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16 Awesome Aquatic Adventures in Australia And New Zealand

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Your South Pacific adventure just got even better.

 

Miles of isolated, untouched islets. Thousands of unexplored waterways. Wave after wave of perfect surf. The biggest recorded coral reef on our planet.

There’s no question that Australia and New Zealand are every water lover’s dream. From Great Barrier Reef snorkelling to open-ocean kayaking, the world’s largest islands offer the perfect conditions for under and overwater exploration. 

But with boundless opportunities to explore the two countries by river, ocean or swamp- and thousands of water tours out there- how do you choose?

 

Photo credit: Wavelength Reef Cruises

 

That’s where we come in. From Tasmanian Wilderness to the picture-perfect Whitsundays, we’ve sifted through every snorkelling trip, surf camp, and sailboat tour in Australia and New Zealand to bring you the South Pacific’s very best water-based adventures.

The result? We’ve found whale-watching tours, multi-day kayaking adventures, week-long surfing camps, and everything in between. So, whether you’re a thrill-seeker, nature-lover, surf addict, or just can’t get enough of that crystal-clear turquoise water, there’s a wet and wild activity here for just about anyone.

So get your sexiest speedos at the ready. Below is your guide to some of the best water experiences on our planet, and an opportunity to see the South Pacific’s stunning landscape like never before.

 

Photo credit: Roaring 40s Kayaking

Pack your swim gear, it’s going to get wet!

 

Photo credit: Australian Surf Tours

 

Australian Water Experiences:

1. Whale Watch Western Australia | 2. Wavelength Reef Cruises

3. Australian Surf Tours | 4. Yukon-Tours  | 5. Melbourne Sailing Adventures

6. Salty Dog Sea Kayaking | 7. Canoe the Riverland | 8. Cruise Whitsundays

9. Akaroa Dolphins | 10. Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours

11. Roaring 40s Kayaking  |  12. Tango Jet Ski Tours

13. Wildwire Wanaka  | 14. Wanaka River Journeys | 15. Underworld Adventures

| 16. Packrafting New Zealand

 

1. Spot Blue Whales with Whale Watch Western Australia

Type: Whale Watching

Location: Perth

Operating Dates: year round

Price: $50- $385

What to expect:

 

Being the only company of its kind to run Blue Whale watching tours in the Perth Canyon, taking a trip with Whale Watch Western Australia is a truly unique experience.

Depending on what time you visit and what tour package you choose, you’ll have the chance to see orcas, humpbacks, southern right, and blue whales. Their 25-meter purpose-built vessel features 5 huge viewing platforms over 3 floors, underwater camera and screens to watch the whales below the surface, and up to 32 knots of speed to get up close and personal with the gentle giants as quick as possible.

For more information and bookings, visit Whale Watch Western Australia here. 

 

2. Explore the Great Barrier Reef with Wavelength Reef Cruises

 

Photo credit: Wavelength Reef Cruises

Type: Reef Snorkelling

Location: Port Douglas, Western Australia

Operating Dates: every day of the year except Christmas Day

Price: $239.50 // adult & $199.50 // child (8-12 years old)

What to expect:

 

As 90% of the Great Barrier Reef’s diversity lives within 4 meters of the surface, snorkelling is one of the best ways to explore its colourful marine life. Since 1986, Wavelength Reef Cruises has specialised in snorkelling trips in the area; earning themselves exclusive rights to some of the very best snorkelling sites on the outer Great Barrier Reef.

On the comfortable, purpose-built boat you’ll encounter small groups (48 daily passengers max) and, perhaps most impressively, qualified marine biologists as your knowledgeable, eco-conscious guides. You’ll have the chance to visit one of three different Outer Reef sites on your trip: Opal Reef, St Crispin Reef or Tongue Reef.

For more information and bookings, visit Wavelength Reef Cruises here.

 

3. Ride Some Waves with Australian Surf Tours

 

Photo credit: Australian Surf Tours

Type: Surf Camp

Location: Sydney

Operating Dates: September – May

Price: AU$145 per Day / AU$899 per Week

What to expect:

 

If Australia is famous for one thing, it’s the stunning white-sand beaches and perfect waves. Just one hour from Sydney, Australian Surf Tours gives beginners, intermediates, and advanced riders the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful and off-the-beaten-path surf locations in the world.

