Last weekend we all decided to go on a mission to check out the Warriewood Blowhole properly as it was such a nice day. Mat and I have been before but to see it properly it involves climbing over the edge of a cliff down a rope and I didn’t have the courage so always waited behind.
This time I was determined to conquer my fear of heights and go for it, as nothing could be as bad as the fifty metre Diamond fire lookout tree I climbed in Western Australia, which I am yet to write about. The Blowhole is located on the south cliff of Warriewood beach and is a tunnel going all the way through the cliff which you can swim through. You get to it by walking through a reserve and ignoring the danger sign that warns of a dangerous cliff edge and advises to keep away etc. etc. There is a path that goes down to the cliff and then all the way round the cliff to the other side. To get down to the blowhole you have to climb down two ropes onto ledges further down the cliff which then enable you to scramble down to it.
There is then a little ledge about fifteen feet above the narrow inlet that you can jump off, into the water, making sure you time it correctly so you jump into a wave as it comes through. I think you have to be careful about height of the tide as well, but it was fine when we got there. The rope descent was no where near as bad as I thought it would be and in actual fact was dead easy.
Here you can see Mat preparing to jum off the ledge into the water with Nick and Kat in the background. The second picture shows the height of the cliff behind and also some people in the background climbing up the bottom rope:
Here you can see the swell from a big wave errrupting through the blowhole and the second picture shows a closeup of the bottom rope ascent (it gets a bit scarier on the top rope as it’s a bit longer and higher up):
I’m afraid to say I wimped out of the little jump and just got in off the side. I didn’t swim through the blowhole either as I wasn’t sure that I wouldn’t get thrown against the rock whilst inside as the waves seemed very strong, even though Mat and Nick went through and said it was fine. This said, I was a bit surprised at how tame the jump was as we’d heard stories about it being very dangerous and having to know what you are dong as far as the tide is concerned.
It wasn’t until we climbed back up and around the cliff to the north side of the blowhole that I understood. We met a group of lads all clustering round a sheer drop and realised that this was the dangerous jump – fifteen metres, not fifteen feet, into the sea at the other side of the blowhole. We watched a couple of them jump off and then went on our way.
I think next time I will definitely do the small jump as it really wasn’t very high at all. I just wish Chris and Tom were still here as they would be mad enough to do the big one for sure (we only discovered the blowhole after they had both gone back to the UK).
On googling “Warriewood Blowhole” I found this Myspace video of some local lads doing the big jump, together with some amusing commentary:
This video from youtube shows some more big jumps and people doing the smaller one as well:
Video taken from the youtube.com page of iitchbae