11 September, 2020 By: Tatum Stafford
Western Australia is home to a vast range of experiences – and luckily for those with a penchant for thrills, there are plenty of activities guaranteed to get your heart rate up.
1. Skydiving along WA's coastline
The only way to make WA’s impressive coastline even more picturesque is to see it from above. And luckily for thrill-seekers, there are several tour operators to choose from if you’re eager to give skydiving a try. Whether it’s over Rottnest Island, the fields of the Avon Valley or Jurien Bay’s idyllic coastline, WA is a brilliant place to take your love of adrenaline to a whole new height.
One of the best things about skydiving in WA is that you don't need much experience before your first try. Simply choose your operator, arrive at the centre (you'll likely be asked to attend a few hours before your flight's departure), and all gear will be provided. Some companies will also offer a GoPro recording - meaning you'll be able to virtually re-live the experience whenever you please.
2. Mountain bike riding on the Munda Biddi Trail
The Munda Biddi Trail, meaning ‘path through the forest’ in local Noongar language, is a world-class off-road cycling experience right here in WA. Stretching from Mundaring to Albany, the 1,000-kilometre trail takes mountain bike riders through eucalyptus forests, rolling farmland and past coastal ecosystems – and as it’s predominantly off-road, you can become fully immersed in nature without the noise of cars going by.
To tackle the trail, make sure you’re riding a certified mountain bike or hybrid with wide, off-road tyres. Front suspension and disc brakes are recommended as a basic requirement – and if you’d like extra help riding over large bumps, full suspension bikes are a good idea. Racing, touring and recumbent bikes are not suited to the trail.
3. Hot air ballooning in Northam
While hot air ballooning might not seem immediately thrill-seeking, being whisked up into the air in a basket is certainly adrenaline inducing if you’re scared of heights. Inflated by a roaring flame, you’ll greet these gigantic balloons at the crack of dawn once you’re ready to take to the sky.
The Avon Valley, and in particular, Northam, is one of the most popular spots in the State to go hot air ballooning. Hopping on a flight will deliver fantastic views - and the opportunity for some impressive photos close to 600 metres in the air.
4. High-speed jet boating in Dunsborough and Busselton
If you’re ready to hit the water on your next trip to Dunsborough or Busselton, a high-speed jet boating ride is guaranteed to increase your heart rate. Packed with 90km an hour speeds, exhilarating spins, brake stops and even water ‘donuts’, this isn’t an activity for the faint of heart (or those who don’t want to get wet).
For those keen to elevate their jet boating experience, hop on Jet Adventures’ epic ‘Exhilarator’ boat. Built with tiered seating, all 12 passengers on board will have amazing views of natural wildlife including whales, dolphins and seals. And if you’re a fan of high speeds, this modern jet boat’s ‘Hamilton turn’ is sure to thrill.
5. Sandboarding on the Lancelin Sand Dunes
Lancelin is one of the most popular sandboarding locations in Australia thanks to its plentiful sand dunes and affordable sandboard hire. Once you’ve reserved your sandboard (bringing your own surfboard or skateboard won’t work very well on the soft sand), park your car at the base of the dunes. If you’ve got a four-wheel drive, you’ll be able to go off-road and head deeper into the dunes – just be cautious of bogging.
If you’re experienced with a skateboard, you should have no trouble going down the dunes while standing. Otherwise, try a few runs sitting down to get your bearings. Entry to the dunes is free, and it’s best to arrive earlier in the day when winds aren’t as strong.
6. Ziplining in forest near Busselton
What better way to view the majestic Ludlow Tuart Forest than on a zipline? With six huge rope and wire courses on offer, Forest Adventures is a must for any thrill-seekers' South West bucket list.
On your course, you’ll come across flying foxes, unicycles, wooden bridges, Tarzan swings and even a suspended BMX track on a wire. Daredevils can take their pick from the kids, family, advanced or adrenaline courses – and if you’re after an extra challenge, the friendly team also offer an intermediate and advanced zip line course with over 500 metres of zip lines to speed down.
If you’re an RAC member you can save 10% on adult and child entry costs – online bookings are highly recommended.
7. Board a helicopter in the Kimberley
Unsure if you're scared of heights? This is the best test WA has to offer. The Kimberley region is jam-packed with incredible natural features that are often best viewed from above. That means it's time to bid the ground farewell and hop in a chartered helicopter flight to witness spectacular views with your own eyes.
Often departing from Broome, there are a number of helicopter operators that will showcase remote areas of the region alongside the epic Mitchell Falls, Bungle Bungles, Piccaninny Gorge, Lake Argyle and more. And as a bonus, a helicopter’s vertical flight capability means you’ll often be able to touch down in secluded locations for a spot of hiking, fishing or waterfall-scouting.
8. Dive with whale sharks, manta rays and dolphins in Exmouth
Snorkelling is often perceived as a peaceful, leisurely pastime - but if you’re ready to graduate to a more extreme underwater experience, head up north to swim with massive whale sharks and plenty of local marine life. Ningaloo Reef off Exmouth is one of the few places in the world where hordes of whale sharks make a regular appearance; swimming and feeding in these waters from March to August (September at the latest).
Ningaloo’s whale sharks can grow up to 12 metres in length (with a whopping one-metre wide mouth), and weigh up to 11 tonnes. Coming face to face underwater with one of these creatures is a uniquely thrilling experience that should grace every ocean lover’s WA bucket list - and if you're an RAC member, you can save 10% on a Ningaloo Reef day tour with Sightseeing Pass WA.
9. Take a stunt plane ride over Perth
If you’re ready to take your love of adrenaline to the next level (literally), head to Jandakot Airport for a ride in a custom-built, aerobatic stunt plane. Flying with an experienced instructor, you’ll have the best seat in the house for all the adventurous loops, rolls, barrels and nose-dives the plane can muster.
Dubbed a ‘rollercoaster ride in the air’, this epic experience is open to those under 6”2 who don’t suffer from pre-existing heart conditions. And if the full aerobatic routine isn’t your speed, you’ll have the chance to ask your pilot to tone it down for a more scenic option – but by all accounts, the ‘full adrenaline treatment’ is the flight’s true selling point.
10. Kayaking the rapids of the Avon Descent
Arguably one of WA’s most iconic kayaking locations, the Avon River provides a heart-racing whitewater experience that is only recommended for those with significant kayaking experience. The river is famous for the annual 124-kilometre Avon Descent – and though it seems tame and calm at its top end in Northam, it becomes deceptively fast and challenging to navigate as it continues flowing through Toodyay and on to Bayswater.
If you aren’t experienced enough to tackle the river solo, opt for a training course or guided ride with a professional kayaking instructor.
Ready for an adventure-filled getaway?
Our nine RAC Parks & Resorts offer ideal spots for an adventure-filled WA holiday. Plus, RAC members save up to 20%* on accommodation.
*Terms and conditions apply. Member rate varies according to season. See full website for details.
Image credit: Forest Adventures South West