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Nine Action-Packed Adventures in NSW If You Want to Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Freefall from 15,000 feet, ride rapids through untouched wilderness and surf giant sand dunes to add an adventurous spring to your step.
By Olivia Gee
May 28, 2022
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By Olivia Gee
May 28, 2022
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NINE ACTION-PACKED ADVENTURES IN NSW IF YOU WANT TO GO BEYOND YOUR COMFORT ZONE

in partnership with

Freefall from 15,000 feet, ride rapids through untouched wilderness and surf giant sand dunes to add an adventurous spring to your step.

Feel like you're in a weekend activity rut? Run out of ideas for your next mini break? While we adore lazy brunches and home movie nights, sometimes you need an injection of leisure time adrenaline to break into new worlds of fun. Happily, there are plenty of unusual adventure avenues to explore in New South Wales.

Whether you're looking to ride camels into the sunset or fling yourself from extraordinary heights, we've found a bunch of NSW activities that will redefine your comfort zone.

  • 9
    Catch a Crab Tour

    When demolishing a crustacean-based feast, you come armed with mallets, claw crackers, picks and knives, so it’s no surprise catching sea crawlers is a similarly wild ride. The Catch a Crab Tour sets sail on the Tweed River. Deck mates learn how to snare live crabs — spanner, mud and sand crabs are the seasonal bounty here — as well as pump yabbies out of the sand by hand and cast lines for fish.

    Along the way, you’ll also view local oyster farms and meet resident pelicans keen for a feed. Morning tea is included in the $75 tour fee, but if you want to taste the shellfish you nabbed on the two-hour trip, you’ll need to book lunch ashore at The Oyster Shed.

    Image: Destination NSW 

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  • 8
    Sand Dune Safaris

    The Stockton Bight Sand Dunes are the largest moving coastal dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, curving 32 kilometres between Newcastle and Port Stephens with peaks rising 30 metres above sea level. Once you’ve marvelled at the majesty of this undulating dreamscape, jump on Sand Dune Safaris’ 4WD bus in Anna Bay and head to a secluded sandboarding area for a wind-in-your-hair adrenaline kick.

    You’ll be briefed on how to tackle the slopes on your custom-made boards, whether you’re confident balancing upright or happy to bum slide to the finish line. Your $35 session provides unlimited time for traversing the dunes in between pit stops at the shaded oasis (return shuttles run every 15 minutes). Pack water, sunscreen and wind protection, then get ready to lose your shoes and get sandy.

    Image: Destination NSW

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  • 7
    Skydive the Beach Wollongong

    There’s nothing quite like a 15,000-foot freefall to get your blood pumping. The first 60 seconds of this skydive experience is the cheek-flapping, terrifying fun you’d expect after being tossed from a perfectly functioning aircraft. The following six-or-so minutes of parachute gliding lets your mind return to your physical form while you gaze at the curve of the earth, spying south coast sites like the Nan Tien temple before landing at Wollongong’s North Beach.

    Unless you’re a seasoned (and accredited) skydiver, you’ll be gearing up and riding tandem with a pro who can also film and take photos of the entire experience. Media packages start at $129 on top of the $389 standard jump price.

    Image: Destination NSW 

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  • 6
    Jetpack Adventures

    Want to elevate your next lakeside hang — literally? Jetpack Adventures kits you out with a wetsuit and helmet before strapping you into a jetpack that pumps hundreds of litres of water downwards so you emerge, dolphin-like, to hover above the water at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith.

    Once in the air, your instructor will tutor you (via the radio in your helmet) in the smooth veering motions that steer the craft. You can go Marty McFly-style with a board connected to your feet or opt for the pack strapped to your back. Sessions start at $135 for half an hour, inclusive of training and at least five minutes of high-flying air time.

    Image: Destination NSW 

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  • 5
    Outback Camel Tours

    In the tiny township of Silverton, right on the border between New South Wales and South Australia, there is a fabulous way to get to know the locals: on the back of a camel. Visitors have clambered upon these gangly plodders since the 60s to explore the historic silver mining town, including past the local pub that you might recognise from beloved Aussie films like Mad Max 2 and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

    Silverton Outback Camels can show you the sites on one-hour ($55), sunset ($75) or overnight ($250) outback treks that run daily. While there’s no high-stakes racing involved, animal lovers will get a kick out of this desert trot.

    Image: Destination NSW

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  • 4
    High and Wild Canyoning

    Any fears of heights or enclosed spaces will need to be thrust aside when you sign up for a High and Wild canyoning adventure. Depending on the season and trail you choose, you’ll be trekking through the bush, venturing into subterranean gorges, abseiling through waterfalls and jumping into pristine freshwater pools — so prepare to get muddy in most scenarios.

    In summer, you’ll be donning a wetsuit for full-day journeys with refreshing dips, while the winter excursions focus on abseiling through towering rock formations and fern-laced canyons. Group tour prices (starting from $270 per person) include lunch, as well as expert instruction on using all equipment and a guide through the stunning Blue Mountains.

    Image: Destination NSW 

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  • 3
    Exodus Adventures

    You and a mate can co-captain a canoe through the tempestuous rapids of the Nymboida River when you sign up for a high-octane wilderness excursion with Exodus Adventures. The backdrop of lush forest hideaways and soaring escarpments is a splendid contrast to the heart-thumping experience of navigating through fast-flowing rapids that’ll bring you to tranquil pools and corners of the region only accessible via the river systems. Whether you’re a weather-beaten paddler or new to canoeing, the team at Exodus will blaze a trail to suit your experience level.

    You can spend a day gliding and bumping along the river (from $235 per paddler) or make it a multi-day excursion, which involves camping under the forest canopy (from $405 per paddler). Food and nearby transfers are included.

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  • 2
    Ocean Blast Port Jet Cruise Adventures

    The sea spray will be hitting you thick and fast on this 40-minute coastal sightseeing tour. While you’ll get to see the glorious Port Macquarie coastline and the occasional whale or dolphin visitor, this is no leisurely cruise.

    Port Jet Cruise Adventures runs one of the fastest commercial boats in NSW, which you can experience on the Ocean Blast tour. A 900-horsepower engine will rocket you out into the open ocean with the skipper pulling hairpin turns that’ll send the bow skyward as you skid across the waves. Join the crew for $70 per person for the ultimate sea legs test.

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  • 1
    Outdoor Raw Cliffnics

    Prove your adventure credentials on the first date by booking a picnic hanging from a cliff. We’re not suggesting an awkward meal perched on a rocky ledge, but rather one of the fancy cliffnics organised by Shoalhaven-based business Outdoor Raw.

    You and your date will be suspended on a bench hanging off the side of a cliff, legs dangling, while baskets of locally sourced cheeses, charcuterie, fresh fruits, bread, preserves, wine and beer are lowered to you for feasting. This dramatic cliffside affair pops up at numerous locations with spectacular beach and mountain views and requires little physical exertion to walk to the sites and clamber onto the platform — just a whole lot of gusto to actually relax while suspended high above ground level.

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Discover more adventures around NSW at visitnsw.com.

Top image: High and Wild

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