7 high-octane thrills in NSW
Feel the excitement flowing through your veins and embrace your sense of freedom on one of these seven adrenaline-inducing experiences.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of exhilaration and freedom that comes with doing something exciting, new and perhaps just a little bit scary. Sometimes you need to remind yourself that life is an adventure – so put your best foot forward and give it a go.
Feel the V8 speed
Embrace the butterflies as you pull on your race suit, helmet and gloves, and hear the roar of some serious V8 power – with you in the driver’s seat. At Sydney Motorsport Park you can put a V8 race car through its paces, with a pro driver alongside you. Then let the expert show you what’s really possible – at speeds of more than 200km/h – over some hair-raising hot laps. It’s super-fast, super-thrilling and highly addictive.
You can also get some hot-lap adrenaline from the passenger seat of a V8 supercar at the Pheasant Wood Circuit at Marulan, in the Southern Tablelands. Both tracks also allow you to bring your own car and see what it can do when the shackles are off.
For a fun family day out, head to Luddenham Raceway in Penrith for some go-karting, paintball and a circuit for testing your four wheels or two wheels.
Feel the drift
If you like your race cars to have more of a Mad Max vibe, head to the Hawkesbury to slide through corners and get some air in a V8 race buggy with Off Road Rush Sydney. These amazing vehicles look like they’ve been designed for a lunar landscape, and you’re guaranteed to feel over the moon after hurtling around the dirt track, either in the driver’s or passenger’s seat, with a pro by your side. You can also whizz around in a smaller Yamaha YXZ buggy, or in a Subaru WRX rally car.
Alternatively, at Cessnock in the Hunter Valley, take your pick from Subaru, Mitsubishi and Toyota rally cars as you hit the dirt with RallySchool.
Feel the salt spray
For high-octane thrills on the water, an Extreme Adrenaline Rush Ride with Thunder Jet provides spins, fishtails and twists on Sydney Harbour that will have you screaming and laughing in the same breath – and not just because you get soaked every time the boat comes to a sudden halt. Enjoy the views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge while you can, because before you know it, you’re going to have wind in your hair, saltwater in your face and high-speed jetboat stunts occupying your attention again.
Oz Jet Boating also offer exciting jetboat rides on the world’s most famous harbour.
Feel the power of an icon
For a breathtaking experience on a Sydney icon, tackle BridgeClimb’s Ultimate Climb. You’ll walk the entire span of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, from south to north and back again, on a journey that covers 3.3km and 1621 steps, and offers 360-degree views from a leg-quaking, jaw-dropping 134m above the harbour. This is BridgeClimb’s most adventurous option – taking 3.5hrs – and it’s an experience that’s both exhilarating and moving: standing on top of the Coathanger, you can’t help but feel awe-inspired.
Feel the wind in your hair
Sometimes, the best way to get a sense of freedom is by floating on the breeze. A hot-air balloon ride is a serene, soul-stirring experience, with the perfect silence punctuated only by the occasional blast of the burner and the quiet “oohs” and “aahs” of passengers soaking up the dawn serenity.
You can up, up and away all over NSW. If you’re in the Mudgee region, take a flight over the rolling hills with Balloon Aloft Mudgee. Get a bird’s-eye view of Australia’s oldest wine region with a spot of ballooning in the Hunter Valley. Combine some Byron Bay Ballooning with a gourmet breakfast at The Farm by Three Blue Ducks. Or head to the state’s ballooning capital, Canowindra, in April, for the Canowindra International Balloon Challenge.
Feel the whoosh of blades
On a Wilderness Picnic experience with Snowy Mountains Helicopters, you’ll take a breathtaking one-hour flight over the Snowy Mountains before landing at a private hut on the boundary of Kosciuszko National Park for a picnic, a glass of bubbles and a swathe of alpine wilderness.
Elsewhere, you can fly over the coastline and canyons of the Illawarra and Southern Highlands with Touchdown Helicopters; see Sydney from on high with Blue Sky Helicopters; or take off from Armidale on the Flight of the 10 Gorges with Fleet Adventures.
Feel like you’ve got wings
Ever wondered what it feels like to fly upside-down? Head to Lake Macquarie and find out. On an aerobatic joy flight with Matt Hall Racing, you’ll jump aboard a two-seater plane with a former RAAF fighter pilot and feel all the gravitational forces and sheer exhilaration that come with loops, barrel rolls, tumbles, and flying the wrong way up.
For a somewhat more serene aeronautical experience, take off from Sydney’s Rose Bay with Sydney Seaplanes, and combine a scenic flight with a gourmet riverside lunch, perhaps at Berowra Waters Inn. Or, about 1,000km to the west, take an awe-inspiring scenic flight from the airstrip at Mungo Lodge. There’s nothing that inspires a feeling of freedom quite like the NSW Outback.