This single-pitch abseiling and canyoning combo is great for absolute beginners who would appreciate taking their abseiling experience one step at a time.
Narrow Neck Plateau (Blue Mountains) + Empress Canyon (Blue Mountains)
In the Dreamtime legend of the Gundungurra people of the Blue Mountains, much of the incredible landscape was created by an epic conflict between two giant mythical creatures, Gurangatch and Mirragan. As they chased and fought each other, they gouged out the deep valleys and pushed up the rocky peaks. And today we are left with the likes of Narrow Neck – a ribbon-like ridge of towering sandstone that separates the mighty Jamison and Megalong valleys.
These are cliffs that inspire awe and invite adventure.
On the Megalong Valley side of Narrow Neck is a site with magical views and a range of cliffs that are perfect for your first abseiling adventure.
Here Eagle Rock Adventures will get you into your harness and helmet and bouncing down cliffs with the depths of the Megalong plunging hundreds of metres below you.
Abseil is a German word that literally means “down rope”.
There’s some gentle 5m cliffs to get you started with expert tuition from our guides, then you can up the adrenalin factor on 15m and 30m abseils if you want to. The beauty of single-pitch abseiling is that it’s not as fast-paced as the multi-pitch options, which gives you more time to get a head for heights and improve your technique. It’s just a short walk from the bottom of each abseil back to the top so you can repeat the smaller abseils until you feel ready to tackle the bigger ones. This makes it ideal for families with children who have never abseiled before. And if you love the bigger abseils, it’s easy to repeat them as well.
Those 30m abseils in the morning will give you a taste of what to expect when you then tackle Empress Canyon, in the neighbouring Jamison Valley, in the afternoon. The best loved of the Blue Mountains’ many slot canyons, the highlight of Empress is a 30m abseil down the stunning waterfall at the end of the canyon.
Before you get to the waterfall, you will have already gasped at the canyon’s beautiful rainforest and sculptured rock, clambered over boulders, leaped into deep pools, and spied bright orange crayfish.
For the canyon you will also wear a wetsuit to protect you from its always cool waters and there are some short swims involved. With floatation aids and our expert guides we can offer Empress to even weak swimmers and non-swimmers.
The hike into and out of the canyon is steep but not too long, although you always want to make sure you have a bottle of water with you to quench your thirst when we stop on the way out to rest and admire the view from a stunning lookout over this unique World Heritage-listed landscape.
Difficulty: Suitable for first time canyoners.
Requirements: A moderate level of fitness, full mobility, good general health. Must be comfortable in water.
Expectations: Adventurous activities are tough – you must expect the possibility of, at times, being uncomfortable, wet, cold, tired and scared.
Don’t book this tour without first discussing what the tour involves with all members of your group and checking they meet the fitness requirements.
Length: Approximately 6-7 hours.
Included: Lunch, all canyoning equipment, qualified canyoning guide, safety instruction including abseiling techniques.
Meeting location: As per confirmation email, by default – Narrow Neck Lookout, Cliff Drive, Katoomba.