AWOL CANYONING, PIHA WEST COAST AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
As part of our many activities booked to push the boundaries of gravity we decided to go canyoning just outside Auckland. You can have full day or half day experiences doing this we opted for the full day costing $195, as we booked this with other stuff we got it at a cheaper rate.
Canyoning is basically abseiling, jumping off rocks into water and a little climbing. There are two places to do this with AWOL: Blue Canyon or Piha, both very similar although Blue Canyon has more jumps but not as big an abseil apparently.
From the very first phone call of booking the date (as all our activities are open dates) the staff at AWOL were very friendly and I believe this is down to being a fairly small (although busy) family business.
The day itself is awesome. You get picked up from the CBD which is easy, drive 50 mins out the city to Piha which is a beautiful little surf beach! The driver kept us informed on everything that we were doing and was really friendly and helpful. He took us to the base camp where we were supplied with all the necessary equipment and then on to the beginning of what can only be described as an adults playground :)
As first time Canyonees we felt in very safe hands.
Before we headed up to the waterfall he gave us abseil training from a tree in the horizontal position so everyone felt secure with what they were doing (while standing anyway, hanging vertical is slightly different). The first waterfall we got to was only a baby in comparison to others we abseiled but still the first one.... And I cried. I got very nervous walking to the edge as let's be honest... Your legs are taking you to the top of a massive F****** waterfall and your head is telling you to run in the opposite direction as fast as you can!!!
So yes... Crying at the top of a waterfall strapped to a half naked man id only just met before he pushes me off the edge... He simply looked at me and said "you just have to trust me. Listen to me and nothing will go wrong. Trust me." So I did and it was amazing!!!
100% worth doing. The location is incredible, (parts look like something out of a fairytale!), it's an action packed day and you get to climb down waterfalls!! (And swim with eels) You get fed and watered along the way, your allowed to take go pros and cameras etc and he takes pics along the way for $15 which is a brilliant price really. And the best part of it all... There were 4 of us and that was it, we had the whole playground to ourselves so your always going and not having to wait around.
We stopped off at the beach on the way back as well which was beautiful.