Making a splash on your backpacking adventure
- Thu, 11 Oct 2012
If for you, fun in the water plays a big part in your daily life, then you'll no doubt want to make it a vital part of your backpacking trip. You've probably got loads of places in mind for your trip - after all it's the journey of a lifetime - that you've already read up on. If you're a keen surfer then Surfer's Paradise is probably the holy land calling your name.
But what about the places you may not know about? Those top backpacking spots where water sports play a huge part in the fabric of the place. We've brought you some of our favourites, but before we can start the adrenaline flowing by taking a look it's time for something serious. Insurance. You may have single trip travel insurance when heading off abroad once a year, but when backpacking you need a little extra cover.
Take a look at backpacking travel insurance from Virgin Money for example. Not only will you be covered for trips between 31 days and 18 months, you'll also get that all important adventure sport cover.
So, now that's sorted... let's get to the important bit. Where are you going to go?
White water rafting - Borneo, Malaysia
The Padas River in Sabah is the Promised Land for white water rafting. Here you'll find rapids going by the names of "Scooby Doo Rapid" and "Merry-Go-Round Rapid", with those on offer varying from grade three to four. Not only do the waves get up to a fear-inducing two meters, if you get chance to take your eyes of the water for a second you may even take in the stunning scenery running through the Kota Kinabalu National Park.
Scuba diving - Koh Tao - Thailand
Thailand's southern islands are a haven for backpackers. There are the full moon parties and beach bungalows of Koh Phangnan, the beautiful beaches and lively atmosphere of Koh Samui; but the real jewel in the crown is Koh Tao. The vibe is a lot more relaxed than its hectic neighbours. There are white sand beaches, secluded covers and some of the best diving in South East Asia. Below the crystal clear waters you can explore this tropical paradise with famous sites such as Turtle Island providing a feast for the eyes. It's great for those experienced divers, but don't worry if you've never been diving before as the island is packed with dive centres all offering the PADI course.
Wind and kite surfing - Praia do Prea Beach, Brazil
South America is arguably the most popular destination for backpackers at the moment as it offers a little more of a challenge than Australasia and South East Asia, and with countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru you can really see why. For those kite and windsurfing enthusiasts, Brazil is top dog; with Praia do Prea Beach a real treat. It's a sublime 12km stretch of deserted beach, with stunning conditions between May and November.
Surfing is a way of life in Australia, as is backpacking. The country is wonderfully geared up to cater for backpackers, ensuring it's a comfortable journey for many first timers. But let's get back to the surfing. Yes you've probably heard of Surfers Paradise, but that's by no means all there is to offer. Head to any one of Point Break in Noosa, the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Seal Rocks, or Crescent Head and you won't be disappointed.