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February 2017 Issue
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Gorge-ous descents

Sleeping God canyon is a 300m descent of Atuatumoe Stream in Coromandel Forest Park. Photo: Canyonz
From abseiling down waterfalls to cliff jumping into deep blue pools, canyoning offers an experience few have tried

PERCHED ON MASSIVE boulders amongst pools of sparkling waters at the top of Sleeping God canyon, we bow our heads, as our guide Wayne Darlington says a prayer in Maori.

“To our creator, wash over us your peaceful waters so that we may be blessed as we embark on our journey,” he translates.

We’re in the heart of the Coromandel Forest Park, about to descend 300m down Atuatumoe Stream in the Kauaeranga Valley. We’ll be abseiling, cliff jumping, sliding down slippery rock chutes, and zip-lining across vertical gorges for the next few hours. A prayer seems only fitting.

But the prayer is not just about our safety. It’s also about recognising the elements we’re about to face.

“It refers to...

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