The beautiful green carpenter bee was badly affected by the 2019/2020 catastrophic bushfires. This is what scientists are doing to save it.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns birdwatching increased tenfold and significant data was recorded. Now, scientists are asking the public to keep it up.
This story will change how you feel about drains.
Get great photography, travel tips and exclusive deals delivered to your inbox.
Abel Tasman Coast, New Zealand
Best time: November-February. (Optional shoulder season: March-April.)
Getting there: Air New Zealand, Qantas and Virgin Australia fly to Wellington, which is the closest city to Nelson, the gateway to Abel Tasman NP. From Wellington, an inter-island ferry takes you to Picton, then it’s a two-hour drive to Abel Tasman NP.
Guided options: The Sea Kayak Company
The Abel Tasman paddle can be tackled in either direction, with the start/finish points of Kaiteriteri, at the southern end, and Tata Beach, tucked in the north-west corner. The paddle takes in coastal landscapes (with Kahurangi NP’s snow-capped peaks in the distance).
Wilderness Coast, NSW
Best time: October-March.
Getting there: Six hours’ drive south of Sydney; six hours east of Melbourne. Regional Express flies daily from Sydney and Melbourne to Merimbula.
Guided options: Ocean Wilderness Sea Kayaking; Wilderness Coast Sea Kayaking.
The remote coast of Australia’s south-east corner, from Bermagui in the north to Mallacoota in the south, offers tremendous paddling. The big-bopper is the multi-day epic from Eden’s Twofold Bay, in NSW, south to Mallacoota, in Victoria. Less experienced paddlers can explore Merimbula, Pambula or Twofold Bay, each in a single day. Look out for migrating whales, penguins, seals and dolphins.
Hitchinbrook Island, QLD
Best time: May-October
Getting there: Hinchinbrook Island is 8km off the coast from Cardwell, about 170km north of Townsville, in far north Queensland. Qantas and Virgin fly to Townsville from most capital cities.
Guided options: World Expeditions; Coral Sea Kayaking.
The Hinchinbrook Island area is sea kayak heaven, with options including a circumnavigation of the island (about five to seven days) or paddling further afield to take in Agnes, Goold and Wheeler islands. Those who prefer shorter trips can undertake an overnighter to Sunken Reef Bay, do a quick loop around to the bottom of the island’s eastern side (take a peek at the huge cliffs near Hillock Point), then turn back to the mainland.
Southwest National Park and Port Davey Marine Reserve, Tasmania
Best time: November-March
Getting there: Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia fly to Launceston and Hobart in Tasmania.
Guided options: Roaring 40s Kayaking
With nothing but your kayak between yourself and Antarctica, it’s exciting paddling on Tassie’s south-west coast. The World Heritage area has a real “world’s end” feel to it. It’s difficult to get to (if you don’t go on a guided tour, you will have to get yourself and kayaks transported by air) but worth it once you’re on the water.
Bathurst Harbour’s sheltered bays provide great day trip opportunities, such as exploring the Narrows (a channel joining Bathurst Harbour with Port Davey), while based out of one camp (the area has top campsites). The more adventurous may explore further out into Port Davey and its marine reserve, where you can – if conditions permit – circumnavigate the Breaksea Islands. Be prepared for wild weather: the Roaring 40s, the powerful winds that run between 40 and 50°S, roll straight through Port Davey. We’d recommend staying at least seven days, allowing for the weather and the fact it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Shoalhaven River, NSW
Best time: All year
Getting there: The idyllic township of Kangaroo Valley has a great put-in spot beneath the Kangaroo River bridge. It is a two-hour drive south of Sydney.
Guided options: Kangaroo Valley Safaris offer guided or self-guided day and overnight trips.
The Upper Shoalhaven River Gorge (upstream of Tallowa Dam) is one of NSW’s most scenic waterways. The river is a narrow strip at the bottom of steep hills, topped by 50m+ cliffs. For families, the section above Tallowa Dam is ideal. An overnight adventure is a great way to introduce kids to canoeing. The Lower Shoalhaven River (below Tallowa Dam) is beautiful, with long, casuarina-lined, flat-water stretches, punctuated by short races of Class I to II standard (water level dependent). The river spends most of its journey at the bottom of a wide gorge, which opens up as the river becomes tidal and meets the sea near Nowra.
Myall Lakes National Park, NSW
Best time: All year.
Getting there: From Sydney, Myall Lakes NP is a 2.5 hour-drive north on the Pacific Highway.
Guided options: None available.
This national park has great diversity: wide rivers, small lakes, huge lakes, narrow creeks, tidal rivers, islands and more. NSW’s largest coastal brackish lake system has campsites accessible by boat (such as Brambles Green, Freshwater and Joes Cove) and many offer the rare east-coast luxury of a westerly aspect with sunsets over water. Try exploring the wetlands in a canoe, then nosing further into Boolambayte Creek and Pipers Creek (in the lower section of the Myall River). The Myall Lakes area is exposed, so keep an eye on forecasts for incoming windy weather. And don’t forget a tide chart if you plan to paddle up the lower Myall River.
