For those looking to step up their weekend game, the Blue Mountains provides the goods. There’s hundreds of walking tracks, charming small villages to visit and the world’s steepest railway. But for something a little more adrenalin-inducing, I recommend a day of canyoning and abseiling deep in the bushland!
This is where we found ourselves early Saturday morning, rugged up against the crisp April air. Once we had arranged our gear we were piling into the mini van and heading out to start our abseiling lessons. Overlooking the Megalong Valley, we learnt how to safely descend down the cliff edges, how to approach an overhang and (for some of us), a chance to tackle a fear of heights! And then before we knew it, it was time to get our hands dirty, and quite literally it would turn out.
Trekking down near the Grand Canyon trail, we jumped fallen logs, hopped across rocks and shimmied around foliage until we arrived at the canyon. This would signal the beginning of several awesome hours spent ziplining over creeks, scrambling down trickling waterfalls and conquering 20m cliff edges so notorious for inverting abseilers it became known as “The Flipper”. It really felt like for a few short hours, we had been invited to a hidden, ancient world; forging a undiscovered path (until we ran into other groups along the way aha).
But of course, all things have to come to an end, but not before a breathtaking – again, literally – walk back up from the base of the valley with a stop at some of the best views in the country. We had defeated our fears and come out stronger and more enlivened for it, although I suspect by tomorrow, my aching muscles will tell a different story.
We joined a canyoning and abseiling course with the Australian School of Mountaineering, located in Katoomba, who offer a great all-day beginners course with friendly guides, all your equipment and a packed lunch.