Looking for ideas to get out of your comfort zone? Here’s a list of some scary but fun activities I recommend for your adrenaline bucket list. I’ll also mention places where I’ve ticked them off my list or destinations on my dream list for an adrenaline rush!
Do you have travel insurance? It’s always a good idea to purchase travel insurance so that you can better enjoy risky activities and don’t worry so much about money if an emergency happens. If you pay for your holidays with your credit card, you may have travel assurance included. Otherwise, I find WorldNomads* and Covermore* make it easy to add adventurous activities like scuba diving to your plan. For more information about travel insurance, read this!
I went bungy jumping in New Zealand, and it was probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done! I’m scared of heights, so you can imagine how difficult the jump was. Even if heights don’t affect you, you’ll still get a pure adrenaline rush as you freefall.
Where’s the best place in the world for bungy jumping?
I chose to do the Nevis Highwire jump in New Zealand (134m/440ft). With 8.5-second free fall in a picturesque valley, it’s one of the best bugee jumping site in the world. But for your adrenaline bucket list, you may want to look at the highest ones in the world: Macau Tower in China (233m/764ft), Verzasca Dam in Switzerland (220m/722ft) or Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa (216m/709ft)* for example. The highest bungy jump in the United States is from the Rio Grande Bridge in New Mexico (207m/680ft).
Scuba diving with sharks
Scuba diving is scary for many people. And scuba diving with sharks can sound terrifying. I often see sharks when we go scuba diving in Australia. Diving with groups of grey nurse sharks is particularly good for an adrenaline bucket list: they’re big with big teeth to look scary, but they’re placid and inoffensive.
Or you can go one step above and try cage diving with the mighty great white sharks.
Where the best place in the world to dive with sharks?
I’m lucky to live not far from wonderful spots to dive with sharks in Australia. From the reef sharks of the Great Barrier Reef to the grey nurse sharks along the East Coast and the great white sharks in South Australia, we’ve got many options!
It’s hard to pick only a few spots as there are so many different species of sharks to see. A liveaboard to Cocos Island (Costa Rica) or the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) are perfect to see schools of hammerhead sharks. You can dive with tiger sharks (and many other species) in the Bahamas. The Beqa Lagoon in Fiji says they have the best shark dive in the world. Lemon sharks migrate at the start of the year in Florida (Jupiter). South Africa and Mexico (Isla Guadalupe) are also famous for diving with great white sharks.
Hike an active volcano
When you’re close to a volcano and hear it roar, you feel tiny. Adrenaline seekers will, of course, want to go closer to the crater. If you can go there at night, the explosions of lava look incredible.
Where’s the best place in the world to hike a volcano?
We were lucky to experience a mighty volcano on Tanna in Vanuatu. It’s one of the world’s most accessible volcanoes; almost anyone can reach the crater. Indonesia hosts more than 100 active volcanoes. Pacaya volcano in Guatemala is also reputed, and although it’s quite hard to get there, Mount Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands sounds fascinating too. You can camp and watch the lava from the top of Telica Volcano in Nicaragua.
Hiking is fun. But if you want to add adrenaline to it, look at canyoning! You’ll abseil, jump and climb rather than just hiking. It’s a fantastic way to push your limits and explore untouched places, even in the most visited national parks. If you haven’t tried it yet, make sure to put canyoning at the top of your adrenaline bucket list!
Where’s the best place in the world to go canyoning?
We loved our two canyoning experiences in the Blue Mountains near Sydney; there are so many different canyons to explore! It’s actually the most dense canyoning region in the world. We also enjoyed the warmer water while canyoning in Cairns and even Vanuatu (part of the Millenium Cave hike).
I’ve seen stunning photos of Zion National Park in Utah, so it’s been on my adrenaline bucket list since. I dream of visiting one day the Verdon Gorge in France, reputed to be one of the most stunning canyons in the world. New Zealand is also quite reputed for canyoning.
Ever dreamt you could fly? I find paragliding gets you close to it. You’ll have to be lucky with the weather as you need wind, but not too much, to go paragliding. The adrenaline rush often doesn’t last for long. Once you’ve taken off and gotten used to being in the air, it’s actually quite relaxing.
Where’s the best place to go paragliding in the world?
Anywhere with mountain, sea views or interesting topography would be stunning from above.
My first time paragliding was in the French Alps, and it was breathtaking to see the mountains from the air. I went paragliding again in Rainbow Beach, near K’gari (Fraser Island) in Australia. We could see whales from above and even flew with an eagle. Unforgettable memories.
White water rafting
White water rafting is heaps of fun and will get your heart beat up with adrenaline! Forget about a calm kayaking experience. For your adrenaline bucket list, you’ll want to take your boat through rocks and rapids. You can do it on a boat with a few people or in a small vessel by yourself.
Where’s the best place in the world for white water rafting?
It was fun to try white water rafting for the first time in Cairns (Australia). I’m sure the water was a lot warmer than in New Zealand (check out Rangitikei on the North Island), a reputed spot for adrenaline seekers. In the United States, the Colorado River and Salmon River are the most famous and scenic destinations for white water rafting. But if you’re looking for the most intense one to put on your bucket list, have a look at the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe.
I can’t believe I still haven’t tried skydiving. I guess time and budget always got in the way. It surely is very high on my adrenaline bucket list. But I don’t want to just do it anywhere!
Where’s the best place in the world for skydiving
If you’re just after the thrilling sensations, there’s no bad place to go skydiving. However, it’s so much better with incredible views! That’s why I have been keeping my first skydiving jump for when I finally visit the Franz Joseph glacier in New Zealand. But I’m sure sea views would look stunning too.
For those always wanting to push limits, you can go high-altitude skydiving near Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain. You’ll actually land higher than where you’d jump from the plane in most skydiving experiences! But this one is only for travellers with a lot of time (11-day trek) and money ($25,000).
Driving on sand
Driving on sand dunes is very different to driving on the road. You’ll get an adrenaline rush as you figure out the different techniques to avoid big bumps and getting bogged.
Where’s the best place in the world to drive on sand?
When thinking about sand dunes, you’d straight away have the Sahara in mind as it’s the world’s largest sand desert. It can be quite fun to drive around the dunes. Check out the quad or buggy safaris* for a real adventure.
We’re lucky to have beautiful islands near Brisbane where we can have some adrenaline in driving in the dunes with a 4WD. K’gari (Fraser Island) and Moreton Island are the world’s largest sand islands!