Thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies will love pushing themselves to new heights – literally – when they go abseiling. Though it may not be for tiny tots nor for the faint-hearted, this adventure sport is, in fact, family friendly. Loads of operators cater to groups and to kids. A breathtaking way to view amazing vistas, test your courage and experience the great outdoors, there are abseiling locations and companies waiting for your family all around the world.
Abseiling is also known as rappelling, and involves descending very steep slopes or rock faces using a system of ropes. Most operators recommend you only try abseiling if you’re over 8 years old and comfortable with heights. If you want to start slowly, you can find indoor rock-climbing centres which are great for groups and provide an ideal environment for building up your confidence and skills. Whatever you do, make sure you use the proper equipment, stay safe, and have plenty of experienced adult help around. We strongly urge you to go with a company that has trained instructors – they’ll provide correct equipment, coach you to develop proper technique and keep you safe.
Grampians National Park in Victoria is home to some pretty impressive mountains and cliffs. Grampians Mountain Adventure Company runs beginner courses for adults and for children, priced around $100 on average. There are also several other similar companies who will also cater for a variety of abilities. Brisbane’s Glasshouse Mountains and Kangaroo Point are famous abseiling locations, serviced by outdoor sports providers Worthwild, Red Balloon and Adrenalin. Other great Australian spots for abseiling, canyoning and rock-climbing are Adelaide Hills in South Australia, Cotter Rocks in the ACT, Bluff Knoll in Western Australia and the Tasmanian Cradle Mountain.
But it is the Blue Mountains, just west of Sydney, that take the cake for their multiple ideal abseiling locations including the majestic Wentworth Falls. Get wet rappelling down a waterfall into a deep blue canyon with any number of abseiling schools running out of Katoomba, including Australian School of Mountaineering, which advertises their school-friendly and group-friendly programs perfect for family groups with kids.
A quick google search will show just how many beautiful locations can be experienced at a whole new level with a few ropes, an instructor and a bit of courage. The abseiling community recommend mountains and cliffs all over the world – be careful, some are probably more suited to the grown-ups. We like the sound of the Lost World in Waitomo, New Zealand, which you can explore with Waitomo Adventures. They can even take you on an underground abseil, or on tours of the glow worm caves.
In Snowdonia National Park in Wales, you can delve beneath the mountain to abseil in an old mining complex with tours, freefall experiences and an underground zipline all offered by Go Below. Moab, in America’s Utah is famous for abseil fans due to the sheer volume of suitable sites and the spectacular 360 views of the desert. Here, canyoneering is a popular sport, mixing scrambling, climbing and abseiling from several anchored abseil points throughout the region.