Canyoning, aka canyoneering, in New Zealand near Lake Wanaka


Wiggle into a wetsuit, strap on sports sandals, and head for the canyons.

Several new extreme sports appeared in the 1980s and '90s. Some, like sky-surfing, perhaps try too hard to be extreme. Canyoneering (canyoning, as it's also known) is different. It's exciting without being nutty. It puts you in the midst of spectacular natural settings, without destroying or reshaping them. And while it gets the adrenaline going, canyoneering remains a lot safer than sky-surfing.

Yes, there are canyoneers who head into chasms where no human has ever set foot. That takes a high level of skill and confidence, and we'll leave it for the true extreme-sports enthusiasts: If no human has been in, who knows whether any human can get out?

More often, canyoneering is done with local guides who are already familiar with a particular canyon. There's still plenty of excitement: Sliding down natural waterslides, jumping into pools of water, scrambling over boulders wedged a hundred feet above the canyon floor, and rappelling down through a waterfall. With a good guide, you can find a canyon suitable for your level of skill and daring.

Alyson Adventures, sponsor of this site, includes canyoneering on several of our trips. Moreover, we bring together a small, friendly gay group with whom to enjoy this and many other activities.


More on this site:

On related sites:

  • Try a day or two of canyoneering on our trips in Australia or New Zealand.
  • Read a longer description of a typical canyoneering day..
  • Our hiking site includes a FAQ page about climbing ropes, and other useful information for canyoners.

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