I’d wanted to go canyoning since I first learned about it in 2005 while planning a trip to Costa Rica. It consists of maneuvering down a river canyon by combination of hiking, sliding down natural rock chutes, jumping off cliffs and waterfalls, and abseiling (rappelling). The Rough Guide referenced canyons a 40-minute drive west of Auckland, so I made that adventure my first in New Zealand.
There were 6 of us on the day trip, and our pretty guide was Connie from Chile, who’d been working in New Zealand for 9 months. She had a great sense of humor, and I felt quite comfortable entrusting my life and body to her. After picking up wet suits, harnesses and ropes from a local staging area, we hiked 45 minutes to the top of the canyon. It was a hard slog up muddy, steep trails. I had volunteered to carry a bag of ropes, which weighed heavily on me after only a few minutes!
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