All-inclusive camp packages include daily lessons, board hire, beach-front accommodation, coach transport to up to 10 exclusive beaches, and immersive cultural experiences. Your day will be filled with feeding manta rays, eating garden-fresh food, jumping off waterfalls, hanging out with local surfers and, of course, a whole lot of riding those perfect waves. Does it get any better than that?

For more information and bookings, visit Australian Surf Tours here. 

 

4. Cruise Down Huon River with Yukon-Tours

 

Photo credit: Yukon-Tours

Type: Sailing

Location: Franklin, Tasmania

Operating Dates: Calm Water Cruise // all year. Port Davey Wilderness Cruises // March.

Price: 90 min.Calm River Cruises // from $50. Overnight cruises // $600 per day.

What to expect:

 

With its pristine waters and stunning surroundings, Huon River has dazzled sea explorers for centuries. This lovingly restored 1930’s Danish ketch vessel allows you to relive those adventures with a range of tours- from calm-water, 90-minute day trips to 7-day island cruises. 

Whatever sailing trip you choose, Yukon-Tours encourage all on board to get involved. You’ll be setting and trimming the sails, learning useful knots or trying a “trick” at the helm. If you prefer to relax, you can learn about the boat’s fascinating history, take in the Huon River’s beautiful surroundings, or tuck into a delicious picnic basket filled with local farmhouse goodies.

For more information and bookings, visit Yukon-Tours here.

 

5. Venture Through Port Phillip Bay with Melbourne Sailing Adventures

 

Photo credit: Melbourne Sailing Adventures

Type: Sailing

Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Operating Dates: 1 Oct – 1 May

Price: $98

What to expect:

 

If you fancy seeing Melbourne from a totally different perspective, get out onto the water! Melbourne Sailing Adventures sails you through beautiful Port Phillip Bay, where you’ll see the iconic St.Kilda Beach and the million dollar suburbs of Albert Park and Port Melbourne set against the stunning backdrop of the Melbourne city skyline.

Aboard the beautiful, hand-carved 60ft SV Alexander Stewart you’ll be hoisting the sails and helping the crew with the operation of the ship, whilst spotting dolphins, seals, and fairy penguins along the way. Choose from a 3-hour sail or multi-day privately chartered trips.

For more information and bookings, visit Melbourne Sailing Adventures here. 

 

6. Explore the Whitsundays By Kayak with Salty Dog Sea Kayaking

 

Photo credit: Salty Dog Sea Kayaking

Type: Sea Kayaking

Location: Whitsundays, Queensland 

Operating dates: year round

Total cost: $1,750

What to expect:

 

The pristine paradise of the Whitsundays is a bucket list destination for many a traveller. But how many explore it by kayak?

Beginning at Whitehaven Beach, Salty Dog Sea Kayaking’s 6-day expedition takes kayakers up the eastern side of Whitsunday Island, through to the northern end of Hook Island. Not only will you be kayaking some of the clearest waters on the planet, you’ll also snorkel colourful coral reefs, go on guided bush walks, camp under the stars, and get up close and personal with humpback whales along the way.

For more information and bookings, visit Salty Dog Sea Kayaking here. 

 

7. Sleep on the Wetlands with Canoe the Riverland

 

Photo credit: Canoe the Riverland

Type: Kayaking and Accommodation 

Location: Renmark, Riverland

Operating Dates: year round

Price: from $35

What to expect:

 

Located on the waters of the protected World Heritage “Riverland”, Canoe the Riverland offers a unique way to explore the most pristine network of wetland creeks.

You’ll be sleeping right on the water in their traditional Paddle-Wheeler B&B, and waking up to a fun-filled day of water activities such as kayaking and dinghy cruises. There are options to explore the waterways by yourself by hiring a kayak for the day, or take part in one of their sunset or nighttime kayaking tours and boating excursions. 

For more information and bookings, visit Canoe the Riverland here.

 

8. Visit the Great Barrier Reef with Cruise Whitsundays

 

 

Type: Cruise

Location: Airlie Beach, Queensland

Operating Dates: year round

Price: $259 per adult

What to expect:

Depart from Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island and find yourself venturing to the beautiful and vibrant Great Barrier Reef – one of the world’s most stunning locations. Lounge on your high-speed vessel of choice while crystal blue waters sparkle beneath and the wildlife gets more colourful the closer you become towards the Reef.

This full-day adventure cruise will have you exploring the corals and fish from an interactive pontoon or making a splash with the optional introductory dive. The water somehow becomes clearer beneath the surface as you arrive face to face with the most spectacular sights around. Prefer snorkeling? Experts will guide you on a Snorkel Safari meant to make you comfortable in the water and enjoying all the fantastic sights.

