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What exactly is Canyoning?

Yes canyoning . . . nothing to do with a boat or canoe . . .

First we should probably start with what is a canyon?

‘A place where nature combines to form something truly unique’ Adrien, Canyoning Aotearoa instructor.

A canyon is a narrow, deep valley cut by a river through rock. All canyons are formed by the flowing water eroding the rock. They can vary in size, width and depth and require different factors to form, such as rainfall and the type of rock. Canyons are not always full of water, sometimes they can be dry like Dry Chasm.


So, what does the 'ing' stand for in canyoning?

  • Walking

  • Exploring

  • Abseiling or Rapelling

  • Scrambling down

  • Sliding

  • Guided Rappeling

  • Ziplining

  • Jumping

  • Swimming

  • Having FUN!

Do I have to do ALL of that?

Don’t worry, all our trips are tailored and individualized to your level and experience. You can do all of it, most of it or just some of it.

‘Imagine standing atop a river following down the side of a mountain, steep rock walls either side of you and no way back. This my friends, is canyoning. Using your knowledge of ropes and rivers you must descend back to civilization. Yep it's you, your harness and ropes vs the vertical flowing river in a chasm’ Mark, Canyoning Aotearoa instructor.


Why do people love canyoning?

‘Overcoming my fears and abseiling down, there is no better feeling!’

Alison, first time canyoning with Canyoning Aotearoa.

Happy canyoneer at the bottom of Cascade Ze in Hidden Falls

Canyoning is nature’s playground, made up of a series of obstacles for you to overcome. In canyoning terminology, these obstacles are often referred to as ‘features’; they can be anything from a giant waterfall to a deep and narrow pool of water. Scrambling, jumping and abseiling through features is a thrill which once you experience, you can’t help but want to do again and again and again.

‘So… you reach the end of the canyon, mind blown from this new view of nature, the number of waterfalls you got to kiss as you rode down them, you can't believe you never knew this existed. You want to do it all over as soon as your body has the energy again. Diagnosis…. you have caught the canyoning bug. There is no cure… and you love it!’ Camille, Canyoning Aotearoa instructor.



On our guided Canyoning trip the equipment provided include:

  • Neoprene wetsuit

  • Neoprene socks

  • Complete harness

  • Helmet

  • Canyoning bag and dry keg

Just bring a pair of shoes, your lunch and your biggest smile!

Where can we practice canyoning?

Aotearoa, New Zealand is definitely one of the best places in the world to experience Canyoning. We have been lucky enough that the geology and weather in the Land of the Long White Cloud has created some of the most exceptional canyons in the world. The good news is, you can explore some of these natural gems of beauty with Canyoning Aotearoa.

So now you know what is canyoning, Are you ready to give it a go?


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