What is Outdoor Recreation?

Activities in the outdoors?

Outdoor activities have been defined as those activities that:

  • are undertaken outside the confines of buildings (ie, in the outdoors); and
  • can be undertaken without the existence of any built facility or infrastructure; and
  • may require large areas of land, water and/or air; and
  • may require outdoor areas of predominantly unmodified natural landscape.

According to the Australian Curriculum outdoor recreation is:

Physical activity in outdoors or natural settings, which provides opportunities to connect individually, in small groups or as a community to the outdoor environment.

While facilities, site modifications or infrastructure may be provided to manage access to, and the impacts of, outdoor activities; outdoor activities can be undertaken without facilities, site modification or infrastructure.

… those activities which take place in natural environments, on ‘simulated’ surfaces and in purpose-built facilities. Further the outdoor sector is defined by the process and purpose of delivery and include non-competitive recreation, outdoor sports, outdoor and environmental education, health and lifestyle improvement, eco/ adventure tourism, recreation based counselling.

Outdoor activities include (but are not limited to) non-competitive:
  • Abseiling
  • Archery
  • Ballooning
  • Base jumping
  • Beachcombing
  • Bikepacking
  • Birdwatching
  • BMX
  • Boating
  • Bodyboarding
  • Bouldering
  • Bungy jumping
  • Bushwalking
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Canyoning
  • Caravanning
  • Caving
  • Climbing
  • Conservation
  • Cross country skiing
  • Cycling
  • eBiking
  • Expeditions
  • Fishing
  • Fossicking
  • Four-wheel-driving
  • Frisbee
  • Geocaching
  • Hang-gliding
  • Horse riding
  • Hunting
  • Jet skiing
  • Kayaking
  • Kite flying
  • Kite surfing
  • Laser skirmish
  • Motorcycling
  • Mountain biking
  • Mountaineering
  • Nature play
  • Nature studies
  • Orienteering
  • Parachuting
  • Paragliding
  • Parkour
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • Quad biking
  • Rafting
  • Rock climbing
  • Rogaining
  • Rollerblading
  • Ropes courses
  • Running
  • Sailboarding
  • Sailing
  • Scooting
  • Scuba diving
  • Sea kayaking
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Skydiving
  • Skygazing
  • Slacklining
  • Snorkelling
  • Snowboarding
  • SUP
  • Surfing
  • Surf rafting
  • Swimming
  • Trail bike riding
  • Trail Running
  • Tree climbing
  • Trekking
  • Touring
  • Walking
  • Water skiing
  • Wildlife watching
  • Windsurfing

It should be noted that activities that involve organised competition based on formal rules are, by definition, sports. Competitive versions of some of the above activities exist and Outdoors Queensland offers some representation for these competitive elements.

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Tail Lights by Georgina Pratten