To enter a canyon is to enter another world. The canyons of the Blue Mountains in Australia, carved over millions of years through sandstone, are home to myriad of creatures and unique plants.
Ferns, mosses, lichen, fungus, yabbies, water spiders and frogs, all washed by the waters that continue to move, carve, tickle and dance over the ancient terrain to create nothing short of a wonderland.
However, due to the nature of canyons, with a few exceptions, accessing them involves abseiling, rope skills and a good level of fitness and agility. The great news is that NSW National Parks have now opened a Claustral Canyon VR experience on Oculus Rift at the Heritage Centre in Blackheath, to let people who don’t have those skills experience what canyoning is all about.
I popped up there recently to see what it was all about and if it really offered people a chance to let their mind wander down and through these watery wonders and I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, more than surprised, I was lured in and didn’t want to remove the Oculus Rift headset when my time was up.
If you’ve always wondered what canyoning is all about, or you’re up in the Blue Mountains, I thoroughly recommend popping in to see the lovely NPWS Parkies at the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, along Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath.
This is one of the main bushwalking access points to the Grose Valley and the incredible views from the lookout at Govetts Leap. Definitely worth a visit… and a walk!
And if you’re looking for more information on what canyoning is all about and how you can get involved (the season has just started again!), here’s a video that I made with the support of NPWS, along with my good buddies from Blue Mountains Police Rescue Squad and the Blue Mountains Adventure Company.