Touch the sky on these thrilling outdoor adventures
Feel your heart pound and your spirits soar as you take in epic views on these climbing, canyoning and paragliding adventures around NSW. It’s time to get elevated.
Outdoor adventures come in many shapes and sizes, but we can’t think of anything quite as thrilling as those that take you to new heights. Ready to up your game? Then these climbing, abseiling, canyoning and paragliding experiences might be right up your alley.
Touch the sky in the Blue Mountains
The vast Blue Mountains region is one of Australia’s most awe-inspiring outdoor destinations, full of massive rock formations and densely forested valleys. And it’s even more thrilling when you get off-road and off the ground. There’s a lot to see and do, so link up with one of the area’s experienced tour operators for guidance.
You’ll be in safe hands with Katoomba-based Blue Mountains Adventure Company, which has been leading expeditions here since 1984. The company’s specialty is rock climbing, and it caters to everyone, from hesitant beginners to fearless climbers. Alternatively, join an abseiling adventure and descend one of the Blue Mountains’ iconic sandstone cliffs. There are canyoning trips on offer, too, so get ready to jump, slide and swim your way to glory.
Another long-established Blue Mountains operator is High and Wild Australian Adventures, which offers rock climbing, abseiling and canyoning in small groups or privately. Sign up for a two-day rock-climbing tour to experience the sheer variety of terrain in the Blue Mountains. Or, if you want to take your exploration to the next level, check in with Eagle Rock, which specialises in multi-day climbing and canyoning trips into the region’s wildest locations.
See the vast vistas of the South Coast
The jagged sea cliffs, picture-perfect beaches and lush forests of the Shoalhaven and South Coast regions are even more impressive when viewed from above. Perhaps that’s why these destinations are so popular with paragliders.
In Stanwell Tops (an hour south of Sydney), absolute beginners should consider Adventure Plus Paragliding, which offers instructional tandem flights with experienced guides. Another great option for new gliders is SkySurf’s Tandem Paragliding Experience, which departs from a location north of Wollongong and takes in stunning Royal National Park.
Along the South Coast, there’s plenty more gravity-defying action. Climb Nowra will show you the ropes climbing or abseiling the area’s famed sea cliffs, and Outdoor Raw specialises in coastal and inland rock climbing days for private groups.
Conquer the cliffs of the Central Coast
If you’re searching for unspoiled natural beauty, look no further than the Central Coast, where wide beaches and pristine national parks meet. The northern part of this region, known as the Barrington Coast, is particularly beloved by adventure seekers: it’s home to 15 national parks and 63 state forests. Choose from hiking, kayaking, mountain biking and abseiling.
Not far away, in the rainforest of Watgans National Park, Out and About Adventures can show you how to abseil Gap Creek Falls, a 45m descent down sandstone cliffs that form the walls of a stunning natural amphitheatre. Out and About leads rock climbing and caving expeditions, too, and can organise bespoke adventures across the Central Coast.
If you’re a thrill-seeker, you may have already heard about Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures, an enormous adventure centre located about an hour’s drive north of Sydney. Here, you can abseil a range of cliffs, from beginner to advanced levels, while soaking up views of the deep-green valley. When you come back down to earth, there’s kayaking, quad biking and horse riding to be tackled, too.
Head inland for high-altitude excitement
Although most people go to the Snowy Mountains to ski, the region offers a variety of thrills all year round, particularly for those who like the view from above.
If cooler weather appeals, contact Allie Pepper Adventures to arrange a winter mountaineering trip. The company is run by an experienced mountaineer who has summited Everest. For a year-round operator in the Snowies, try K7 Adventures, which specialises in tailored guiding services for individuals, couples, families and small groups. Whether you prefer to climb or abseil, K7 will craft an itinerary to challenge and inspire.
Alternatively, to experience both coastal and inland gliding from one location, try Poliglide near Ballina on the North Coast. Poliglide uses both sea breezes and thermal conditions to teach gliders a full range of skills, upping their capabilities in no time.