What is Canyoning?
Canyoning is the activity of going down waterways using any combination of walking, abseiling, climbing, swimming, jumping, and sliding. It usually involves a hike to the upper parts and from the lower parts of the waterway. It often requires special equipment and skills. The canyon environment is amazingly beautiful and a lot of fun to be in.
How can I start participating in Canyoning?
The two main options are to either join a club or go with a commercial group. It is not advisable to teach yourself, especially in the early stages. With the right training and equipment, you will be able to safely participate in canyoning activities. Once you have done a few guided trips, you can complete courses and go with experienced people on trips. As you develop skills, you can attempt more complex canyons.
Where can I do it?
Canyoning is done all around the world. It usually occurs in mountainous regions where there are active waterways. Some locations include The Blue Mountains in Australia, the NZ Alps, the Rockies, and the Alps in Europe. As canyoning continues to grow in popularity, there are more locations being explored all around the world. From the Himalayas to Hawaii. It is a great way to see the world and meet awesome people. Australia has active canyoning in most states and territories, although the highest concentration of canyons is along the Great Dividing Range in Eastern Australia.
What is the best time of year to go canyoning?
It depends on the type of canyon. If you are spending long periods of time in water, it is advisable to go in the summer months as hypothermia can become a risk. With the right equipment, you can do it all year round.
Do I need skills and training?
Absolutely. The skills levels required vary from basic to advanced, depending on the type of canyon you are attempting. You have to navigate to the start and from the end of the canyon. Then you have to descend the waterway, often using ropes. You need to understand weather patterns, first aid, basic rescue, and a lot of other skills. This is why it is important to get proper training from a commercial guiding and training organisation, or from experienced people at clubs. The best way to be introduced is to be guided on basic canyons with experienced people.
What is the minimum and maximum age to participate?
There are no age restrictions for canyoning, although there will often be times when it is inappropriate to take certain people on certain trips. Every person and every canyon must be considered when planning a canyon trip – factors include skill levels required, how harsh the conditions are, the degree of difficulty of the hikes in and out, and many other factors. An experienced trip leader or guide should assess each person to determine if it is appropriate for them to participate on a canyon trip.
What equipment do I need?
This depends on what type of canyon trip you are doing. There are some canyons that only require typical bush walking equipment (hiking shoes, socks, pants, shirt, and hat). Most canyons require a wet suit, harness, rope, descender, hiking boots, helmet, and other specialist equipment. The amount of equipment typically increases as the complexity of the canyon increases.
How much does it cost?
Costs depend on where, level of difficulty, how much equipment and support are required, and time out in the field. If you join a bushwalking club, the trips are often free after you pay your membership. Commercial groups can charge anywhere between $100 and $1000 per trip per person. Training courses vary between $200 and $5000.
Are there any risks involved?
Risk is a part of all aspects of life. Yes, canyoning has risks. You may be injured or worse. However, if you do all the right things (training, guides, equipment, skills, risk management), the chance of something happening is reduced. You are ultimately responsible for your own health and safety. Choose wisely.
How fit do I need to be?
You do need some level of fitness, even for the most basic canyons. You will be walking for a number of hours at a minimum. as the canyons get more complex and you have to carry more equipment, then the fitness required increases. Canyon trips can range from a few hours of undulating walks, to multiple all day hiking carrying heavy equipment up and down thousands of metres of mountainsides.
Can I bring a camera on a Canyoning trip?
Yes. It is almost a must. The canyon environment is so beautiful that you have to take photo’s and video’s. But you have to protect your camera from water. It is best to have a waterproof point and click or adventure camera. If you want to take an SLR, you will need to protect it from getting wet.
What does The Australian Canyoning Association do for Canyoners?
The Australian Canyoning Association is a group of volunteers whose aim is to achieve safe access to canyons whilst trying protect the canyon environment.
What does The Australian Canyoning Association do for members?
Members get the benefit as outlined in the question above. We want people to experience canyons safely whilst maintaining their condition as close to pristine as possible. We also provide much more for members. This includes things like: Canyoning Festivals (skills and social and trips), photo competitions (prizes and viewing), social events (trips during the day and social events at night), skills days, online information portal, and improved access.