If you’re a seasoned abseiler, you’ll know that descending a drop is a surefire way to inject some adrenaline into your bloodstream. But if you’re new to the world of rappelling off sheer surfaces – Welcome! You’ll soon come to love the feeling of sliding off high heights and shimmying your way down a rope. In the meantime, marvel at some of the awesome places around the world where you can abseil! And don’t worry, we’ve included plenty of awesome spots for beginners too!
Cape Town, South Africa
Table Mountain is arguably the top tourist destination in Cape Town. This spectacle of a mountain stands 1,085m high, or 3560 feet (if you’re unfamiliar with the metric system). Atop the mountain, tourists flock to soak in the spectacular views of Cape Town which looks as if it spills into the sparkling South Atlantic Ocean.
But it’s not just a pretty (cliff)face! Table Mountain also offers a beginner level abseil, but the long 112m descent down the cliffs will leave you feeling like a pro. The whole trip down can last up to an hour and is offered all year round by a range of adventure companies like Cape Xtreme. The easy descent and breathtaking views are just a few reasons why Table Mountain makes the list.
Waitomo, New Zealand
Discover the Lost World of Waitomo, a seemingly magical place where glow worms dot the walls like stars and lush natural bridges drip beads of water into underground rivers.
If the fairytale scenes of Waitomo aren’t enough, make like Tom Cruise (yes, he abseiled Waitomo!) and descend through a huge crack in the ground. This 30-minute abseil by Waitomo Adventures will see you making a 100m descent past alien looking plants clinging to the walls. The vertical rainforest surrounding you transforms into a misty abyss, with birds flying beneath you and the mighty Mangapu river echoing up from below. The unique prehistoric setting and sensory overload make Waitomo Abseil a must-do.
Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Views from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs are a must-see in Brisbane but seeing those same views, from a new and more vertical perspective while abseiling the sheer cliffs is next level. The bustling city of Brisbane hugs a charming river, dubbed the ‘Brown Snake’ by locals, and it’s always buzzing with activity, whether it be the zig-zagging city cats, kayakers or jetskiers.
A great spot for beginners, or for those after a short and sweet adrenaline rush, the cliffs offer an exhilarating 20m descent. Experience the laid-back nature Aussies are renowned for and lay back into your harness as our expert instructors at Riverlife guide you down the cliffs. What’s more? Once you’ve returned to the sweet solid ground, you’re only a stone’s throw away from even more fun – with kayaking, rock climbing, Segway tours and more on offer at the Riverlife Adventure Centre.
Namtok Than Rattana
Khao Yai, Thailand
If the idyllic beaches and crystal waters of Thailand sound too blissful for you, head to Khao Yai, one of Thailand’s largest national parks. With over 50km of hiking and biking trails on offer, you can say goodbye to those lazy days digging your toes in the sand. Khao Yai is one for the adventurers and is even home to the famed waterfall guarding the ‘idyllic’ civilization from the real world in Danny Boyle’s film ‘The Beach’.
But you won’t be following DiCaprio’s leap of faith in Khao Yai, rather, you will find yourself face to face with Namtok Than Rattana. Yes, you can abseil down a gorgeous gushing waterfall! If choosing to descend with Pa Ngam Adventures, pack your goggles for your trip down five (yes, five) waterfalls back to back before meandering back to the adventure centre on a kayak. By the end of the day, you would have rapelled almost 140m of pure waterfall… this is one for the bucket list!
Mount Titlis Gletscher Crevasse
Switzerland inspires scenes of idyllic alps and lakes which is why it’s no surprise that it’s also home to countless five-star lodges and ski resorts. But if you need more than some ski slopes to get your blood pumping, how about abseiling down a glacier?
Brace yourself for the cold and huge kick of adrenaline you’ll get rappelling down the stunning cliffs of blue ice. A trip with Engelberg Mountain Guide will see you skiing over glacial terrains, then abseiling through said glacier, then a little more skiing followed by a second abseil and, you guessed it, some more skiing and abseiling! What makes Mount Titlis even more special is its abundance of other adventure activities like a zipline and high-ropes course. You’ll definitely be getting a good nights sleep after this whopper of a day!
Quang Binh, Vietnam
The province of Quang Binh is home to lush national parks and countless stunning caves – including the world’s largest cave. It’s native name ‘Son Doong’ loosely translates to ‘cave of the mountain river’ and when you hear the roaring subterranean river that flows through it, you can understand how the 70m tall stalagmites came to be.
This one is not for the faint hearted. Oxalis Adventure Tours have the monopoly on Son Doong, with an annual limit on tourist passes available. With Oxalis, you’ll be accompanied by 25 porters, safety advisors and guides, who will travel with you for the 4-day trip through the entirety of the cave, visiting an ethnic minority village along the way. The trip also includes a trip through a neighbouring cave (the third largest cave in the world) and will finish off with a climb up the Great Wall of Vietnam.
El Capitan, Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is more typically known for its gorgeous ancient sequoia trees, Bridalveil Waterfall and its stunning landscapes, observable from its many vistas. One of which is the granite cliffs of El Capitan.
The mighty El Capitan towers at 2km high and is definitely one for the pros. These cliffs boast the second longest rappel in the world, with the drop lasting approx. 810m (3,000 ft)! Daredevils have compared the descent down this monstrosity to climbing Mt Everest. If that doesn’t set the scene enough, picture standing at the edge of a 2,307m sheer cliff as loose dirt and rocks plummet down to the specks of green that lay beneath of you – looking more like green ants than trees. The adrenaline from descending this bad boy would be enough to last you a lifetime but El Capitan would require intense training and is beyond most people’s experience.