2017 is almost over. It is time to begin planning your 2018 outdoor adventures. I asked my fellow travel bloggers to share their recommendations for a 2018 outdoor adventure. I had a tremendous response and had to break up the responses by region. Keep a look out of my other 2018 region adventure lists. Here are 18 travel bloggers recommendations for Oceanic Outdoor Adventures in 2018.
Climbing Mount Rinjani, Indonesia
Tom of Travel Tom Tom
One of the coolest adventures of all my travels in 2017 was climbing Mount Rinjani in Lombok. Hiking is already one of the most rewarding adventures but in the incredible landscapes of Lombok it has that little extra that makes it such a unique outdoor adventure. We all know Indonesia as a beach destination and not many people think about climbing a mountain while island hopping in Bali and Lombok, but think twice. I have never seen such an extraordinary landscape as I saw up on the crater rim of Mount Rinjani. This once active volcano created a massive crater lake and in the middle of that crater lake there is still a small active volcano. While hiking I felt like I was somewhere in like Hawaii or Switzerland, the green slopes of the surrounding mountains, the blue lake, the waterfalls, it is simply phenomenal. The Mount Rinjani hike is not an easy one though and it will take a lot of determination to complete the 3d/2n in the mountains, but the rewards are lifetime memories.
A Microlight Flight over the Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
Amanda of I’m not a Ballerina
Here in Western Australia, we have a feeling that our Ningaloo Reef is a superior spot to the more famous Great Barrier Reef on the east coast of the country. I was lucky enough to snorkel on the reef amongst turtles and (friendly) sharks, but even luckier when I got to soar above it, taking a scenic flight in a microlight.
For the uninitiated, a microlight is pretty much like a motorbike with hang glider wings on it, and I was pretty terrified when we first went up, clutching to the seat behind my pilot. But the views over the Cape Range National Park and then out over the Ningaloo Reef in the Indian Ocean were so incredible that I got brave fast. From the microlight, which can travel pretty low for amazing views, I could see giant manta rays, dolphins, and even humpback whales, and of course the millions of shades of greens and blues of the water and the reef. There’s so much adventure to be had in Western Australia, but a microlight over Ningaloo is an especially good one.
Ice Climbing on Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Dave of Dave on Arrival
Trekking in Komodo National Park in Indonesia
Nat of Love and Road
Dragons are real and scary! In Indonesia you get can trek in a paradise island and get close to the amazing Komodo Dragons that only live there. The Komodo National Park is a group of islands located between the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara, one hour flight from Bali. It’s a protect area so to visit the the park you must be accompanied by a local guide and a park ranger. Most of the tours depart from Labuan Bajo, a cute fisherman village that became the hub for people who want to visit the Komodo Park. The day trips include a boat ride to the Rinca Island and Komodo Island, where the biggest population of dragons live. If you choose a two days tour, the adventure at the Komodo National Park will also include an amazing trekking at the Padar Island, one for the most beautiful islands in Indonesia, and a swim at the pink beach. It’s not easy to travel to Komodo National Park but that’s what makes the trip an unique adventure. For more travel tips about this trekking experience check out Love and Road super guide to the Komodo National Park in Indonesia.
Cave Diving with Sharks in Australia
Margherita of The Crowded Planet
Going cage diving with great white sharks was one of the things I’ve always wanted to do, but as an advocate for responsible travel I’ve always been concerned of how feeding sharks to attract them to the dive boats might influence their natural behaviour. Luckily, when I went to South Australia, I saw that ethical shark dives were also on offer, using music instead of fish heads and blood to attract sharks to the boat. Sure, you miss out on bloody fangs and on having the sharks coming up close, but this is a price worth paying to make sure you’re not influencing the animals’ natural behaviour. Two words of warning, though – the water can get very rough and it’s freezing cold, but still it was an unforgettable experience!
