Adventure

8 Bucket List Travel Experiences For 2017

From glacier walking to food fights, let 2017 be the year of excellent travel.

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How’s that 2016 travel bucket list looking? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt? If you didn’t manage to tick all the good stuff off this year, don’t fret. Roll it over to 2017 and make the impending travel year your bucket list’s best friend.

From busting out your two-wheeler across the great wide beyond, to howling karaoke all night and all day, we’re honing our lenses on some of the best bucket list experiences you can possibly indulge in for 2017. Take the word from us. Get that list in order, and plan on!


#1 Ride your bike across a country

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Yep, just like when you were a kid – only further, and more awesome. While transit by car, train, bus dishes out the goods when it comes to efficiency, it lack a little in ambiance and good old fashioned sentient experience.

Get your juices well and truly flowing next year with an epic ride across an entire nation – the USA is your logical first choice, while Quebec’s La Route Verte, Vietnam’s Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh, Gran Fondo Campagnolo in Italy and Chile’s 1300 kilometre Ruta Austral all deserve a good look in. Failing that, WA’s Munda Biddi Trail is a perfect alternative for those who like to keep it in the backyard.


#2 Walk on a glacier (before they disappear)

While it’s a travesty that the world is losing its natural wonders, we ought to respect and appreciate their beauty while we still can – the experience might even help us collectively turn the trend around. Iceland’s Vatnajökull and Snæfellsjökull Glaciers are must sees, not to mention New Zealand’s incredible Franz Josef, Canada’s Athabasca, the Argentinian Perito Moreno and Switzerland’s epic Matterhorn.


#3 Swim with whale sharks

Jaws fans unite! Shark-o-phobics best sit this one out. For a truly adrenaline-charged bucket list option, make for the salt water and go hang with our toothy, sea-bound brethren. The waters of Fiji’s Beqa Lagoon remain one of the world’s most shark-infested, while the great whites of Guadalupe, Mexico are guaranteed to put some serious thrill in your spill. For a local dose, check out NSW’s Fish Rock Cave, and SA’s Port Lincoln.


#4 Sing karaoke all night

For some, fraternising with prehistoric predators delivers for the ultimate thrill. For others, it’s belting out Tina Turner’s ‘Private Dancer’ in the comfort of their very own karaoke clubroom. If destroying pop covers amongst soused foreign randoms is your kinda thing, do it all night long in a 24-hour Japanese karaoke den – as a group, in public, in a hot tub, or a private robot-themed party room. Tokyo is waiting for you.


#5 Hike to a swimming hole

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Havasu Falls, Arizona. Photo: Sean Hagen/Flickr

Picture it: you, out in the great wide nowhere, euphorically free, at one with Mother Nature. The sun is bearing down hard, your brow is beading with sweat, and after hours of heavy trekking, you finally arrive to one of the world’s most incredible swimming holes.

Perhaps you’re skirting the rim of the Grand Canyon and come across the majestic Havasu Falls; maybe it’s the turquoise cliff top rock pools of Mexico’s Hierve el Agua; otherwise the Hinatuan Enchanted River of Philippines, or Brazil’s Poco Azul – point being, there’s a whole bunch of incredible spots out there for an unforgettable dip. 2017 is telling you to pick a place, get wandering, and dive in.


#6 Gaze at the night sky

For millennia, the starry night sky was the unfailing companion to our tribal forebears, the catalyst of all myth, a cosmic mirror encompassing all the universe’s wisdom. Alas, with its megalopolises and 24-hour haze, modern humans have all but forgotten the enchantment of the night-time heavens. Rekindle the cosmic connection in 2017, and bridge heaven and earth once more, with a solid dose of intrepid after hours stargazing. For the best results, NZ’s Lake Tekapo, and Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve should do the trick nicely; otherwise Paranal, or Cerro Armazones in the Chilean Andes, or Namibia’s NamibRand Nature Reserve for something a little more exotic.


#7 Run an epic marathon

Sweathounds amongst us can lap up 2017’s epic array of international marathon and running race choices. Fix yourself up a round the world ticket and get bolting, Gump-style, across some of the most stunning landscapes in the known world –Switzerland’s Jungfrau, France’s Marathon du Medoc, Chile’s Patagonian International, Lisbon’s Rock ‘n Roll Maratona, all worthy. Failing that, why not try Antarctica, Kilamanjaro, or Hawaii’s painful-sounding 100 kilometre ‘H.U.R.T. 100’?


#8 Engage in a food fight

Food and fighting. Two human staples, in one fabulously messy fusion. When all is said and done, there’s nothing more enjoyable than hurling the better part of a meal at someone and copping a few in return. Thankfully, numerous mobs around the world have turned the humble domestic food fight into a bona fide international art form – not least of all the UK’s World Custard Pie Championship, Colombia’s La Tomatina, Italy’s Battle of the Oranges, Spain’s flour-tastic Els Enfarinats, and the Great Fruitcake Toss of Manitou, USA. Bon appetite! Bon combattre! Bon 2017!

(Lead image: Justin Vidamo/Flickr)

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