The best water adventures to have around Australia

This is sponsored content for Carnival Cruise Line

Living it up on our own island continent gives us an endless choice of coastlines packed with fun activities. Here are some top water-based adventures sure to wash away the blues and leave you feeling refreshed.

Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

Explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

Explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: iStock

Dive into these peacock-blue waters and you won't just find Nemo, but every one of his multi-coloured mates as well. It's a Mardi Gras parade of fish with pouting lips, flamboyant fins, and outrageous polka-dots and stripes.

The Barrier Reef is home to thousands of fish species, hundreds of corals, plus giant clams, sponges, starfish, turtles and harmless reef sharks too. It isn't often you can plunge into an alternative universe, no magic required. Just step off a pontoon and be transported.

Swim in the middle of Brisbane

The only beach in the middle of an Australian city rather than on its coastal edge? That would be Streets Beach – take note for trivia night. You'll find the lagoon-like waterhole, edged by white sand and surrounded by rustling palm trees, on South Bank which overlooks the Brisbane River, so you get water views while you kick back and relax in the sun.

No nicer way to refresh yourself after checking out the excellent museums or one of Brisbane's latest hip foodie neighbourhoods. Also on South Bank is Aquativity, an interactive water park for kids.

Kayak off Bruny Island

The water temperature on this wonderful Tasmanian island within reach of Hobart will be a shock to the system but the crystal-clear waters are quite the pay off. Soak up the scenery on a paddle, where you might spot fairy penguins, albatross and eagles, and adorable fur seals.

Bruny Island's bays, beaches and headlands are magnificently scenic, and its ruggedly beautiful beaches are often almost deserted.

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Get adventurous on Moreton Island

The Neck in Bruny Island

The Neck in Bruny Island. Photo: iStock

There's no better Queensland theme park than one provided by nature, and Moreton Island – one of the world's largest sand islands – fits the bill with its giant dunes, lagoons and pretty reefs. 

Families will love sand tobogganing and quad biking, tramping the national park that covers most of the island, and hand-feeding the wild dolphins that visit Tangalooma Resort. But the best watery adventure is to explore one of 15 shipwrecks, some of which lie just a paddle offshore in glittering blue waters.

Walk on water in Sydney

You can have a water adventure without getting wet by hitting Sydney's many coastal and harbour walking tracks that showcase the sunny, seductive beauty of the city's watery setting. Some take you through national-park bushland with startling skyscraper views, some across spectacular cliffs pounded by Pacific waves.

And yes, you'll be tempted to cool off in brilliant pocket-sized beaches with barely a footprint, yet often in sight of Sydney's chicest suburbs. Even better, somewhere along the way you'll find an ice cream or a feast of fish and chips.

Be a beach bum in the Whitsundays

Be warned, once you've stuck your toes in the sand on Whitehaven Beach, no other beach feels quite as good. The blinding white sand is soft as anything and is surrounded by water that shimmers in shades of neon blues edged with turquoise.

Not for nothing Whitehaven regularly tops bucket lists of world's best beaches, so have your Instagram pose prepared. Or your engagement ring. And with 70-odd islands in the Whitsundays and only a handful inhabited, there are plenty of other places to get castaway, too.

Go on a Carnival cruise

Unwind on the water with Carnival Cruise Line.

Unwind on the water with Carnival Cruise Line. Photo: Carnival Cruise Line

The best way to have fun on the water is to hop on a Carnival cruise ship and abandon any travel worries or planning as you're wafted from one sunny destination to another, all while kicking back on board and enjoying the pool deck, the waterslides, or a gentle massage from the waterjets at the amazing Hydrotherapy Pool in Cloud 9 Spa.

Cruising from Sydney, a cruise with Carnival is the ultimate value-for-money and convenient way to holiday, and the whole family will find their own entertainment on shore excursions as well. Needless to say, you're never far from water when in port. Plunge in, and enjoy.

For more information or to plan and book a cruise, phone 13 31 94, speak to your travel agent or see carnival.com.au