14/03/2006 - 21:00

State of excitement in the great outdoors

14/03/2006 - 21:00


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For some people, time off means relaxing with a good book, expending just enough energy to slip occasionally from chaise lounge to the pool for a dip or to the bar for another cup of coffee or glass of wine.

For some people, time off means relaxing with a good book, expending just enough energy to slip occasionally from chaise lounge to the pool for a dip or to the bar for another cup of coffee or glass of wine.

Others, however, prefer the adrenaline rush they get from driving themselves, conquering their fears and pushing their minds and bodies to the limit.

If you’re of the latter persuasion, then there are plenty of options available in the ‘State of Excitement’. Whether you choose water-based or land-based challenges, you will need to honestly assess your level of physical fitness and then weigh up the options according to your confidence and interests.

Some activities require travelling north or south of Perth, so they may be planned as part of a holiday in the region or could be the focal point of a visit there. Many are popular as group corporate activities, where team building and leadership skills are practised as a matter of course.

But if you are searching for a more solitary experience, that is also available.

Listed here are some of the companies that offer a range of daring endeavours, provide all equipment needed and get you on the right track to some serious spine-chilling exploits.

Adventure Out

These people have a range of programs to suit many types of adventurers. They pride themselves on their highly trained instructors, first rate activity and safety equipment, and the long-standing success of the company, which has operated since 1984. A different activity or itinerary is available each weekend, so booking in advance is a good idea.

There are one-day abseiling trips that teach the basics right up to two-day Bluff Knoll abseiling and camping expeditions for the more experienced, culminating in a 280-metre descent.

Rock climbing is also a popular option and can be undertaken in a variety of locations, including Margaret River, Albany, or nearer to Perth. Training, equipment and professional instruction are included.

Whitewater rafting expeditions during the winter months of July and August take place on the Murray River near Pinjarra.

If you want to participate in a variety of activities within a short space of time, then Adventure Out’s Margaret River weekender would be the perfect choice. Incorporated in the weekend are camping, climbing, caving and abseiling pursuits – in fact, enough exciting activity to keep the most energetic adventurer happy. For more details, phone 9472 3919.  www.adventureout.com.au


Whitewater rafting is an exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping way to spend some spare time in the wilderness. Rivergods provides a number of whitewater rafting trips in a variety of locations especially during the winter months.

All equipment, including wet suits, is provided and experienced instructors ensure that, while fun and excitement are paramount, high-level safety requirements are maintained.

Rivergods’ full-day Murray River trip starts off peacefully, floating through lovely jarrah forest before plunging down grade three and four rapids with suspiciously portentous names like ‘terminations’, ‘gobbledy guts’ and ‘time warp’. Picnic lunches and transportation from Perth are part of the deal, adding to a really enjoyable day.

Half-day Avon River excursions give beginners an introductory taste of the thrills experienced by whitewater rafters in a location close to the city. This takes place at the Walyunga National Park north of Perth and descends as far as Bells Rapids (an infamous stretch of water for the participants of the annual Avon Descent), surging through grade three rapids along the way.

During summer months, the Collie River is the site where adventurers can have fun on its controlled flow rapids, rockslides and waterfalls using funyaks. These are cleverly designed raft/kayaks and participants need no experience to join in. Call 9259 0749.  www.rivergods.com.au

WA Skydiving Academy

For a thrill of a lifetime, why not try skydiving? Bound to bring out the fear factor in even the most courageous adventurer, it remains one of the ultimate goals for anyone with an adventurous streak.

Just imagine the buzz you’ll get from actually taking that all-important step off the plane before free-falling to earth and the exhilarating whoosh of air as the parachute jerks against you protectively and floats you safely to earth.

WA Skydiving Academy offers two types of first-time jumps. The first is the tandem jump where, after a 20-minute briefing, you are secured to the front of an experienced tandem master, who takes control of the 200 kilometre an hour freefall, the parachute ride and the landing, allowing you to take in all the sensations and sights without the need for concentration.

The second is an accelerated freefall jump, which requires a more detailed training preparation and involves two freefall instructors holding on to you ready to help out where required until your parachute deploys and you follow them to the landing area. For more information, call 1300 13 7855.


Skydive Express

Offering similar skydiving instruction and opportunities, 90 minutes from Perth (just outside of York), Skydive Express has long been a favourite for beginners and experienced skydivers.

For those wanting to make a weekend of it, Skydive Express offers accommodation, a swimming pool, cafe, licensed bar, sauna and a purpose-built air-conditioned skydiving centre. Phone 9444 4199.


Windward Adventures

Something a bit different but still airborne is ballooning. It’s far more sedate than skydiving but adventurous nonetheless. Taking to the calm dawn skies over the Avon Valley near Northam, Windward Balloon Adven-tures offer ballooning between April and November each year.  Their team of highly qualified licensed commercial pilots ensures that the best safety standards are observed. Their champagne flights are truly something to savour, drifting serenely aloft as the sun peeps up in an orange haze over the horizon.  Their ‘gift with a lift’ is a great gift idea for the wannabe adventurer. Phone 9621 2000.


Cape Dive

If you prefer the watery underworld, then Cape Dive can provide the opportunity, the equipment and the know-how to enjoy some of the most unique diving adventures available.

Daily charters take place to the Swan wreck site off the coast near Dunsborough and cater for divers of all levels – from beginners to highly experienced. The prospect of exploring the scuttled hull of the wreck and discovering the plant and animal life that have made their homes there is a highly sought-after objective of many underwater adventurers.

Alternatively, Cape Dive conducts day and night dives at the end of the iconic Busselton Jetty, where an abundance of marine life can be explored among the pylons. An hourly train service to the end of the jetty helps with conserving energy getting out there and with transportation of equipment.

There are also a number of reef dives offered around the South West capes region. These have been given intriguing names in the similar way to surfing breaks by surfers, such as Honeycombs, Peaks and Moons and can be undertaken during the day or at night.

Phone 9756 8778 for more information.   www.capedive.com


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