These 20 islands are an adventurer’s dream

From offshore waters to inland wilds, these isles offer activities for every explorer.

By Meghan Miner Murray
Published 5 May 2019, 19:24 BST
South Island, New Zealand
New Zealand's South Island is a masterpiece of adventure. Get your adrenaline pumping in the rugged wildlands of Abel Tasman National Park; skydive over Lake Wanaka; bungee jump down 440 feet (134 meters) or become a human catapult in the Nevis Valley; then strap on some crampons and heli-hike up to stare down the blue-green crevasses of Franz Josef Glacier.
Photograph by Florian Bärschneider, Alamy Stock Photo

By virtue of their geography, islands are natural havens for adventure seekers: Surrounded by water, a voyage is required just to reach them.

Yet some islands are a cut above. These places are extra remote, have wild natural features, or rare (and sometimes dangerous) creatures that lend a particular allure. Some have existing infrastructure making the adventure experience as seamless as booking a tour, while others require a little more effort for the reward. 

From swimming through teeming reefs to trekking up jungle volcanoes, from skydiving and rock climbing to surfing alongside penguins, these extraordinary islands all but guarantee adventure—you just have to be bold enough to seek it.

Meghan Miner Murray is a contributing researcher for National Geographic Traveller (US), a freelance writer, and a scuba guide based on Hawaii Island. Follow her on Instagram @meghanminermurray.
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