger reef system and manta rays! Jumping into the water and swimming after a manta ray while holding Kalyra’s hand is an experience I’ll never forget. I would never have been so fearless at her age!
Once again our adventure here was with Nikki, Andrew and Maddie. Not only did the girls swim and snorkel together, they also had an incredible morning quad biking along the coast line with spectacular views.
If you time the seasons right, this is the place to swim with whale sharks. A few sandy beach tracks up and down the coast will take you to more great snorkelling and swimming places.
5. The Gibb River Road, Western Australia
We tackled this adventure over ten years ago with friends. We couldn’t make it on our road trip around Australia as our car was not 4×4. It’s one of the best adventures you can have in Australia and best suited to enjoying it with family and friends.
The Gibb River Road is in the Kimberley region, Western Australia. It’s a remote wilderness and so full of 4×4 driving, river crossings, wild camping, stunning gorges, waterfalls and swimming holes (be croc aware!). At night, it’s just you, the bush, the campfire, a blanket of stars, and memorable conversations.
Wake up with the sun and do it all over again.
6. Bright, Victoria
This alpine village in the Victorian High Country offers adventure with a difference in Australia, a country mostly known for beaches and dry, dusty Outback exploration. But, we do also have incredible mountain areas, and Bright is one of the best places to experience Aussie alpine life.
There are mountain bike trails, scenic drives, mountain hikes, lakes on top of mountains to hike to and kayak in, spectacular views, paragliding, hard core 4×4 driving, and a beautiful river to swim in the centre of town – with a giant slide to make your grand entry.
Our favourite thing to do with friends is jump on a bike and cruise along the Rail Trail in and out of town. You can follow it along the river to nearby cafés and wineries – the kids and adults will love it!