Imagine an adrenaline filled outdoor adventure where it’s about the journey just as much as the destination. How awesome does that sound? That, my friend, is exactly what canyoning is all about.
We were invited to our very first canyoning experience with Canyoning Queenstown last week. Canyoning is listed as one of the top things to do in Queenstown so we were pretty excited and crossing our fingers for good weather (it worked).
If you’re not familiar with what canyoning is, it’s essentially a way of exploring canyons from top to bottom using a variety of techniques which may include hiking, scrambling, climbing, abseiling, jumping and swimming. Think outdoor, natural theme park. And if that isn’t action packed enough for you, Canyoning Queenstown have thrown in ziplining over gorges and through trees into the mix.
We had an incredible time. Aside from the fact that wherever you look it is insanely beautiful, canyoning is a hands on experience so you get to truly immerse yourself in nature.
Here’s how the day went.
We were booked in on the Queenstown Adventurer package which takes approximately 4 hours return with around 2 hours of canyoning time. The canyoning base is located just 10 minutes from Queenstown so not much travel time at all.
We checked in at the Canyoning Queenstown office on Camp St, signed all the appropriate paperwork, had an introductory briefing from one of our guides, jumped into a van and off we went!
Once we reached the base, we were fitted with our canyoning gear - wetsuit, booties, boots, helmet, flotation jacket and harness. Everything was organised into sections which made getting ready pretty easy. Well almost. There were quite a few laughs in the girls change rooms as we tried to get our wetsuits on! It felt like we had a lot of layers on, but we were so thankful for them later on as the water in the canyons is pretty damn chilly. We waddled our way back onto the bus and headed off to location.
THE FUN BEGINS
After a safety briefing and safety check from our wonderful guides Brodie & Elsa, we went canyoning! It was action packed as we ziplined our way through the forest and abseiled down rock walls. We found natural slides, jumped into crystal clear pools and even dove through a waterfall! I did the biggest jump I have ever done off a rock wall into one of the pools and I’m not going to lie - it scared the crap out of me! But then I felt like a total boss for doing it.
There are loads of challenges along the way and you are definitely outside of your comfort zone - but only if you want to be. There are alternatives to everything if you don’t feel comfortable and you don’t have to jump into pools if you don’t want to. But I recommend that you do because YOLO, right?? Haha.
Our guides were full of energy and took us through the canyon with ease. They cruised through the canyon like mountain goats, whilst my clumsiness decided to make a full performance, so I was very much in awe of their abilities. They also had a crazy way of always popping up in front of you even though you left each spot way before them!
As we floated out of the canyon, I was grinning from ear to ear and feeling pretty chuffed. Next to snowboarding (of course), canyoning is my next favourite outdoor activity. I can totally see why it is listed as one of the top things to do in Queenstown. It just encompasses so many things.
Not only do you get to explore amazing natural surroundings, but you get to challenge yourself whilst doing it and with that comes a great sense of achievement.
If you’re an active traveller, love the outdoors and have a sense of adventure, then get amongst it and give canyoning a go!
Check out the short video I put together from the day below. We only had a helmet mounted GoPro on the day, so excuse the shaky footage but it gives you a little snapshot of all the fun that is to be had. Choose HD for best viewing.
Canyoning Queenstown trips go from October to April. Check out their website for more info and to book.
Would you? Have you? Let me know in the comments below!
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Jen spends most of her time following Mick around the mountain, often unintentionally off jumps and cliff drops. Currently on a mission to prove that you’re never too old to try freestyle. Aside from snowboarding, a little obsessed about tattoos, CrossFit, saving animals, learning to play the guitar and clean eating. Web designer and digital marketing nerd.