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11 Things Every Adventurer Needs on Their Bucket List

Picture of Luke Bradshaw
Sports Editor
Updated: 23 August 2017
It’s time to pick up your oars, pull on your hiking boots and wax off your board, because these are the very best adventures the world has to offer.

Raft the Futaleufú River, Chile…

Flowing through the Chilean Andes, this exhilarating force of whitewater has a fearsome reputation. Patagonia (where this river is located) is a bucket list destination in itself, and this awesome stretch of water will seriously enhance the experience. Futaleufú River is definitely a thrill-seeker destination, considering it includes rapids terrifying enough to be named ‘Wild Mile’ and ‘Terminator’! And those brave enough to take on the Azul River to Macal Section – all 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) of it – will need whitewater rafting experience beforehand. This is as good as rafting gets.

Hike Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia…

Away from the shorter walkways of Taman Negara National Park, serious adventurers can head upstream and into the jungle. This means all day hikes and setting up camp for the night, with the chance to stay in ‘bumbuns’ (traditional Malaysian huts). Hiking the Taman Negara includes beaches, streams, panoramic views and canopy walks 40 metres (131 feet) above the ground but hikers – beware: there are spiders, scorpions and snakes residing in the trees above…

Cliff dive in Porto Venere, Italy…

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Part of the Italian Riviera, this iconic spot allows divers to plunge into the Ligurian Sea amid the beautiful fishing villages, Roman ruins and the backyards of Medieval castles. In particular, the church of San Pietro sits atop a small cliff that reaches out into the sea, with just a small walkway connecting the church and the mainland. This location is so beautiful that even Lord Byron – a famous Romantic poet – was inspired by it. Once you’ve plunged into the water you can head down to the sea caves that inspired some of Byron’s poetry.

Climb Table Mountain, South Africa…

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With a number of different trails straddling the length and breadth of its colossal landmass, Table Mountain towers over the city of Cape Town at a height of approximately 1,085 metres (3,560 feet). This incredible part of South Africa’s skyline has more species of plant than a tropical jungle so is home to incredible wildlife. While the easiest way to scale the mountain is by cable car, hiking will make for a far richer experience. The Atlantic side of the mountain offers spellbinding views of Camps Bay as you ascend.

Kayak Fiordland, New Zealand…

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On the southwest tip of New Zealand’s South Island is a World Heritage wilderness of exceptional beauty. Fiordland National Park can be explored by land, air, or – our favourite – by water. Kayaking across Milford Sound (a place Rudyard Kipling once described as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’) provides a closer look at the spectacular marine life beneath these crystal clear waters. There are few places in the world as spectacular.

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania…

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Scaling the highest mountain in Africa is an obvious must on any adventurer’s bucket list. There are six well-trodden paths up to the mountain’s summit, and depending on which you choose, it can take between four and eight nights to reach the top. The beautiful thing about Kilimanjaro is that, with the right planning, anyone can hike it. Assuming you beat potential altitude sickness, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most picturesque skies on offer.

Heli-ski in Girdwood, Alaska…

Hanging above with propellers fizzing away, before dropping into untouched powder and scything down through snow that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The short helicopter flight takes you to where feet can’t, meaning no crowds and no hassle. Skiers can take on what appears to be unlimited terrain in these outstanding, majestic mountains.

Surf Maui, Hawaii…

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Is there a more famous surf spot on the planet? Maui is not for newbies – even the ‘beginner’ waves and breaks have a habit of escalating rapidly. The biggest waves on Maui are on the North Shore, with an exposed reef and only two entrances to the surf. For a less crowded spot it’s worth heading to Honolua Bay where it’s possible to surf ‘The Cave’ (a wave that sucks you in and keeps you there if you’re not careful)!

Trek the Himalayas…

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Boasting the likes of K2, Kanchenjunga and, of course, Mount Everest, the Himalayas have the biggest and baddest peaks in the world. Sprawling across five countries, the Himalayas will easily test whether any climber, trekker or hiker is worth their salt. This isn’t just snow-covered peaks: it’s beautiful rivers and lush forest – and even a Valley of Flowers. Who wouldn’t want to go?

Soar across the Sossusvlei sand dunes, Namibia…

Miles and miles of unspoilt allure. Jump into a hot air balloon and enjoy the vast red dunes of the Namib-Naukluft National as they were meant to be seen: from the skies above. And as you head up, up and away, take a moment to enjoy the cool breeze – a welcome break from scorching temperatures down below.

Raft the Zambezi River, Zambia…

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Fancy rafting with Victoria Falls crashing around you? The Zambezi meanders through scenes of spectacular beauty, with whitewater all the way. The Zambezi is where you can tackle rapids such as the ‘Devils Toilet Bowl’ and ‘Oblivin’, among some of the other biggest rapids in the world.

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