Dear Sir or Madam,

The sport of "canyoning", comprising passing through narrow, water - carved rock gorges by a combination of walking / swimming / li-loing / abseiling and / or climbing has recently demonstrated a rapid increase in popularity in many countries, and particularly in Australia. Such increase has resulted in debate among numerous interested parties, each with legitimate views, as to whether such activity causes impacts within the canyon environment, and if so, what is the nature and degree of such impacts. Is there in fact any significant impact and if so, what should be done and by whom?

As a keen bushwalker and canyoner myself, I am undertaking research as part of a Ph.D at the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury, aimed at answering some of the above questions and providing input to management policymaking by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). To do this, I need your help.

The enclosed questionnaire will take approximately 15 minutes of your time to complete and will provide invaluable feedback on this important subject. Please note that although I will be making aggregate results of the survey available to the NPWS, individual responses will remain completely confidential. Only your sociodemographic details (eg age, postcode) are required. Please tick response boxes & / or provide further information as indicated for each question, and note that pages are double side copied.

Thank you for your time and co-operation - both very much appreciated.

Nigel Hardiman

Q1. How many times have you been canyoning?:

Never___ (Go to Q20 )

Only once___ (Go to Q2 )

2 - 5 times___ (Go to Q2 )

More than 5 times___ (Go to Q2)

Q2. How do you go canyoning? (please rank the following: 1 = most often to 4 = least often. Leave options you do not use blank):

As a paying client with a commercial outdoor company___

As an organised club activity of a recreational outdoor club___

As a private recreational activity with friends___

Other (please specify, eg Venturers) ____________________________

Q3. During the current "season" 1st October 1999 to 31st March 2000, how many canyon trips, on average, are you making per month?:

Less than 1 per month___

1 - 2 per month___

More than 2 but less than 4 per month___

4 or more per month___


Q4. Is your above frequency of average monthly canyoning generally higher, lower or about the same as previous seasons?

Generally higher___ (Go to Q5)

Generally lower___ (Go to Q6)

Generally the same___ (Go to Q7)

Can't say - (eg first season)___ (Go to Q7)

Q5. Approximately what % higher than previous seasons?___% higher

Please explain briefly why your canyoning frequency is higher than previous seasons, then go to Q7.

______________________________________________________________________ ___________

Q6. Approximately what % lower than previous seasons?___% lower

Please explain briefly why your canyoning frequency is lower than previous seasons

______________________________________________________________________ ___________

Q7. When you go canyoning, what day(s) of the week do you usually go on? (Please estimate the % times you typically go on each of the following days, so the total sums to 100%) (If only one trip to date, put 100% for that day)

Monday ___%

Tuesday ___%

Wednesday ___%

Thursday ___%

Friday ___%

Saturday ___%

Sunday ___%

Q8. Please list your "Top 5" most frequently visited canyons in the Sydney region. (Please rank 1 = most frequent to 5 = less frequent. Canyons visited only once or with equal frequency should be listed in the same line)


Canyon Name Area (eg Kanangra Boyd, Blue Mountains / Wollemi, Bungonia)

1._________________________________ __________________________________________

2._________________________________ __________________________________________

3._________________________________ __________________________________________

4._________________________________ __________________________________________

5._________________________________ __________________________________________


Why are the above your most frequently - visited canyons?:

______________________________________________________________________ ______________________

Q9. Are there any canyons in the Sydney region which you visit now more often than in the past?

Don't know / can't say ___ (please go to Q10)

No ___ (please go to Q10)

Yes ___ (please detail below)

Canyon____________________________ Area ___________________________________

Canyon____________________________ Area ___________________________________

Why do you visit the above canyons more often than in the past?

______________________________________________________________________ _______________________

Q10. Are there any canyons in the Sydney region which you visit now less often than in the past?


Don't know / can't say ___ (please go to Q11)

No ___ (please go to Q11)

Yes ___ (please detail below)

Canyon____________________ Area __________________________________

Canyon____________________ Area __________________________________

Why do you visit the above canyons less often than in the past?

