Blue Mountains: new depths of awesome

Stunning scenery such as Deep Pass is the reward of canyoners in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Stunning scenery such as Deep Pass is the reward of canyoners in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

By Ellen Hill – Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Mark the start of the canyon season in World Heritage-listed style and scale new depths of awesomeness with a climb within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Take your pick from about 400 canyons in Australia’s most accessible wilderness and experience natural grandeur like never before.

Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism (BMLOT) chairman Randall Walker said: “We have a magnificent and diverse landscape that uniquely supports a wide range of world-class nature-based adventure activities.

“Nature lovers rave about their visits to our region where they can engage with professional and friendly adventure operators and guides and undertake truly memorable experiences such as canyoning and abseiling down the face of a waterfall.

“Operators adjust products to meet different skill levels but all customers will marvel at the backdrop of golden sandstone cliffs, serpentine canyons, rainforest, waterfalls, streams, wildlife and the iconic blue haze.’’

Experienced climberr Marty Doolan grips a ledge while he casts a keen eye over the rock surface to check for a path of ascent on one of the many cliffs of Mt York. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Experienced climberr Marty Doolan grips a ledge while he casts a keen eye over the rock surface to check for a path of ascent on one of the many cliffs of Mt York. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Inch down a picturesque chasm, gaze gobsmacked up the sides of a sheer rock crack and marvel at the breathtaking vista of 1 million square kilometres of UNESCO World Heritage Area – all within two hours drive from Australia’s largest city.

BMLOT board director representing the adventure sector Dylan Jones said: “The Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is a huge backyard for Sydney, and what a
backyard!

“The area has hundreds of kilometres of cliff lines offering one of the most comprehensive `tick lists’ for adventure sport enthusiasts anywhere in the world.’’

Jones, who also owns Blue Mountains Adventure Company, said all adventure tourism operators in the region “love sharing beautiful locations with people so will steer them towards an experience appropriate to them’’.

“Between us we have something for everyone from gruelling multi-day experiences to softer climbs with no abseiling and activities like jumping in the water is optional.’’

The launch of the canyon season in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area typically coincides with the September/October long weekend.

Experienced climbers Marty Doolan and Elise Vayne pack up their gear after a thrilling days climb at Mt York. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Experienced climbers Marty Doolan and Elise Vayne pack up their gear after a thrilling days climb at Mt York. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

The best way to experience a canyoning adventure is with an accredited adventure operator such as Blue Mountains Adventure Company, High `n’ Wild or River Deep Mountain High (www.visitbluemountains.com.au), whose experts will ensure adventurers are fully equipped and will guide them safely through each rocky rift.

Along the way, learn about the many unique eco-systems found within the national parks which make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area including the award-winning Blue Mountains National Park from your guide and how to avoid damaging the often sensitive canyon environments.

After your canyon adventure in Sydney’s wilderness playground, treat your body to a soothing treatment at one of the region’s many day spas, satisfy your well-earned appetite at a cafe or restaurant, then refresh overnight at one of the fine B&Bs, hotels or guesthouses.

Go to www.visitbluemountains.com.au for more details about the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region, to find an outdoor adventure operator and information on accommodation, activity and dining options.

Go to http://www.oric.org.au/ for information on the Outdoor Recreation Industry Council of NSW’s Adventure Activity Standards – ORIC AAS.

Experienced climber Marty Doolan gets a good grip of the edge of one of the many cliffs of Mt York. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

Experienced climber Marty Doolan gets a good grip of the edge of one of the many cliffs of Mt York. Photo: David Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism

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