It’s no secret that Australia is adventure country, and Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, is no exception. I was daydreaming today about surfing the breaks at Bell’s Beach and ended up drooling over all the outdoors activities in the area. As you can imagine, there are a lot. These four, however, I absolutely must try when I finally make it to the land down under.
Swimming with Sharks
Photo by bradjward
Surprisingly, this one is done indoors. Melbourne’s aquarium offers visitors the opportunity to hop in a tank with leopard and grey nurse sharks, as well as stingrays and sea turtles. The best part is, you don’t even have to be a certified diver. There are also options for non-divers to take an intro course before they jump in the tank, or to wear one of those spacey underwater helmets with a hose that rises to the surface while walking on the bottom.
If you want the real open water experience, however, you’d better hop on one of the flights to Adelaide, where you can book an open-ocean cage diving trip.
Kayaking the Yarra
Photo by elizabethdonoghue
The Yarra River has been an important fixture in southern Australia for centuries. It used to be an important source of food for aboriginals, was later used for shipping, and now central to outdoors recreation in and around the city. Just a forty-five minute drive outside of the city is a stretch of river comprised of a mix of low-grade whitewater and long scenic paddles that is perfect for beginner kayakers.
Photo by joshjanssen
Adventure racing has been getting more and more popular around Melbourne, and it looks like a blast. This one is a bit difficult to describe because no two adventure races are at the same. They are unique and challenging multi-sport races that pit individuals or teams against a variety of terrains and usually include some combination of running or hiking, mountain biking, and paddling. For example, the GeoQuest 48Hr is a two-day race including over 200km of trekking, mountain biking, and kayaking.
Surfing Bell’s Beach
Photo by willrich
Here we come full circe and arrive at the inspiration for this article–the famed Bell’s Beach, home to the longest running surf competition in the world, the Bell’s Beach Surf Classic, and locale (although not the actual filming location) for Bodhi’s death ride at the end of Point Break.
It’s not just the breaks that make Bell’s awesome. It’s long and storied history make it a place akin to Mecca for surfers–a place we must all visit once before we die.
And if that’s not enough for you, then hop on one of the frequent flights to the Gold Coast to check out another of Australia’s epic surf spots.
Lead photo by Extra Medium