Hiking in America Samoa
Jennifer of Made of the Difference
American Samoa is an unlikely place for an United States National Park but it is home to one. American Samoa is a remote territory about half way between New Zealand and Hawaii. The island hold a special status where they are part of the United States but yet operate mostly independently from the rest of the US. Three of the five islands are home to the National Park of American Samoa.
The National Park of American Samoa is full of hiking and remote beaches. The main section of the park is located on the island of Tutuila. There is about 15 miles of hiking trails both in and out of the parks. The best hike in the park is hike up Mount ‘Alava. There are two trails up Mount ‘Alava. One is the 7 mile round trip up the old road. The other is the 5 mile adventure trail featuring ropes and near vertical climbs). Or there is my method of doing them both (don’t do this).
Hiking up Mount Ijen in Java, Indonesia
Shelley of Finding Beyond
Hiking up Mount Ijen in Java, Indonesia to see its blue fire is most definitely a unique outdoor adventure. The hike starts in the middle of the night, 3pm to be precise, in order to reach the crater rim before sunrise. The darkness before sunlight allows for the best viewing opportunity of Mount Ijens roaring blue flames and then provides an awesome position to watch the sun rise above other multiple distant volcanoes. It has to be one of our most memorable travel experiences.
Other than Mount Ijen, there is just one other single volcano on the planet (Iceland) that blows blue fire, created by extreme heat and high levels of sulphur. Mount Ijen is also a working mountain with dozens of miners climbing up and down its steep gravel paths while transporting large chunks of yellow sulphur in wheelbarrows. Back-breaking work!
In the dry season you can climb into the crater to get up close to the blue fire but in the rainy season the sulphuric smoke is too thick and dangerous so only viewing from the rim is allowed. Once the sun rises, the sight of the world’s most acidic lake comes to light. The lake is a vivid turquoise colour, even on a cloudy day like when we visited.
Mary River Houseboats, Northern Territory, Australia
Keri of Our Globetrotters
When people head to the Top End in Australia one of their major bucket list items is seeing real-life crocs! After all, Darwin is home to 100,000 “salties”! While there are many companies that offer river cruises on Adelaide River just outside of Darwin to see the “jumping crocs”, its rather pricey, the tours are short and whilst impressive – clearly a put on show for the tourists.
If you want a real touch of outback Australia, head about 20 minutes further along the Arnheim Highway towards Kakadu and you’ll reach the Corroboree Billabong where you can hire your own boat. Nothing more tranquil then cruising along the billabong and Mary River, a rod in one hand and a tinnie in the other. Yes, you will get to see real life crocs, mostly sunning themselves on the banks but some will creep up precarious close in case you have anything to offer. Boats can be hired by the half day or day, and they even have some overnight house boats if you’d like to see the stunning wildlife show at dawn and dusk. The only safety advice; keep your arms in!
Surfing in Piha, New Zealand
David of Divergent Travelers
New Zealand really has it all for unique outdoor adventures. Within one day you can be ice climbing or snowboarding in the mountains, hiking along some of the best tropical trails in the world and enjoying some of the best surfing waves in the world. Where else can you do all of those adventures in one day? New Zealand is a surfer’s paradise, with more than 6000 kilometers of coastline for you to put your board in and a visit would not be complete until you explored the famous black sand coastline of Piha.
Winding your way through the Waitakare range it’s easy to forget that you are heading to one of the best beaches in New Zealand. Then out of nowhere the tropical rainforest road opens up to an overlook that is surrounded by massive rock features. Get ready to be hypnotized by this surfers paradise that is tucked away in a half volcanic ring crater. Welcome to Piha beach. The towering rock formations create some of the best waves in New Zealand and offers amazing access points to surf. Piha beach is split into two sections, North Piha and South Piha by a large rock called Lion Rock.
This surfer’s paradise offers some ripping swells and rolling tubes for the experienced surfers and moderate breaks for the less inexperienced surfers. For the inexperienced surfers there are plenty of surf schools for you to learn the basics.