For more information and bookings, visit Cruise Whitsundays here.

 

9. Spot Dolphins, Seals & Penguins with Akaroa Dolphins

 

Photo credit: Akaroa Dolphins 

Type: Dolphin Watching

Location: Akaroa, New Zealand 

Operating Dates: year round

Price: $AUD: $73 // adult, $37 // child, $18 // under 5

 

What to expect:

 

Lodged inside one of two drowned volcanic craters, Akaroa is a quaint seaside village and the first European settlement in New Zealand. You can easily spend a couple of hours admiring its beautiful colonial French architecture, but the real reason you’re here is to spot some amazing marine life.

A two-hour cruise with Akaroa Dolphins not only lets you get up close and personal with the smallest dolphins in the world, but you’ll also spot New Zealand Fur Seals and White-Flippered Penguins. With friendly dolphin-spotting dogs, state-of-the-art facilities, and knowledgeable crew on board, visitors rarely go home without a sighting.

For more information and bookings, visit Akaroa Dolphins here.

 

10. Paddle Board the Coffs Coast with Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours

 

Photo credit: Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours

Type: River Stand Up Paddling

Location: Coffs Harbour, Mid North Coast, NSW

Operating Dates: year round

Price: $80

What to expect:

 

This is a SUP experience with a difference. Blending nature, adventure, and tradition, Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours gives you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to paddle with the local Gumbaynggirr people; the direct descendants of the world’s first stand up paddlers.

As well as learning to paddle along the stunning Coffs Coast, you’ll get to collect and taste seasonal bush tucker, try your hand at local herbal medicine, learn the Gumbaynggirr language, and hear their ancient stories passed down from generation to generation. You can choose from 3 stunning locations along the Coffs Coast for your paddle: Coffs Harbour Creek, Moonee Creek or Red Rock river; each departing on a different day of the week.

For more information and bookings, visit Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours here. 

 

Jump To Any Experience By Clicking Here:

1. Whale Watch Western Australia | 2. Wavelength Reef Cruises

3. Australian Surf Tours | 4. Yukon-Tours  | 5. Melbourne Sailing Adventures

6. Salty Dog Sea Kayaking | 7. Canoe the Riverland | 8. Cruise Whitsundays

9. Akaroa Dolphins | 10. Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours

11. Roaring 40s Kayaking  |  12. Tango Jet Ski Tours

13. Wildwire Wanaka  | 14. Wanaka River Journeys | 15. Underworld Adventures

| 16. Packrafting New Zealand

 

11. Roaring 40s Kayaking

 

Photo credit: Roaring 40s Kayaking

Type: Eco-Adventure, Kayaking

Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Operating Dates: 01 November – 30 April

Price: from $90 // half day, $180 // full day

What expect:

 

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, packed full of wild, tannin-stained rivers, jagged mountain ranges, rolling buttongrass plains and silent green rainforest, is one of the last great wilderness areas left in the world. And the best, most adventurous way to explore it? By kayak.

Offering 7 and 3 multi-day wilderness trips, Roaring 40s Kayaking will take you paddling through sheltered waterways beneath towering mountains; eventually reaching deserted sandy beaches, native pine groves, and stunning camping locations beneath the stars. They also offer half and full day tours around Hobart and sea-cave exploring.

For more information and bookings, visit Roaring 40’s Kayaking here. 

 

12. Tour Stingray Bay at 90km/Hour with  Tango Jet Ski Tours

 

Photo credit: Tango Jet Ski Tours

Type: Jet Ski

Location: Paihia, Northland New Zealand

Operating Dates: 1st of November- 31st of April

Price: $460 per tour, $1000 per day

What to expect:

 

With miles of picture-perfect beaches, crystal-clear waters, and an abundance of wildlife, The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s greatest holiday destinations.

Tango Jet Ski Tours offer an adrenaline-packed way to visit the most iconic sites and snorkelling spots that the bay has to offer. From 1/2-hour to 3-hour tours, guests get the chance to explore cave tunnels, whizz through sparkling blue lagoons, and stop off at some of New Zealand’s most remote beaches. Make sure you keep an eye out for local penguins, dolphins, and orca along the way too!

