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The greatest outdoor experience in the world?

Lizard IslandIn the first ever Lonely Planet Awards to be announced this month, avid worldwide travellers voted swimming in the azure waters off Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia as the ‘Greatest Outdoor Experience’. High on the list for snorkelers and scuba divers, Lizard Island’s crystal clear waters, fringing reefs and shallow coral gardens captivate visitors with an exceptional array of technicolour marine life rarely experienced elsewhere in the world. Surrounded by 24 exquisite beaches, Lizard Island is one of Australia’s most iconic Great Barrier Reef resorts. Boasting unrivalled dive sites such as the world famous ‘Code Hole’ where divers can come face to face with curious potato cod, giant clown fish, sea turtles, stingrays and ‘friendly’ sharks, it also has outstanding snorkelling just off its beaches including the magnificent 100 year old clam gardens that are home to myriad fish and other small sea creatures. An award winning all-inclusive resort, Lizard Island  has just 40 beautifully appointed suites. Complementing its very special location, the property offers the best of understated luxury with five-star gourmet dining on fresh Australian produce and a wine cellar to match including unlimited French champagne, indigenous inspired spa treatments at the Azure Spa and a wealth of water sports and activities. The resort also organises visits to the Lizard Island Research Station to give guests a better understanding of the precious underwater world that surrounds them. What would be your greatest outdoor experience?  Please post a comment to let us know.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Ooh! That’s a tough question.

    I’m not really the sporty type so my greatest outdoor experience will just have to be something outdoors. OK?

    Gosh it’s so hard to pick only one, but if I really have to then – Petra. It’s hard to describe the feeling of wonder when you get through the siq and are faced with the Treasury. (You know, that place used as a location in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.)

    But Petra is about more than that, and you can wander as you like through the ruins of this fascinating historical site. Don’t miss it if you get a chance to go.

  2. Oops, I just noticed, I didn’t answer the question properly. You asked what “would be” not “what was” the greatest outdoor experience. But I’m sure you’d like to hear from others too if they want to share a great experience.

    So what WOULD BE mine?

    I would like to travel to a gourmet market somewhere with Ainsley Harriott as my companion. We would buy all kinds of weird and wonderful ingredients and then we would cook them together. I guess it would have to be a BBQ or similar since it’s got to be outdoors.

  3. My greatest outdoor experience would be to complete a long distance trail such as the Pennine Way in the UK. I would love to hike GR5 the route from the North Sea in the Netherlands to Menton in the Mediterranean Sea via the Alps.

  4. That sounds great, John. I used to do bits of the West Highland Way. But that was done piecemeal not as a long trek. It was also a bit of a biathlon – walking and drinking.

    I think it would be good to go for some of the lesser known trails or walks. I was at John o’ Groats recently and was surprised by the number of cyclists on the road. Most likely they were doing Land’s End to John o’ Groats. Your idea of doing the Penine Way sounds much better to me.

  5. My greatest outdoor experience would be to visit the Gulf of Chiriqui in Panama. The Gulf of Chiriqui is home to many secluded islands like Isla Bolanos, Isla Coiba and Isla Palenque. There are beautiful snorkeling and scuba diving sites as well as adventures on land in nearby Chiriqui.

  6. One great outdoor experience I have been fortunate enough to partake in was a bath in a hot tub in Iceland when it was minus degrees outside. Quite a thrill !

  7. My greatest outdoor experience that I have had is climbing to the top of Uluru – Ayers Rock in Central Australia several years ago. It took about 1 1/2 hours to climb up, 1 hour to get down, and then we walked around the base which is about 8 kilometres. It was an absolutely amazing experience, the view from the top was breath taking. It was an amazing day.

  8. one of my best outdoor experience was camping under the stars and waking up to sunrise at Uluru in the Australian outback.

    Now i am thinking and i also had a fab outdoor experience when i went glacier climbing at the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand.

    and i bet there are many more new ones to come i have just got to find them ……..

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