Trek Kings Canyon, Australia
Hiking around the ochre sands of the 440 million-year-old Kings Canyon, which cuts through Australia’s Watarrka National Park, is a true outback adventure. Follow the orange signs for Kings Creek Walk, an hour-long stroll along the boulder-strewn bowels of the gorge, or hunt the navy blue sighns for the ore challenging Kings Canyon Rim Walk, will reward you with incredible views of the prehistoric red-rock gorge. It also gives you a great excuse to wear one of those silly corked hats-there are flies everywhere.
Climb Verdon Gorge, France
The striking Verdon Gorge in Alpes de Haute Provence, France, is Europe’s biggest and most beautiful canyon. Dubbed ‘France’s Grand Canyon’ the 25km cleft in the earth was carved by the Verdon River, renowned for its striking turquoise hue. There are 933 climbing routes in the region, offering challenges for both expert climbers and vertical virgins. The towering limestone cliffs, which peer down upon emerald meadows, make this one of the most beautiful areas in which to climb.
Skywalk Grand Canyon, America
Skywalk stands 4000 feet above the Colorado River in America’s Grand Canyon West, to provide one of the most stupendous vistas on earth. Shaped like an horseshoe, the glass bridge juts 20 meters out into the canyon, letting you do just that. If you’re feeling some trepidation, don’t worry; the glass on either edge is tinted, providing a safe zone for scaredy-cats, and the path can hold an incredible 71 million pounds in weight – that’s 71 fully loaded boeing 747s.
Raft Batoka Gorge, Zambia
If you wish to experience the raw natural power that sculpts canyons over millions of years, you need to get wet. Most canyons are carved by rivers, and few are as mighty as the Zambezi, which rampages from central Africa to the Indian Ocean. Whitewater rafting through the Batoka Gorge, just east of Zambia’s thundering Victoria Falls, will give you a terrifying first-hand experience of the river’s brutal rapids, which have names such as ‘Obivion’ and ‘The Gnashing Jaws of Death’.
Bungy the Nevis Highway, New Zealand
One way to enjoy the rugged beauty of Nevis Canyon, located near the adrenaline Mecca of Queenstown, New Zealand, is to hurl yourself into its 439ft chasm. The Nevis Highwire Bungy is Kiwiland’s most menacing elastic challenge, requiring a leap from a glass-floored pod suspended by high-tension cables across the gaping mouth of the canyon. The only way to get to the pod is via a flimsy mesh carriage that transport you across the gorge – best skip breakfast.
Drive the Dades Gorge, Morocco
Driving along the serpentine roads of the striking red Dades Gorge, which slices through Morocco’s Atlas mountains, is a fantastic way to soak up the beauty of the region. As you wind along the dusty landscape, you’ll get to gawp at the towering volcanic cliffs, while peer down at the lush green valley awash with olive groves and almond trees. Stop off at the hidden red-rock ksar (village), where you’ll probably be invited into the home of the Moroccan family for a cup of mint tea and a bowl of cous-cous.
A canyoning session at Bruar Falls Canyon in Scotland will enable you to experience a day in the life of a helpless branch as it falls downriver. Canyoning involves following the downward course of a gorge, which means climbing over rocks, jumping off ledges and abseiling down waterfalls. Do it in summer, or you’ll be chiselling icicles off your body.