The best of adventure
Apr 26, 2010 10:07 AM IST
The finest destinations to visit if you're seeking absolute thrills
Adventure can be found anywhere. But the real excitement lies in closing the deal at the spot where you know the rush won't elude you at any cost.
Here's a list of those unmatched places that are the holy grail for true adrenaline junkies and known only to a dedicated few. If you're one of those who feel the itch, start saving up now so that you can take off on an adventure that will become a landmark in your life.
Dive in micronesia
Where's that? This is a cluster of 607 islands in the Western Central Pacific Ocean. Though the islands are divided into four states, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap, only 67 are actually inhabited.
"The ocean is very clear and calm and not many islands are inhabited, which is why the sea life has been able to flourish. Micronesia the best place to go diving and snorkelling," says Madhava Reddy, founderdirector of Planet Scuba.
Don't miss: Chuuk has a vast, shallow lagoon and is considered the best place for wreck divers. Truk Lagoon is a major shipwreck site from World War II, while Yap is famous for its manta rays.
Wait, there's more: The islands have great hiking and trekking trails, ocean kayaking tours that explore the islands of Yap, camping expeditions in the rainforests of Pohnpei, and ruins like Nan Madol that date back to the Neolithic age.
Best time to go: All year round. Visit www.visit-fsm.org for details.
Ski in Chamonix
Where's that? This 4,810m-high mountain, the tallest in Western Europe, is nestled in a valley surrounded by four Alpine peaks, at the base of Mont Blanc. You can stay at the French resort town of Chamonix Mont- Blanc, which was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, and enjoy Chamonix's various slopes and their breathtaking landscapes, informs adventure expert Yana Bey. Chamonix offers modern infrastructure like ski lifts, well-equipped alpine huts, and excellent equipment available on hire.
Don't miss: Advanced skiiers can attempt the challenging terrain of the 2,500m-high VallÃ©e Blanche glacier. This route, which winds through birch forests, is off-piste or unmarked.
Wait, there's more: Chamonix also offers excellent facilities for snowboarding and snowshoeing. The Mont Blanc peak and the red granite Aiguilles Rouge mountains are also popular for mountain climbing
Best time to go: From December to May. Visit www.chamonix.com for details.
Raft in the Kaituna river
Where's that? Kaituna river emerges from Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti in the North Island of New Zealand. Here, you'll find the world's highest commercially rafted rapids that go up to the toughest grade 5+. Nothing, says rafter Prateek Kanodia, can beat paddling down the 21- ft Tutea Falls on the river.
Don't miss: Gnarly Gorge on Kaituna river has iconic status amongst rafters.
Wait, there's more: Okere Falls in Kaituna is renowned for its trout. You can also go wilderness kayaking and hiking.
Best time to go: All year round, but visit before a proposed hydroelectric power project reduces the water flow to Gnarly Gorge.
Spelunk in Alabama
Where's that? Alabama is a state in USA. Apart from its lush forests and wildlife in the northern and central areas, and beaches along the southern gulf coast, Alabama has a wealth of caves located in the Valley and Ridge section, the Tennessee River Valley region and the Coastal Plain section.
Don't miss: You can join local exploration teams and find an assorted mix of animals like cave fish and salamanders inside the caves.
Wait, there's more: Hike along the Noccalula Falls and in the Little River Canyon National Preserve. You can even head to one of the Gulf Coast destinations to kick back on pristine sands.
Best time to go: All year round.
Skydive in coffs harbour
Where's that? Located in New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia, Coffs Harbour has one of Australia's first skydiving schools. You'll jump with a parachute from a moving plane at 14,000 ft, with a view of one of the world's most beautiful coastal stretches and green covers. "We have flown our wingsuits for kilometres above the pristine beaches watching the ocean breakers and occasional shadows of whales and dolphins below," says Dr Glenn Singleman, the record holder of the world's highest wingsuit BASEjump.
Don't miss: Don't pass up the opportunity to get an A licence by doing the Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) course.
Best time to go: All year round.
Abseil at table mountain
Where's that? The flat-topped Table Mountain, located in Cape Town, South Africa, is the world's highest commercial abseiling spot. As you abseil 112m down the mountain, you'll get a bird's eyeview of the city, located at the northern tip of the Cape Peninsula. Your descent begins about a kilometre above Cape Town.
Don't miss: Take a ride on the Table Mountain aerial cableway to capture some amazing panoramic views.
Wait, there's more: You can camp in the Table Mountain National Park. Further up the east, at Knysna, you can abseil down the Storms river canyon or take a tubing trip down the river.
Best time to go: November to March.