Every single cell in my body bounces up and down, completely high on adrenaline and endorphins. I’m on my way down a steep cliff with water rushing all around me. It patters on my helmet and I can barely keep my eyes open because of all the water. I’m in the middle of a waterfall. Several thousand liters of water are thrown off the edge and here I am in the middle of it all. Absolutely crazy, I know!
Watch my video from my day in the canyon
I’m secured in a rope that is attached to my harness. I let more of the yellow rope through and continue to walk vertically down the wet wall. It’s slippery, but my shoes have a good grip. I have about 20 meters left before I’m down, it’s really high and the view of the valley is amazing.
In the midst of this adrenaline moment, I have to remind myself to turn around and enjoy the views behind me. I feel like a superhero where I have stopped on a steep wall deep in the woods, or maybe as part of a American SWAT-team on a secret mission. But above all, I feel alive. More alive than ever. I never feel as alive as when I am doing something that’s a bit dangerous. Living on the edge, you know.
This was just one of ten waterfalls that I went down this day. A day completely packed with adventure. I don’t know if it’s possible to pack more adventure in to one day.
Canyoning is what it’s called. We are abseiling down waterfalls, jumping from high cliffs and ziplining where it is too steep so abseil. We are a group of five people going down through this steep canyon with the local company CanyoNZ. We are led by the three experienced guides Wayne, Gav and Gareth. They are such nice guys, so chilled and cool and they know exactly what they are doing. CanyoNZ has been doing canyoning for over 15 years.
We are in the Kauaeranga Valley which is part of Coromandel Forest Park. The canyon is called ”The Sleeping God canyon”. At the beginning of the day, Wayne tells us the story behind the name. Before the Europeans came to New Zealand and started chopping down the trees for building, the majority of Coromandel were covered by the huge Kauri trees. The Kauri trees can be up to 40 meters high and about 6-7 meters in diameter. Wow! Imagine yourself, crazy huge trees. The Kauri trees were standing next to the canyon and the Mauri who lived here gave the canyon the name ”The Sleeping God Canyon” because of the trees which stood there as great sleeping gods on each side of the river. Imagine, it would have been amazing to see that!
Before we went off on this crazy adventure, we were equipped with a helmet, harness, a thick wetsuit, wet shoes and on top of them also a pair of shoes with really good grip.
The day started early in the morning with about an hour walk up the hill to the top of the canyon. On the way up, we can see some of the waterfalls we are about to go down. The canyon is laying beautifully between the high hills which covered with lush trees. Not far from here are the famous ”Pinnacles” where thousands of people walks every summer. It’s beautiful, cool and a bit scary, I think when I look at the waterfalls down in the valley.
I’ve never done anything like this before. Sure, I’ve been abseiling home in Sweden, but never in the middle of a waterfall. In the group canyoning this day, the experience varies greatly. You don’t have to be a pro or even have tried abseiling at all to book a day of canyoning. Some of the people in the group have no experience at all. You should be relatively fit and not afraid of heights, if that’s you, then you can do this.
Before the trip starts, we get taught how to use the equipment and we are told that we always are in the safe hands of the guides. Should you drop the rope they are there and tightening it so you don’t fall. One guide is always below the waterfall and one guide is always at the top. We are super safe!
One after another we slowly and safely descend waterfall by waterfall. After completing three abseils, it’s time for some rock sliding. Armed crossed over the chest, legs together and I’m off. The thick wet suit protects me against the rough cliff, this is so much fun! All of my body is just bubbling of laughter where I’m sliding down in full speed.
This whole day is me personified. This is what I live for. These are the things I absolutely love to do. I am addicted to adrenaline and endorphins. I’m addicted to adventures. And what an adventure it was. But there is also so much more needed to have a good day. And there was plenty of that. Bad jokes, good jokes and a lot of laughter. Tasty sandwiches, candy and chocolate bar by chocolate bar full of energy went down our tummies for lunch and the warm tea was just in perfect timing when our wetsuits felt a bit cold.
Best feeling of the day? Well, if I don’t count all the waterfalls, then the BBQ burger in the end of the day was smashing. Thanks Gav (Good skills on the grill!) With dry, warm clothes on and a big smile on my face there is nothing better than eating food in the wild.
This adventurous day with canyoning is a collaboration with CanyonNZ. Everything in this post is my own opinions and I would never write something that I don’t stand for. Everything are written by me and are based on how I experience it.