Canyoning is a highly popular seasonal activity which draws together the skills of bushwalking, rock climbing, mountaineering and even caving. Canyoners descend creeks, waterfalls, over boulders and swim or float past spectacular scenery.
Canyoning at any level can be challenging. Whatever your age, experience and fitness, there will be canyons to suit you ranging from lazily floating along on a lilo to those fit, experienced and aching to test skills and stamina against the more technical and imposing canyons. For all, you will need good general fitness and agility. Scrambling over wet and slimy boulders is usual; swims are also common. You will need to be team-oriented - no-one canyons alone; a wonderful team bonding, mutually supportive group effort makes canyoning a delight.
Canyons can take a morning/afternoon, a leisurely to a highly strenuous, sustained 12 hour day. Overnight trips are common, particularly in locations such as the Blue Mountains. Campsites chosen may be basic. Facilities will range from the maintained toilet/water/cooking shelters provided by the National Park to complete facility-free wilderness.
What goes down must come up again ... eventually. Walking out of a canyon is part of the experience - it may be picturesque over a gradual incline or, more usually, a sustained steep slog up a gully. You will emerge tired but grinning at the end of a memorable day!
Show me the canyons! There are gems within a couple of hours of Canberra - Tuross and Bungonia Gorge are favourites. Canyoning paradise is the Blue Mountains, Kanangra and Wollemi where there are a smorgasbord of canyons to delight all levels of experience.
The ANUMC typically runs canyon trips when daylight savings time is in place. Outside of this period, trips are limited by colder temperatures and shorter days. That said, there are a handful of dry canyons which are suitable to do in the winter.