Thrill-seeker's guide to Western Sydney
If you crave a mix of pure excitement with a little dash of fear thrown in, Western Sydney was made for you. From the whoosh of a waterslide or feeling your heart race in an escape room, we think these stirred-up moments will have you euphoric for days.
If jumping out of a plane is not your thing, you can ‘fly’ in Western Sydney at. In outdoor skydiving, you drop through the air, but at iFly’s indoor skydiving experience in Penrith, you fly on controlled, cushioned air. Anyone aged from 3 to 100 can fly – simply slip on a flight suit, strap on your helmet and get some air time in the hi-tech wind tunnel with an instructor beside you. You’ll get to fly twice in your group session and learn to literally float on air.
The anticipation of waiting for your turn. The rush of water as you speed through the tunnel, fling up around the smooth curves, then feel your stomach drop and a shock of brightness as you splash into the glittering pool. The newest adventure slide at Raging Waters, Whirlwind, will leave you wanting more. Drop a couple of metres at almost 25km/h and enjoy the thrill as you slide from darkness to light then back again.
You’ll buzz with excitement after an experience with Jetpack Adventures – there's nothing quite like rising up out of the water, powered by hundreds of litres of water. The propulsion of water from a jet ski is pushed through a 20m hose pipe and out of two nozzles on the jetpack, lifting you straight up. For beginners, it takes about 10min to learn the basics. Once you are strapped into your safety harness and jetpack, you’ll feel free and weightless as you spin and circle at speed.
Ride the rapids of a wild ‘river’ at the base of the Blue Mountains. Penrith Whitewater Stadium’s man-made river was originally constructed for the Sydney 2000 Olympics slalom canoe events and it challenges paddlers of all levels with 14,000 litres of water flowing per second. Depending on your level of expertise, try guided rafting with a group or self-guided for the ultimate splash.
With just the noise of the wind whooshing past and incredible bird’s-eye views of the pretty Camden region, a glider flight experience at the Southern Cross Gliding Club will take your breath away. Starting at Camden airport (45min from Sydney), you’ll be towed up by one of the tug planes and soar over the verdant countryside for 20 to 40min.
A zipcoaster is like a rollercoaster and flying fox morphed: a super speedy zipline that takes you on a thrilling journey through the forest. At TreeTops in Abbotsbury in Western Sydney, choose from the Express Zipcoaster, which gives you an hour of swooshing and whizzing through the air high in the tree canopies. Or try out your Tarzan skills on one of the intricate ropes courses, which offer different courses for adults and children.
If you feel the need for speed on the water and don’t have the luxury of a boat to pull you along, cable skiing is the next best thing. At Cables Wake Park in Penrith the overhead cable system pulls you around the lake, so just choose your adventure (wakeboard, skis or kneeboard), don your helmet, grab your handle and take off. Book a Lake Session for one to two hours or a whole day – beginners can book a one-hour coaching lesson.
Let a heady mix of power and speed take you around the turns of Sydney Motorsport Park in Eastern Creek. Pop on your race suit, grip the wheel of a V8 race car with your own racing-car driver right beside you, coaching you on the circuit. If you don’t want to steer and push pedal to the metal, take a seat passenger side. So you’ll never forget the moment, they send you home with a DVD of your drive and a framed snap of you beside your machine.
Take the ultimate escape challenge
For a different kind of adventure to get your mind racing and heart pumping, gather a group of friends and book a session at The Escape Bus in South Penrith. It’s one of the most unique escape room experiences – built by a family who specialise in set design – and not only immerses you in the narrative, but challenges you to solve ongoing problems, complete the mission together and escape. Select from two rooms, which are built into a bus: Alcatraz and The Bunker. Bring comfortable shoes, and your wits.