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A few weeks ago I made my first ever journey to Australia with an amazing group of #Topdeckers. With everything so new and exciting, I was psyched for just about every single adventure listed on our trip itinerary. There was one activity in particular though that stood out to me: abseiling in the Blue Mountains!

In March, I travelled around Thailand and one of the highlights of my trip was rock climbing in Railay. I was hoping that abseiling on this trip would be as breathtaking and adrenaline-pumping – and that’s exactly what it was! Abseiling by itself was fun but when mixed with the stunning Blue Mountains as a backdrop, it quickly became an experience I would never forget.

A post shared by Tess Florio (@studdedhippie) on

We arrived on the scene with two experienced instructors who clearly had a passion for these extraordinary mountains. Their positive energy immediately rubbed off on the group and everyone was excited to get geared up and on the cliffs.

We started with a small cliff face, which everyone pretty much breezed right down. Essentially what you have to do is walk backwards down the cliff while holding your climbing rope behind your back in one hand. Little by little, you let the rope go while moving your feet down the rock face. One of the hardest parts initially is allowing yourself to trust the rope and really lean back so that you are perpendicular to the floor below.

After a little bit of practice and group encouragement, everyone was ready to move on to a bigger cliff. This time, the cliff was about three times higher and a bit steeper than the first. This was when we really started to get a taste for what abseiling was all about!

I was the first one to repel down and I was definitely feeling a little confident. One foot after another, I started to make my way down with ease. Then, the instructor called up at me from down below and said, ‘Hey, why don’t you try a few little jumps?’

Without a second thought, I pushed my feet away from the wall. Wheeee, this was awesome! Until I realized (a few seconds too late) that it might be a good idea to put my feet back in front of me before swinging back towards the cliff face! As you can imagine, I pretty much face planted on the wall. Minor scratches. No biggie. Now I knew the golden rule: always keep your feet in front of you! After I made my way to the bottom, I laughed it off and decided I was ready for the final cliff.

By the time everyone got to the last cliff, our group of willing participants had reduced in size a bit. This cliff was taller, steeper, and more intimidating than all the previous ones. It looked scarier than it actually was but after seeing our group leader breeze right down it, I knew I could conquer it! This time, everything went smoothly and it turned out to be the exact adrenaline rush I was looking for.

Abseiling in the Blue Mountains is definitely a must if you are travelling in the area. It was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my trip!

By Tess Florio

Tess is a 22-year-old lifestyle and travel YouTuber based in New York. With an innate affinity for creating, Tess produces videos about her life while sharing her taste for style, healthy eating and beauty. She has also spent much of the last year abroad, bringing her viewers along to experience new places and cultures through her eyes. Check out her Youtube here.

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