How do you feel about abseiling down the north wall of Mt Buffalo gorge and sleeping 300 metres above the ground? What about a weekend at your own private ski-in, ski-out campsite in the snow at Mt Stirling? Or maybe you’re in the mood for a night in a cabin in the high country, built in 1904. There’s a website for that.
Riparide connects people with back-to-nature accommodation and experiences. The site has more than 400 Victorian listings including wilderness accommodation, tiny houses, cottages and Kombi vans. It also offers camping equipment, classes (such as surf lessons) and tours (rafting, horse-riding, heli-fishing).
Marlon Law, a former senior designer at Quiksilver, started Riparide hoping to inspire people to escape from their desks and unplug from technology. The name comes from the idea of “ripping” or borrowing something from a mate, whether a ride or a place to stay.
“Adventures in nature are so powerful,” says Law. “They can lift your spirit … and even change your life direction.”
On the site you can search by activity (such as abseiling, surfing and fishing), location (such as the Grampians, Yarra Valley and the Murray River) or by nature itself: waterfalls, lakes, desert, mountains and rivers.
“Lots of people need encouragement and a bit of a push to be more active and live a healthy lifestyle,” Law says. “These days everyone is so time poor they feel like they don’t have the time to research and find out what experiences are out there. People, including me, get so used to routine they just don’t find the time to get out. But if something is achievable and convenient it’s more attractive, and people are more likely to actually do it.”