Snowy River, NSW/VIC
Best time: All year for canoe/kayak; winter and spring for rafting.
Getting there: The put-in point of McKillops Bridge is five to six hours north-east of Melbourne, in the north of Snowy River National Park. From Sydney, it is an eight-hour drive south, via Jindabyne.
Guided options: Adventure Canoeing offers a four day/three night adventure down the Snowy River.
An iconic adventure, the Snowy is a brilliant and challenging paddle trip. Most paddlers put in below McKillops Bridge, where it is worth pausing to contemplate how powerful the Snowy can be – it has reached the base of the bridge a few times when in flood. For canoeists, the McKillops to Buchan River confluence is one of the more popular trips, but we’d recommend following the Snowy all the way to the ocean at Omeo.
Fiordland, New Zealand
Getting there: Te Anau, Fiordland’s adventure capital, is about 1.5 hours’ drive from Queenstown. There are direct flights to Queenstown (about 3.5 hours) from Australia’s east coast.
Guided options: Fiordland Wilderness Experiences
There is much to see and do in this part of NZ’s South Island, but a paddle on one (or all four) of these waterways should be at the top of the list: lakes Manapouri and Te Anau, and Doubtful and Milford sounds. Lake Manapouri is often described as NZ’s most beautiful lake, with more than 30 islands, plenty of quiet bays to explore and brilliant beach camping. Paddling Lake Te Anau – a glacial lake – you will have more islands to explore. Milford and Doubtful sounds offer great kayaking.
Nymboida River, NSW
Best time: December-May.
Getting there: Nymboi-Binderay National Park is west of Coffs Harbour, the closest centre. Coffs is six hours’ drive north of Sydney and six hours south of Brisbane. QantasLink, Virgin Australia and Brindabella Airlines fly to Coffs from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Guided options: Liquid Assets Adventure Company
One of Australia’s most popular guided rafting destinations, the Nymboida has something for all skill levels. The one-day trip may seem too quick at first glance, but it’s worth noting there are 25 Grade III-IV rapids in the 9km, so you’ll be plenty occupied. Guiding companies also offer a two-day journey (from Platypus Flat to the Junction), plus a 50km, four-day option that travels downriver from Platypus Flat to the township of Nymboida. Like the North Johnstone, the Nymboida is a natural-flow river, so its grading changes depending on water levels.
North Johnstone River, QLD
Best time: March-June.
Getting there: Cairns is the closest centre. For the guided trip, the put-in point is a two-hour drive from Cairns, then a chopper flight. Qantas and Virgin Australia fly to Cairns from most capital cities.
Guided options: RnR White Water Rafting
Remote, steep and technical. Consistent Class IV-V rapids, with names such Mordor, Mineshaft and Misjudgement. Four to six days, deep in a canyon, surrounded by World Heritage-listed rainforest. Yep, the “NJ” is the physical incarnation of rafting’s dream list – easy to see how it rates as one of the world’s top 10 rafting trips.
The Franklin River, TAS
Best time: November-April.
Getting there: Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia fly to Hobart and Launceston. The trip starts on the Collingwood River, 49km west of the Derwent Bridge, about six hours from Launceston.
Guided options: World Expeditions; Water by Nature.
Rafting (or pack-rafting) the Franklin is the iconic Aussie whitewater trip. Thanks to conservationists’ hard work in the early 1980s, the Franklin was never dammed, so you get the full wilderness experience. It encompasses everything from Class I to unraftable Class VI rapids and tough portages.
The Kimberley, WA
Best time: All year for ocean ski/kayak, after Wet Season for whitwater raft/kayak.
Getting there: It’s an epic journey: Qantas will fly you to Kununurra, via Darwin (if you’re chasing whitewater; from there you will need to organise transport to whichever river – Moran, King Edward or Fitzroy – takes your fancy. For ocean ski-based adventures, fly to Perth.
Guided options: Ocean Paddler runs trips from Perth to Broome, in the Kimberley.
The largest state in Oz has some of the biggest whitewater – and epic coastal paddling – based around the spectacular Kimberley region. Hard-core whitewater paddlers can take on the big three: the Moran, King Edward and Fitzroy rivers, while the more laid-back can kayak the massive Lake Ord or, if you’re up for some ocean-based adventure, join a guided ocean ski trip that runs north from Perth to Broome.
Home Australian Geographic Adventure Destinations Top 12 paddling spots in Australasia
A Decrease font size.
A Reset font size.
A Increase font size.
Australia’s largest state is the ultimate outdoor playground. Whether camping in its many national parks, swimming with oceanic giants, or traversing one of Australia’s most famous outback tracks, WA will keep even the most discerning adventurer busy.
Hike a tropical island, dive a natural wonder, ride an epic MTB trail network or paddle a unique marine trail. Queensland is the ultimate Choose Your Own Adventure destination.
With its combo of spectacular coastline and vast outback, South Australia offers any number of epic adventures. Here are four of our favourites.
Entertain the kids these holidays with our great range of fun and educational toys and games.
Explore the world from the comfort of your home with our lush pictorial books. From nature photography to stunning landscapes there is something to capture everyone’s imagination.