Walking the Bay of Fires, Tasmania, Australia
Elizabeth of Compass & Fork
Famous as one of Australia’s best states for hiking, Tasmania’s pristine environment and large areas with little or no development offer the opportunity to get away from the pressures of modern life. The Bay of Fires trail runs 23 miles, (37 kilometers) from Mount William National Park to a beautiful beach, known as “The Gardens”, along spectacular white beaches.
During three full days we only encountered a few people near the lighthouse on the second day. And with no mobile phone or internet, there was little to interrupt the views. Our guide led our small group as we made our way down the coast learning about the history, wildlife and geology. At the end of each day a meal featuring fresh, local produce, a glass of Tasmanian wine, a hot shower and a comfortable bed awaits us.
Upon completion of the hike we returned home with a sense of accomplishment, fantastic memories and some new friends from our fellow travelers.
Exploring the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
David of Delve into Australia
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the great icons of Australia. It sits in the centre of one of the outstanding cityscapes on the planet, across the water from the Sydney Opera House, overlooking the city’s skyscrapers and vast natural harbour, with the Pacific Ocean beyond.
The Bridge – nicknamed the Coathanger by locals – makes for an amazing viewpoint, and there are two ways to experience it. If you want to make your own photographs, the Pylon Lookout, at the top of one of the bridge’s pillars, makes a fantastic vantage point.
But the other way to see it – the BridgeClimb – is much more of an adventure. Everyone changes into a climbing suit appropriate for the weather, and you are taken on your climb by a guide, gradually ascending the stairs of the steel arch before reaching its apex, 134 metres or 440 feet above sea level.
Tours run at various times of the day, including dawn, daytime, twilight and night, with prices varying for each. Twilight is a particularly magical time, as the horizon glows red and the city lights up for the night ahead.
Hiking in the Rainforest in New Zealand
Talek of Travels with Talek
The towns of Franz Joseph and Fox Glacier off route 6 on New Zealand’s south island are wild, frontier towns bursting with natural beauty. One must-do experience here is a hike in a temperate rain forest. The humidity in this ancient, primeval forest is almost 100%. Surrounding vegetation is thick with exotic insects. Giant ferns and other bizarre plant-life loom overhead. Everything is carpeted with a moist moss in every variation of green. It’s like walking in a film set of Jurassic Park. During the day, this makes for a fascinating hike in alien-like surroundings. But if you go on a midnight forest hike, the glow worms put on a “light show” for you. Bring a flash light, walk deep into the forest on the hiking trail then turn off the light. You will see thousands of lightning bugs twinkling in the total, absolute darkness like stars over a moonless desert sky.
Snorkelling with turtles on Heron Island Australia
Cindy of Free to Roam
Heron Island is situated on the Southern part of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. Even though this coral cay is rather small, we enjoyed our three days there. The best part, we could snorkel right off the beach and see plenty of sea life without going on a two hour boat ride. Our favourite thing to do of course was to check out the turtles. Heron Island has a large turtle population, with two turtle species calling it home, the Green Turtle and Loggerhead Turtle.
Depending on when you visit, you may see their eggs hatching, or as we did, see them crawl up the beach to make their nest and lay their eggs. Every sunrise we would find turtle tracks on the sand. But the best part was putting on our snorkels to check them out under water. Although not as friendly as Hawaii’s turtles, the turtles on Heron Island were happy enough to swim next to humans. Watching them glide effortlessly through the water is one of my favourite things to do. An experience to remember!