For more information and bookings, visit Tango Jet Ski Tours

 

13. Climb the Highest Waterfall in the World with Wildwire Wanaka

 

Photo credit: Wildwire Wanaka

Type: Waterfall Climbing

Location: Wanaka, New Zealand

Operating Dates: year round

Price: GoWild // AUD$170. Wild Thing/ /AUD$225. Lord of the Rungs // AUD$450

 

What to expect:

 

Calling all adrenaline junkies. This is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to scale the highest and most epic waterfall climb in the world. The adventure begins in Wanaka with a spectacular 20-minute mountain cliff drive to the base of the Twin Falls Waterfall. Here you’ll get kitted up and begin your ascent along Wildwire Wanaka’s Via Ferrata (iron path).

Along the way, you’ll cross sky-high wire bridges, encounter hidden crystal-clear pools, and stop off at hidden picnic spots with stunning panoramic views of the valley below. Participants can choose from 3 guided routes depending on their skill, strength, and age. 

For more information and bookings, visit Wildwire Wanaka here.

 

14. Zoom Past Glaciers with Wanaka River Journeys

 

Photo credit: Wanaka River Journeys

Type: Jet Boating

Location: Wanaka, South Island New Zealand

Operating Dates: Summer October- April / Winter June- September

Price: $239pp NZD

What to expect:

 

Whether we know it or not, we’ve all seen Wanaka scenes. Featured prominently in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, Matukituki is one of the world’s most spectacular glacial formed valleys.

Currently the only jet boat company in New Zealand that can take you so close to the glaciers here, a half-day tour with Wanaka River Journeys is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. In a high-speed shallow water boat, you’ll zoom past ancient beech forests, snow-capped mountains and hanging glaciers. Your destination? A guided walk beneath a stunning glacier, where you’ll be surrounded by exploding cascades, deep waterfall-fed pools, and lush green forest.

For more information and bookings, visit Wanaka River Journeys here.

 

15. Explore New Zealand’s Largest Natural Cave System with Underworld Adventures

 

Photo credit: Underworld Adventures

Type: Cave Rafting

Location: Charleston, New Zealand 

Operating Dates:  9.00am, 11:30am & 2.00pm // September- April. 10:00am & 12.30 pm // April to end of September

Price: $170pp NZD

What to expect:

Opened by two leading cavers and educationalists in 1987, Underworld Adventures offers the ultimate water-fun day out for all ages.

Through a combination of abseils, climbs, crawls and squeezes, you’ll be exploring one of New Zealand’s largest natural cave system; a winding underground maze of Stalactite and Stalagmite towers and glittering GlowWorm-covered walls. Choose from a range of activities including full-day tubing, rafting, and cave tours.

For more information and bookings, visit Underworld Adventures here.

 

16. Get Lost in The Wilderness with Packrafting New Zealand

 

Photo credit: Packrafting New Zealand

Type: Packrafting

Location: Te Anau, New Zealand 

Operating Dates:  September- March

Price: From NZ$299

What to expect:

 

If you came to New Zealand to get closer to nature and experience some awesome scenery, it really doesn’t get any better than this. With a focus on small groups (no more than 6 people in any tour), Packrafting New Zealand combines packrafting, hiking, and camping to provide the ultimate wilderness experience.

You’ll be spending your days paddling in a small, lightweight boat through stunning, crystal-clear valleys and hiking to some of the most remote spots in New Zealand’s Te Anau. Choose from day trips, multi-day wilderness adventures, and packrafting rental.

For more information and bookings, visit Packrafting New Zealand here. 

What are you waiting for? Dive in!

There’s no doubt about it: these 14 aquatic adventures are making a real splash- and they’ve certainly got our attention. From multi-day open-water kayaking and sailing trips to dizzying waterfall climbs and humpback whale-spotting, there’s enough water-filled fun in Australia and New Zealand to keep any adventurer busy.

So swap your hiking boots for flippers and your steering wheel for paddles, because this year it’s all about getting out onto the water, and into the wilderness.

 

Jump to Any Adventure by Clicking Here:

1. Whale Watch Western Australia | 2. Wavelength Reef Cruises

3. Australian Surf Tours | 4. Yukon-Tours  | 5. Melbourne Sailing Adventures

6. Salty Dog Sea Kayaking | 7. Canoe the Riverland | 8. Cruise Whitsundays

9. Akaroa Dolphins | 10. Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours

11. Roaring 40s Kayaking  |  12. Tango Jet Ski Tours

13. Wildwire Wanaka  | 14. Wanaka River Journeys | 15. Underworld Adventures

| 16. Packrafting New Zealand

 

 

 

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