10 Unusual Adventure Activities

Posted on May 9, 2013 by

The true adventurer never stops looking for new and exciting ways to discover a country; even on a second or third visit it’s possible to take part in an activity not previously experienced.

And while it takes a lot to beat a canoe safari in Botswana, white water rafting in Iceland or shark cage diving in South Africa, there are plenty of other ways to experience a country.

As an adventure travel blogger myself, here are my 10 top tips of the more unusual adventure activities you can take part in around the globe.  

1. Explore Saigon by Vespa

For those with a need for speed, exploring Saigon in the evening on the back of a Vespa is a must! You’ll be driven around by a local guide who knows the city like the back of his hand, stopping at a seafood restaurant and pancake shop to satisfy rumbling tums before heading to  a local music venue for an injection of local culture. This is a really fun way of getting to know one of Vietnam’s most exhilarating cities and with your guide on hand to lead the way, it’s a really authentic experience.

Scooter riding in Saigon

2. Swim in Antarctic waters

As crazy as it sounds, this is possible! Deception Island, just off the Antarctic Peninsula, is home to thermal waters thanks to the fact it is a caldera, and while the waters aren’t exactly warm enough to be compared to say, a tepid bath, they are warm enough to take a dip – and who else can say they have swam in the Antarctic?! (Read about my polar plunge in Antarctica 

Swim in Antarctica

3. Take a biplane safari

Step back in time and observe safari wildlife from the air in a traditional biplane. There is only one place you can do this in East Africa – the Lewa Wilderness Conservancy in Kenya, so it’s a really unique experience and one that you are unlikely to forget in a while! The pilot, Will Craig, has over 5000 hours flying experience and takes great delight in pointing out the area’s local landmarks amidst the dramatic and beautiful landscape.

Take a Biplane in Kenya Photo provided by Audley Travel

4. Canoeing and camping on the Zambezi

An adventurer’s dream, you spend three days canoeing down the Zambezi, setting up camp each night on one of the islands in the river. There is literally no way of getting any closer to the wildlife in the area as you share the river with hippos, crocodiles and elephants, who all make regular appearances. Although  the pace isn’t too strenuous, you undertake approximately 4 to 6 hours paddling daily, stopping once in the morning and once in the afternoon for a break.  

Canoe and Camp in the Zambezi river

5. Combine adventure and wine in Argentina

What a wonderful combination! If you consider yourself a foodie and an adventurer you’ll love this activity, which begins at Brazo Tristeza in the Argentine Lake District, where you can admire the stunning panorama before descending on a rope followed by a 40m rappel to the base. At the base adults enjoy wine tasting and a light lunch before an afternoon of water-based activities – don’t forget your swimwear!

Flickr image by Gollmar

6. Swim with whale sharks

If you’re in Western Australia between March and early July, don’t miss the opportunity to snorkel with whale sharks in the Ningaloo Reef where these magnificent creatures congregate, timing their annual visits with the coral spawning. At an average of 32ft long, this is the largest species of fish in the world and jumping into the water with them may seem a little loopy, but really they are gentle giants and a wonder to behold.

Swim with Whale SharksPhoto provided by Audley Travel

7. Heli-biking

New Zealand is king when it comes to adventure activities, so it seems natural only that this is one of the places you can take part in heli-biking. As the name probably suggests, heli-biking is where participants are flown by helicopter to the beginning of scenic but remote bike trails before hopping onto a mountain bike and making their way to the end. This activity is normally guided and one of the best places to do it is in the Kaimanawa Ranges in the North Island.  

heli-bikingFlickr image by vertphoto


8. Climb Sugar Loaf Mountain

Without a doubt, Sugar Loaf Mountain is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most famous landmarks, so any chance to experience it whilst avoiding the crowds is a welcome opportunity. Instead of taking the cable car, stroll along a beautiful shoreline path before heading onto a trail which includes some sections of scrambling. This is followed by a challenging, 25m rock climb to reach the top, after which you will be rewarded with stunning views that Sugar Loaf Mountain is so famous for.

Climb the Sugar Loaf MountainPhoto provided by Audley Travel

9. Go in search of dinosaurs

Canada’s very own “Wild West”, the Canadian Badlands is an area rich in fossils, including dinosaur bones, so grab your fedora and your walking boots and embark on your own Jurassic adventure. There are a number of tours that you can join in the area, including the Dinosaur Badlands Tour, which takes around two hours to complete. Stop at the Royal Tyrrell Museum which houses one of the world’s largest dinosaur collections before exploring Horsethief Canyon and Hoodoo geological formations. The tour also includes crossing Red Deer River and the historical Rosedale Suspension Bridge, originally opened for the nearby coal mining community.

In Search of the DinosaursPhoto provided by Audley Travel

10. Glacier landing and dog sledding

One of these would be exciting enough on its own, but combining the two is a real treat and the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska offers the opportunity to take part in one such adventure. This exhilarating activity includes a scenic flight above some of Alaska’s most picturesque landscapes followed by 25 minutes dog mushing, during which you can choose to drive or just relax in the sled.  

dog sledding


8 Responses to “10 Unusual Adventure Activities”

  1. Dino Maiolo May 9, 2013 10:10 am #

    I don't usually share content by other travel bloggers, but will share this one. This is an awesome list. Nice job!

    • Nellie May 15, 2013 10:36 pm #

      Thanks Dino, glad you like it!

  2. Thomas Dembie May 9, 2013 12:44 pm #

    A great list indeed! You better be an experienced driver if you're going to take to the roads of Saigon! I found it difficult to cross the streets at times! A friend of mine recently went swimming with whale sharks. He highly recommends it.

    • Nellie May 15, 2013 10:37 pm #

      We rented a scooter in Saigon and Nha Trang and had tons of fun zipping through the crazy traffic. It was definitely a challenge (thankfully Alberto is an experienced rider) but SO much fun!

  3. andiperullo May 12, 2013 8:54 pm #

    I so want to swim in Antarctica!

  4. missarielbody May 13, 2013 11:31 am #

    It's aways exciting to experience places in a new way! I have to say, not a lot beats dog sledding in the Alaskan wilderness – exhilarating for sure!

  5. Visa USA May 14, 2013 7:39 pm #

    I want to try swimming with the whale shark because it sounds exciting and fun!

  6. Best Scooters June 16, 2013 7:54 am #

    Some amazing adventures here. I love the swimming in Antarctica, by that must have been cold!

Leave a Reply


Wildlife Photography ebook|Sign for our monthly newsletter to download for free!