Kayak to Cathedral Cove, New Zealand
Allison of Flights to Fancy
New Zealand is renowned for its natural beauty and The Coromandel Peninsula is no exception. Think mild temperatures, impossibly clear aquamarine water, perfect white sand beaches and dramatic rock formations. Due to the tricky location, the best way to get to the jewel in the Coromandel crown is to kayak to Cathedral Cove from Hahei beach. If you don’t have your own kayak, Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours run multiple tours daily and the knowledgeable guides are experts in the local area. The paddling is super easy and on the short route you will pass through Gemstone Bay. Gemstone Bay is part of the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve and is one of NZ’s best snorkelling sites. The water is so clear you can see an abundance of fish simply by peering over the side of the kayak. If you visit in winter, you might even spot an Orca. Once you reach Cathedral Cove you have plenty of time to explore the pristine beach before heading back the way you came. Our 2 ½ hour tour was over all too quickly and was one of our favourite activities in New Zealand. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this!
Sandboarding in New South Wales, Australia
David of Delve into Australia
Stockton Sand Dunes are an incredible environment, a mini-desert next door to some of the most pristine beaches and coastline in Australia, the golden sands and turquoise waters of nearby Port Stephens, a two-and-a-half-hour journey up the New South Wales coast from Sydney.
The dunes are the largest moving sand mass in the southern hemisphere and are part of the traditional homeland of the local indigenous Worimi people, and these sands shelter many remnants of their long history. The dunes are also home to an amazing settlement of shacks cobbled together from corrugated metal sheets and all sorts of debris known as Tin City, which was the setting for some scenes from one of the Mad Max movies.
Swimming with the world’s smallest dolphins, New Zealand
Nadine of Le Long Weekend
There are many places to swim with wild dolphins in the world, but what makes the experience at Akaroa, New Zealand, unique is that it’s home to the endangered Hector’s dolphins. These playful dolphins are the smallest dolphins on the planet and they can only be found swimming in the waters surrounding the South Island of New Zealand. There are only around 7,000 Hector’s dolphins left in the wild, and they have a safe haven at the entrance to the Akaroa Harbour – which is an official marine reserve.
Tours out into the harbour depart from Akaroa, the only (historical) French settlement in New Zealand, and take you out near the reserve. Once a pod of dolphins is located, their body language is observed to identify if they’re in the mood for playing, or if they’ve got other things on their mind (like hunting!). If it’s the former you can go ahead and get into the water with them. It’s such an amazing feeling to swim with these remarkable creatures. Their antics could keep you amused for hours and their natural curiosity and playfulness make swimming with them an unforgettable experience!
Pearl Diving in Tahiti
Bret of Green Global Travel
After seeing pearl diving in Tahiti as a challenge on The Amazing Race years ago, we were excited to finally get a chance to try it for ourselves. The Bora Pearl Company (on the island of Bora Bora) was originally opened as a pearl boutique by Erwin and Ate Christian in 1977. Once their daughter, Tea, took an interest in marine biology and jewelry design, they created The Farm, one of the only places in Tahiti where visitors can go diving for a pearl of their very own. The experience starts with a tour of the facility, which includes a brief education on how Tahitian black pearls are grown. Then it was time to grab our masks and snorkels and swim out into a gorgeous blue lagoon, where we saw Spotted Rays and all sorts of tropical fish below. The Farm is divided into four sections, each with around 22 lines holding four to six oysters each. Once you dive down 10 to 15 feet and unhook the line of your choice, you bring it back up to see what’s inside. Back at the shop they carefully pry the oyster open just wide enough to find the precious gem inside. If the pearl is valued at $300 (the cost of the experience) or more you get to keep it; if not, they’ll replace it with one that is. Afterwards, the jewelers take the pearl back to drill a hole for stringing, so you can then have it put onto a necklace or bracelet. It’s an awesome souvenir from your one-of-a-kind underwater adventure!
Fly over the Pink Lakes in Western Australia
Bubble gum pink water! The photos of these lakes look like they have been Photoshop. They aren’t. These lakes serious exist in Western Australia. The lake is located on the Recherche Archipelago which is an 8-hour drive or 2 hour flight from Perth. A fly over of the lake provides an epic overhead view of the lake and one of the best ways to see the bubble gum color of the lakes.