While we aren’t travelling at the moment, this is a good time to start planning for when we can. If spending more time at home than usual means you’re keen to hit the outdoors and raise the excitement stakes on your next holiday, why not try one of these adventure travel options.
Heli-skiing Heaven Travel doesn’t get much more adventurous than heli-skiing; it’s the ultimate in adrenaline-fuelled back-country skiing, with a helicopter whisking you away to untouched powder on challenging trails.
If your heart is already beating a little faster, you’ll be pleased to discover there’s a new and exclusive heli-ski adventure on offer in New Zealand. Over the course of the eight-night itinerary, you’ll be based in Chalet New Zermatt, a newly opened five-star chalet property overlooking Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu. The amazing line-up of activities includes skiing at Coronet Peak and the Remarkables, as well as two days of private heli-skiing (with access to 850,000 hectares of heli-skiing terrain!), wine tasting with a winemaker, jet boat transfers, Fjordland exploring, and gourmet dining at a remote mountain station – accessed by helicopter again – where freshly caught crayfish is prepared for lunch.
The chalet can take up to eight guests in four bedrooms, and the holiday costs NZ$264,000 (approximately HK$1,250,000 or $156,250 per person), on a full-board basis with a private chef and including all the activities and excursions with private use of a helicopter throughout the week. It’s available from mid-July through to mid-September 2020.
Off the Beaten Track Ideal for nature-lovers and rustic nomads, Banyan Camp is an off-the-grid eco-retreat in deep rural Sri Lanka. With a “less is more” philosophy, the open-air lodges and huts are made of everything from scavenged doors to driftwood furniture, re-used bottles and re-invented trucks, tastefully decorated with local textiles and adjoined private outdoor showers. Here, monkeys roam free, mongooses and kingfishers pay visits to your porch, and crocodiles laze in the neighbouring lake.
Within reach of Udawalawe National Park, an elephant orphanage and stunning waterfalls and rivers, the opportunities to enjoy Mother Nature are plentiful. Join an early morning safari, explore the lake by canoe, jump in waterfalls or have lunch and a swim at the river. Late afternoons are best spent with beers and games in the gorgeous communal areas while cool evenings involve sitting beside a bonfire or enjoying an unforgettable dinner on a raft paddled out onto the lake. Once you’ve eaten, blow out the oil lamps and lay back to enjoy the stars and fireflies.
The lodges (for four or six people) start from $450 per couple, while the huts and converted Mercedes bus (two people), start from $410 per person. All meals are included.
Thrill-seeking in the Sand Qsar al Sarab by Anantara is the quintessential desert resort, set in the world’s largest sand desert, known as the Empty Quarter. Just over 100km of extremely straight road takes you from Dubai and Abu Dhabi and into this incredible scenery of undulating red dunes that go on as far as the eye can see.
While you could, of course, while away your time in the decadent resort, with its scalloped pool and oversized beds and bathtubs, there are plenty of activities on offer too. These range from the relatively sedate – camel rides and falconry demonstrations – to the adventures that Expat Living reader JUSTIN SAGE indulged in during his recent stay.
“Get up early for a guided spin on a fat-wheeled bike in the cool of dawn. You’ll burn plenty of calories to earn that pool-side bucket of thirst-quenching beer! Plus, the only true way to get up close and personal with nature in any environment is on two wheels. Allow your guide to show you the “line” before setting your racing snake spirit free.
Ride those mountainous dune waves high and enjoy the sense of freedom knowing that any pilot error will only result in a soft, sandy landing. But, be sure to also slow down and allow the guide to quietly position you close to the silhouette of an Arabian oryx or a sand gazelle – you might even encounter an Arabian red fox, if you’re extremely lucky. And, when you do take a tumble, you’ll simply be able to enjoy the flora and fauna of the oasis from an even closer angle!”
“Anyone who likes adrenalin cars and extreme theme-park rides gets an all-in-one with this treat. The Toyota LandCruiser is a beast of a vehicle with intimidating looks and many desert horses under the hood. However, when put to the test this mad machine turns into an elegant dune dancer and accomplishes all challenges in style. It carves the giant walls of sand in a way that a big wave surfer can only dream of, climbing high into the blue skies above, before descending down insane drops of hundreds of metres, while always in control.
Perch on the highest of summits, before eyeing that roller-coaster line where your stomach jumps out of your throat. It’s all about thrill and it’s not over too quickly either. Call shotgun for the front seat and you’ll soon be offering it up to one of your fellow backseat passengers. Kudos to the highly skilled drivers – they take you to the edge of impossible and bring you back safely to a refreshing sunset tea!”
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This article first appeared on expatliving.sg.