______________________________________________________________________ _______________________

Q11.How do you find out about new cannyons that you have not previously visited? Please rank the following (1 = most usual method to 5 = least usual method)

Exploring either by myself or with friends ___

Feedback from friends / other club members ___

Published canyon guide books ___ (Which one(s)?_______________________________________________)

Magazines ___ (Which one(s)?_______________________________________________)

Other methods (eg Internet web sites) ___ (Which one(s)?_______________________________________________)

Q12. When you go canyoning, what is the % amount of times you go in the following group sizes (including yourself) (please estimate the % for each, total to sum to 100%. If only one canyon to date, put 100% for that group size):

20 or more ___%

10 - 19 ___%

6 - 9 ___%

2 - 5 ___%

I go alone ___%

Q13. Who do you feel is responsible for your safety while canyoning? (Please rank: 1 = greatest responsibility to 4 = least responsibility)

Myself ___

The group leader (if one) ___

National Parks and Wildlife Service ___

Other ___ (Who?___________________________________________________)

Q14. When you go on a canyoning trip, do you consider potential impacts that you may have on the canyon?

Yes ___ (Go to Q15)

No ___ (Go to Q16)

Q15. What kind of potential impacts do you consider? (Please explain briefly)

______________________________________________________________________ ________________________

What actions do you think you can take to minimise such impacts and maximise your long term enjoyment of canyoning?

______________________________________________________________________ ________________________

______________________________________________________________________ ________________________

Q16. The NPWS has recently released a "Blue Mountains Canyon Code" of behaviour intended to minimise canyoning impacts. Are you:

Aware of the Code and have a copy ___

Aware of the Code but do not have a copy ___

Not aware of the Code ___

Q17. Overall, within all canyons you have done, please give your opinion of the following elements. The term "canyon" includes the walk - in track, the canyon itself and the walk - out track (please circle once only for each element):

(1 - serious problem 5 - Not a problem)

Litter 1 2 3 4 5

Trampled vegetation 1 2 3 4 5

Presence of abseiling slings 1 2 3 4 5

Presence of rock bolts 1 2 3 4 5

Creek bank erosion 1 2 3 4 5

Walk in / out track erosion 1 2 3 4 5

Other elements (please specify)

______________________________ 1 2 3 4 5

______________________________ 1 2 3 4 5

______________________________ 1 2 3 4 5


Q18.What management approach of canyon use levels can Park authorities most effectively take to minimise canyoning impacts and maximise canyoners' long term enjoyment of the canyons?


Management is needed now to lower use levels ___ (Go to Q19)

Management is needed now to hold use at current levels ___ (Go to Q19)

No management of use levels is needed now but should be taken in future if overuse occurs ___ (Go to Q19)

No management of use levels should be taken either now or in the future ___ (Go to Q20)

Q19. If management of use levels of canyons was needed either now or in future, what would be your support for the following potential management approaches? (please circle one response for each option):

1 - Strongly support, 5 - Strongly oppose)

Limit number of groups per canyon per day 1 2 3 4 5

Limit number of people per group 1 2 3 4 5

Restrict vehicular access to canyons (eg result in longer walk in) 1 2 3 4 5

More information provided on where and when heavy use occurs 1 2 3 4 5

More information provided on how to mimimise impacts 1 2 3 4 5

Other (please give detailed suggestion)

_________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5

_________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5


Q20. Please rank (from 1 to 7, or more / less as appropriate) outdoor activities in which you participate (1 = favourite to 7 least favourite):

Rockclimbing ___

Canyoning ___

Caving ___

Bushwalking ___

Abseiling ___

Kayaking ___

Others (please specify)___ (________________________________________________________)

Comments (if you would like to comment on any other aspect of canyoning that you feel has not been covered above, please give details below):

______________________________________________________________________ _______________________

______________________________________________________________________ ________________________

Q21. Please kindly complete the following sociodemographic details about yourself:


Sex Male ___ Female ___

Age at last birthday ___

Marital status: Single ___

Married ___

Separated but not divorced ___

Postcode of usual address _________

What is the highest level of qualification you have achieved to date?:

(Give name of highest qualification) ___________________________________________________________

Annual gross income of your household (ie yourself plus partner, if any)

$10,001 - $30,000 ___

$30,001 - $50,000 ___

$50,001 - $70,000 ___

$70,001 - $140,000 ___

$140,000 + ___


Thank you very much for your help in completing this questionnaire. Please now fold twice and mail to (no postage stamp required): Reply Paid 12, PO Box 373, Blaxland, NSW 2774 or if in electronic form, email to me at