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My pulse was beating like a sledgehammer as I stepped over the ledge ready to conquer the highest abseil in the world.

I was hanging suspended 140m (450ft) from a concrete dam with views of Tasmania’s magnificent southwest wilderness stretching out in front of me. I was about to complete one of the top 10 adrenalin activities in the world.

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Our day began with a two and a half hour drive through Tasmania’s magnificent south-west wilderness to reach Strathgordon, between lakes Gordon and Peddar.

Stunning views and untamed wilderness make this area one of the most naturally beautiful in Australia, and the views themselves are worth the trip, even for those who can’t see themselves stepping off the side of the dam!

Gordon Dam is several metres higher than the Sydney Harbour Bridge (134m), and holds back thirty times the amount of water in the Harbour itself. Those who have felt nervous standing on top of the 10 metre diving platform at a swimming pool will definitely feel the rush here!

The beautiful Gordon Dam.

The beautiful Gordon Dam.

Abseils are run by Aardvark Adventures, who are an amazing local company specializing in adventure tourism with over 30 years experience in the adventure industry.  Not only do they provide abseiling, but also caving, white water rafting and kayaking adventures throughout Tasmania’s most amazing natural settings and World heritage listed regions.

A winning combination of qualities for a tour guide, Phil was an encyclopedia of information on the local area, struck the perfect balance between a winning sense of humor while prioritizing safety first, came fully loaded with waters and snacks, and took professional photography and video throughout the experience which he transferred to us at the end of the day (remember to travel with a USB).

Aardvark Adventures have three abseil points at the top of the Dam, and abseilers can try the 30 metre or 50 metre descents before attempting the 140 metre drop.

The Dam itself is concave, which means that most of the journey down the face when making the 140 metre descent is done without actually touching the wall.

It was an exhilarating experience and the views were out of this world!

Click on individual photos to enlarge and view a slideshow.

Don’t plan on rushing home to Hobart straight after completing the abseil. Those who budget time to spend via Lake Pedder on the drive back will reap the rewards.

Not only is Tasmanian beer the finest in all the land, but the beautiful Green Rosella’s come out to play. Enjoying a cascade draft with Lake Pedder and the Franklin Range in the background is not a bad way to send off the day!

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Meg Jerrard is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Aardvark Adventures provided a complimentary abseil of Gordon Dam. Having lived in Tasmania for 14 years, the Gordon Dam Abseil has been my most exciting Tasmanian adventure to date! 

Visit their website and book a tour today!

    31 Comments

  1. Debating doing this when I visit South Africa in a couple a months (well, the difference is that it is off of a mountain)… looks like some scary fun! Love the song in the video :D

    • You definitely should! I think I remember hearing there is one in South Africa which is almost as tall, it’s so much fun so I highly recommend it!

      Keep us updated on your experience! Would love to get to South Africa one day :)

  2. First off, I’m a big fan of the name aardvark adventures.
    Small things…I know.
    But this looks AWESOME. I love heights so this would definitely be something I would do. Plus I think I’d feel pretty bad a** descending from that!
    Ps you look pretty bad a** too ;)

    • I love alliteration too so also a big fan of the name :D I’m so proud of some of these photos lol I wear the bad a** badge with pride :D!

      I hope you have the opportunity for a trip to Australia for some bad a** abseiling yourself soon!

  3. You are BRAVE! You couldn’t pay me to do that! I would happily agree to be the photographer at the top. You are right, though… the views are absolutely incredible!

    • I reckon we could convince you over the ledge once you saw how fun it was :D I was actually really pleasantly surprised with how safe I felt – you really feel secure in the ropes which makes stress and fear just slip away!

  4. I don’t consider myself scared of heights, but I had a moment of fear for you when I saw the video! Way to go! I’ve rapeled about 20 meters down a building and I thought I was doing well. I might have to try this if I get down there!

    • Thanks Jessica! 20 metres is still an awesome abseil – sounds like you’re getting the hang of it and should promote yourself to 140 :D!

  5. This looks so amazing (and scary!)!! I would love to try it some day–the views look amazing and it’s always fun to get the adrenaline going!

    • Adrenalin is what I live for! Definitely give Aardvark Adventures a shout if you find yourself in Tasmania; one of the best activities in the States!

  6. This post turns my stomach- I could never do that (I’m terrified of heights), it makes me all wobbly!

    • Lol I think that means you enjoyed the video :D Even if you’re not a fan of actually going over the ledge, if you do find yourself in Tasmania you can still walk the Dam for the amazing views :)

  7. Good for you – you’re so brave! I’d be on the fence with this one – I’d need some serious convincing or peer pressure like I did for skydiving :) Love those birds!

    • Thanks Alli! I’ll tag along on your trip to Tas then – I’m excellent at applying peer pressure for adventurous activities :D

  8. Kudos to you Meg for having the courage to go through with that! I don’t have a fear of heights but abseiling is not really my thing. However, with the stunning views of Gordon Dam, that may just be enough to tempt me to go for it! Looks like an amazing and exhilerating experience.

    • Thanks Chris! Definitely some of the most amazing views in the State, or even in the country for that matter. It’s definitely beautiful walking the dam, but there’s just something about the views when you’re suspended in the air looking out – makes you feel like part of the scenery which is amazing!

  9. Meg you are braver than I! I’d have been a bit more scared than you methinks, as even though my fear of heights is slowly dying, it’s still there in a big league way ;) The bird is so darn cute too; love me some parrots. Thanks for the inspired, death-defying share Meg!

    Ryan

    • I’m sure you’d be up to the challenge :D! No better way to conquer your fear of heights than head on with a 140 m abseil right :D! Seriously though, it’s very safe and when you realize just how sturdy the ropes are it puts you at a lot of ease :)

      Glad you enjoyed the photography and video :)

  10. That’s an experience not for the faint of heart. Too cool!

    • It’s definitely an experience you’ll remember forever!

  11. That bird sure is funky!!! Love the colors of it!!!

    • Love Tasmanian birds – they’re easily the most beautiful in the country!

  12. what a stunning place! and you’re so brave to do that, I don’t think I’d be able to go down on the dam!

    • I’ll come with you and apply some peer pressure lol :D

  13. Wow, congrats for having the courage to do this! :) You’re very brave. I am a bit afraid of heights but I think that I would give this a shot. The views are incredible! I think facing your fears is a good idea in any case :)

  14. looks like the same bridge showed in a Dhoom 3 :)

    • Cool! Haven’t seen that one before, so will have to add it to my Netflix list :)

  15. Wow, great job!! This is something I would love to do in my spare time. Such a great way to get out into nature and enjoy a man-made structure.

    Again awesome job!!

    • Thanks Darren! Hope you have the chance to visit Gordon Dam and book in for an abseil too!

  16. Had a fantastic time first look and didn’t think I would be able to do it but I did thanks Phil for a great day

    • So glad to hear you had a great day Debbie! Phil is fantastic :)

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