Abseiling & Rockclimbing
Abseiling was developed as a way of descending steep rock faces quickly and safely. Abseiling courses build confidence on lower rock faces until you're ready for more advanced ones. Activities involve setting anchors, using knots and ropes, selecting descending devices and abseiling techniques.
Extreme abseiling involves abseilng over a cliff forwards instead of backwards.
There are fantastic rock climbs all over Australia, each one graded according to the diffculty of the climb. Gradings range up to 33 with 54 of the routes graded at 31 or above.
Rockclimbing and abseiling can be done over half a day but a full day will really give you better insight.
The Professional Association of Climbing Instructors conduct a rockclimbing course which is highly recommended.
Canyoning is an extension and involves abseiling into dark, damp canyons and wandering through mysterious worlds of moss, tree ferns and rainforest. There are many canyons in Australia. Wollangambie Canyon is recommended.
You do need to be reasonably fit. It's essential to take at least 1 litre of water per four hours. And the best thing is that you can enjoy this adventure all year round.
Approximate cost for a half day is less than $AU 100 and most companies hire equipment.
There's lots of places around Australia where you can experience ballooning. Most flights are carried out in the early morning between 4am and 7am because the weather is usually at its best as the day begins. Some flights conclude with a champange breakfast which can really set the mood for the day. Sunset flights are possible but like all flights they are subject to weather conditions.
Ballooning comes under the governance of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Flights cost less than $AU 300 per person - better prices can be achieved with a group booking.
This activity is illegal in many places in Australia and around the world.
Contact the Australian BASE Jumping Association for information on where you can jump
Using a high strength latex rubber attached to a body or leg harness, participants in Bungee Jumping take a good leap with arms outstretched and fly like a bird. You could also do it backwards, or with another person as a tandem jump. Most jumps are about 40 to 50 metres but there is one in Cairns that is 150 metres
If you're planning on doing it in your holidays don't leave it until the last day - do it early and smile all holiday!
You can jump all day for around $AU 200!!
Caving and Potholing
Caving can mean walking through huge caverns or contorting your body to fir through the smallest of holes. If you're concerned about claustrophobia then take a general show cave tour, it will give you an opportunity to admire the mysterious underground world without too much of a physical challenge.
Sometimes caving will incorporate other activites like abseiling and rockclimbing. You will need to be reasonably fit and have good mobility especially if undertaking the very small tunnels (known as potholing). You will need a strong reliable light, a protective construction helmet with a chin strap, suitable clothing, a whistle, length of nylon webbing, first aid kit, energy food, compass, pen and paper.
Australia has around 6,500 caves - notable ones are the Naracoorte Caves South Australia and the Jenolan Caves NSW
A guided tour will ost about $AU 15.
Australian Speleological Federation has a list of caving clubs near you.
Australia boasts one of the longest cave dives in the world - Cocklebiddy Cave extends some seven kilometres beneath the Nullarbor Plain. You need to be a qualified scuba diver with Advanced Open Water Certification before you can experience places very few men or women go.
There is a fantastic cave at Mount Gambier SA called Tank Cave which has over 7 kilometres of twisting, branching passages under a farmer's paddock. In the same area you will find Ewen Ponds and Piccaninnie Ponds.
You do need to be a member of the Cave Divers Association of Australia who can also give you an idea of costs.
An extreme ride that takes you from 1 to 130km per hour in 1.3 seconds - more at Flycoaster
Learn to fly a helicopter, a small plane or maybe just take a joy flight.