As we emerge from being locked in during lockdown, there feels like nothing better than planning a blowout trip with a big experience for 2021. As the trend towards adventure and outdoor travel grows, coupled with the increased desire for adrenaline-filled activities, we have compiled thrilling experiences from around the world to get travellers’ hearts racing.
From heliskiing in Canada, ziplining the highest line in America, bungee jumping off Japan’s highest bridge, swimming with sharks in The Islands of Tahiti and canyoning in Kyushu, we look at where will be wow in ‘21.
Ski the crater of an active volcano in Niseko
Mount Yotei is the highest mountain in Hokkaido and offers brave skiers the longest vertical descent in the region. Those who wish to attempt the mountain – also an active stratovolcano – must first scale the edge to the mountain peak which takes between 6-8 hours. Around 100 skiers attempt this thrilling experience each year with a guide, the correct gear and the right weather conditions. Those who make it to the top can reward themselves with après ski Hokkaido style – a dip in volcanic hot spring baths and the famous Hokkaido plumb wine.
Bungee jumping in Gifu
Located in Gifu Prefecture is Japan’s highest bridge bungee jump. Situated between the mountains in Tabisoko Gawa Valley the Shintabisoko Bashi is the largest bridge in Japan with a total length of 462 meters. Get that adrenaline pumping and jump into the majestic nature ascending down to the flowing river below with Bungy Japan. Bungy Japan is well established having been running for 10 years, jumping from nine different bridges and towers across Japan.
Canyoning in Kyushu
Sarugajo nature park is located at the western border of Tarumizu on Kagoshima’s Osumi Peninsula. Here, visitors looking to get their adrenaline pumping can enjoy canyoning through the gorge. Enjoy traversing across the Sarugajo Gorge Michi no Eki Tarumizu combining hiking, climbing, swimming and abseiling. Canyoning offers visitors the opportunity to explore the hard-to-reach areas of a natural landscape by following a water route carved through rock formations. Visitors will find themselves navigating paths along streams, pools and waterfalls where they will slide, jump and descend down through the gorge.
Unforgettable Kayaking along the Tanesashi Coast, Hachinohe Region
Take to the waters of the Tanesashi Coast and enjoy some truly breathtaking views with a thrill. Start the day at Hachinohe’s Tatehana Wharf Sunday Morning Market, said to be Japan’s largest morning market. Explore numerous vendors selling crafts, local fruits and vegetables and seafood, as well as other Japanese delicacies. Walk along the coast through the Yodo pine grove and take in the stunning sights before ending the walk at Shirahama beach where sea kayaking is a must. This may not be adrenaline pumping but it is certainly thrill-seeking with the stunning uninterrupted coastal views on offer.
Walk between a 20-meter Snow Wall in Tateyama, Three Star Road
Located in Tateyama is the renowned snow wall at Murodo. Tateyama City is surrounded by rich nature with the Northern Alps as its background, it is part of Three Star Road which is part of the Nostalgic Route of Shoryudo, that is included in Michelin Green Guide Japan as a three-star tourist attraction. One of the greatest sightseeing routes in Japan Whilst travelling through the mountains of Tateyama, they host the largest amount of snowfall in the entire world and are inaccessible for the longest time. During the spring when the sun heats up the earth, snow trucks run up the mountains and carve their way through the meters of snow to clear the road of snow. Once the road is clear, up to 20 meters snow can be seen on either side. This snow corridor is open to the public from mid-April to the end of June to walk through. The snow wall is not the only attraction, there are hikes starting from Murodo for those wanting to get their fill of the mountainous area.
THE ISLANDS OF TAHITI
Swimming with sharks
There are hundreds of species of marine life in the crystal clear warm waters of French Polynesia, including 19 species of shark. Known as ‘m’oan’ in the local language, sharks represent a protective force in local culture and have been protected by law since 2006. Head to the waters surrounding Fakarava Island, listed as a UNESCO Biosphere, and experience the Wall of Sharks. Although sharks are present here year-round, July see’s an influx of sharks descend on this narrow passageway, creating an opportunity for brave divers to get up close and personal. For the ultimate adrenaline-fueled experience night dives to the Wall of Sharks are offered by many top centres including Tetamanu Village.
