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Australian Canyoning & Canyoneering Adventures, Activities, Trips, Tours & Expeditions

Updated on November 20, 2016
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John has traveled extensively has developed 5 website guides for touring Australia & Worldwide. John has developed travelers tips & tricks.

Extreme Thrills and Adventure

Discover the rugged landscapes, beauty, challenge, exhilaration and thrill of canyoning (also known as Canyoneering) which involves scrambling down river gorges - negotiating cliffs, rocks, gorges, waterfalls, cascades, crystal clear pools, flowing boulder filled streams and rainforests.

Canyoning is an extreme adventure and sport that can involve abseiling, water jumps, bushwalking, short swims, wading, rock hopping and rock climbing.

It is correctly called an extreme sport. However, most reasonably fit people can undertake the challenges provided they have sufficient abseiling skills. There are various graded courses available.

The tracks are mostly downhill, starting at the top and moving down the canyon, which makes it a little easier. Participants will be required to abseil down rock faces, cascades and waterfalls, scramble down gorges and ravines. You will often see unique environments as you make your way through inaccessible areas. Teams aim to find the safest and fastest way down. The most popular location for canyoning in Australia is the spectacular Blue Mountains region west of Sydney.

Fantastic Landscapes and Scenery

In this wilderness area and deep valleys there are more that 300 fantastic canyon locations of various grades. The operators in this area are all licensed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and other local authorities to run guided adventure tours through these stunning canyons. There are many other places to enjoy canyoning throughout Australia in most States and Territories, close to the capital cities and regional centres.

Most operators will provide all the gear you need including the latest canyoning adventure gear - Full professional and specially designed padded canyon wetsuits, dry bags for your gear, canyon helmets, abseiling equipment and nutritious food. One of the crucial and mandatory skills required for most canyoning expeditions and tours is the ability to abseil. Most operators provide courses in Adventure Abseiling training or you need to be able to demonstrate your proficiency through similar training courses. THese skills are a must for all up and coming canyon explorers! You will need to also undertake Canyon Safety Workshops or similar briefings for Abseilers, Bushwalkers and Rockclimbers who are keen to extend existing skills for canyoning. Canyon Leaders Courses are also available that teach identification of canyon exits, Canyon Safety, Trip Planning & Route Finding, Risk Management, Equipment Requirements, Environmental Considerations, Emergency Procedures, Canyon Specific Rope Skills. The Canyon Leaders Course is ideal training for Outdoor Education Staff, School Teachers, Climbing Instructors and Adventure Training Leaders.

Canyoning is mostly undertaken in quite remote, poorly accessible and rugged environments and often requires good navigational, route-finding and other wilderness travel skills particularly in emergency situations. The ideal Canyons are those cut into the bedrock forming narrow gorges , with moderate slopes and numerous drops, spectacular sculpted rock walls, and often cascades and waterfalls. Most suitable canyons are cut into basalt, granite, sandstone or limestone, though many other rock types are found. Sandy stream beds are generally unsuitable. The passage through the Canyons can range from easy or extremely difficult, though most emphasis is placed on fun and excitement than extreme challenges. The routes are graded based on degree of difficulty and experience required. Canyoning is enjoyed worldwide by people of all ages and skill levels.

Canyoning gear includes rope bags, packs, specially designed shoes, wetsuits, helmets, static ropes and climbing hardware. New specific crayoning gear and equipment is being developed as the sport develops. Countries with established canyoning include: Japan, Ecuador, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, Jordan, Greece, Reunion Island, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Montenegro, Italy, France, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, the United States, Vietnam, Mauritius, Israel, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. In South Africa a similar sport is called 'Kloofing', and in Hong Kong it is called 'river or stream trekking'. In Japan and Taiwan a sport called 'river tracing' involves following the rivers and streams upstream rather than downstream.

Canyoning is rightly classed as an extreme sport and it can be dangerous. Escape from a canyon up the side walls is often impossible, and injured participants often have to be carried out and the remoteness of the location can make rescue difficult. Canyons with major water flow and steepness may be treacherous and will often require special techniques for safely travelling downstream. A potential danger of many canyoning trips is a flash floods, will weather reports required to reduce the risks. Hypothermia can also be a hazard and heat exhaustion and dehydration in warmed climates.

© 2010 Dr. John Anderson


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