Cloudscraper Zip Line
Situated 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River, the Cloudscraper Zip Line is the highest zip line in America. Not for the faint hearted, visitors soar across feet from one side of the Royal Gorge to the other. Those who can catch their breath are rewarded with incredible views of the famous Royal Gorge and its granite cliff faces, as well as the Arkansas River below.
Mountain biking in Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Lakes is an action sports haven in both summer and winter. With some of the most radical mountain bike terrain in the country – 80+ miles of singletrack offering jumps, berms and drops – Mammoth Mountain boasts the biggest, baddest and best bike park in the US. Visitors can experience the epic terrain and sensational Sierra scenery, stopping off at Minaret Vista to witness a breathtaking view of Mammoth Lakes’ signature skyline.
Rock Climbing in Yosemite Mariposa
Yosemite Valley has been the site for almost every major development in the sport of rock climbing and continues to be a place where world-class climbers are honing their skills, breaking records and changing our understanding of what is possible for human strength and endurance. Half Dome is perhaps the most iconic symbol of Yosemite National Park, rising 1,360 feet from an elevation of 8,844 feet above sea level, with unparalleled views to remember for a lifetime.
White water rafting in Yosemite Tuolumne County
The wild and scenic Tuolumne comprising the Gold Country, High Sierra and northern section of Yosemite National Park is located just 2.5 hours east of the San Francisco Bay area and California’s premier wilderness whitewater. The Tuolumne River provides one of the finest all-around whitewater rafting trip experiences with multiple operators ready to test the skills (and nerves) of those who dare with an oar. Spectacular scenery, thrilling Class IV rapids, great side hikes and beautiful white-sand beaches are hidden inside an 18-mile stretch of pristine canyon. Rafting trips are set to resume in Spring 2021 and a perfect activity for those looking to get out on the water, breathe in the fresh mountain air and try a new adventure.
Hop aboard a WaveRunner in Florida’s Paradise Coast
Consisting of Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades, Florida’s Paradise Coast is a portal to adventure. With ample opportunities for thrills on the water, mainly due to its handy location on the Gulf of Mexico, an exciting way to explore the protected mangroves and get the adrenaline pumping is on a WaveRunner. Step out onto the beach from the hotel and hop on the back of a WaveRunner to see mangrove forests and amazing wildlife including dolphins, manatee and exotic birds. Marco Island Watersports will provide an expert tour guide who will highlight interesting facts about the nature and geography of the region as riders navigate the backwaters in comfort and style.
Get a bike dirty in Pittsburgh
Celebrate Pittsburgh’s new ordinance that officially permits bicycles off of the pavement and onto city parkland by taking a two-wheeler to Frick Park; the city’s best public space for pedalers who prefer their rides extra-bumpy. The downhill Iron Gate and Bradema trails are “must-rides” that mix the fast and fun with tough technical challenges. For mountain biking without the long drive, the Dr. J Freeride Trail in North Park is a well-maintained, quarter-mile downhill with BMX-style jumps on the hill behind the pool. Those seeking an actual mountain, the rocky ridges of Laurel Mountain State Park are home to the most extreme path in the area challenging those who dare to stay upright.
Heli-skiing in Alberta
CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures is the world’s largest heli-skiing and heli-hiking company, taking visitors to the area’s best off-trail, downhill skiing spots. Part of the Alterra Mountain company group, skiers can embark on the adventure of a lifetime by taking a helicopter ride to various scenic points in the mountains, before skiing off piste on white powder snow and exploring virtually undiscovered areas.
Bobsleighing in Whistler
Whistler Sliding Centre is home to the 2010 Bobsleigh, Skeleton and Luge competitions and welcomes the public daily to try the track for themselves. The bucket list-worthy Bobsleigh Thunder on Ice experience gives adventurers an adrenaline-fuelled ride down the world’s fastest track with guidance from a trained Bobsleigh pilot through 10 twists and turns at 125km per hour.