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Parasail Australia (CLOSED)

  • Sport and fitness
  • Manly

Time Out says

Discover a natural high on Sydney Harbour

Solid ground can be an overwhelmingly literal place, and gravity has a bad habit of hampering one’s philosophical wanderings. Constrained by the depressing mechanics of our day-to-day lives, Time Out realised it was time to transcend these limits and, as so many in a similar position do, decided to get high.

But this involved no mind-altering stimulants – just the chance to be towed by a boat while hanging from a parachute.

Phil and Linda Bird have owned and operated Sydney Harbour Parasailing, our city’s only such service, since 1991. On a beautiful Monday in November, Time Out strutted out past the sunburnt midday boozers at the Manly Wharf Hotel to meet the cheery couple on their purpose-built boat. We’re told conditions are perfect and nod in agreement, as though we’re seasoned men of the sea, before heading out into Manly Cove.

Of all the adventure sports I’ve tried, parasailing is by far the easiest. Klauss, the Swedish kid stoked with his sunny summer employment, fits me into a harness with the wise advice to sit right back into the thing (your “bits” get a bit busy mid-flight if you don’t). Phil casts the colourful ’chute behind the boat. I take a seat on the spacious platform and Linda hooks me in. And I’m off!

There is an initial rush, but this is actually an incredibly peaceful experience. The rope slowly releases as I ascend, my feet dangle above the blue-green ocean lining the secluded beaches below, and All Saints’ ‘Pure Shores’ plays in my head.

With the rope extended to full length – 137 metres – the boat and its characters are in another dimension and I, finally, feel free to contemplate the world – which is now just a collection of vaguely house-shaped boxes. Upon my request, I’m swooped down and delicately dunked in the ocean a few times before being reeled back in.

Phil and Linda make the whole process a breeze (geddit?). The dismount is easier than getting off
a Sydney bus and the only likely discomfort you’ll experience is your gut’s regret should you scarf a burger five minutes prior to take-off (oops!). You can parasail single or tandem, and the Birds recently invested in a few GoPro cameras so you don’t have to risk your own gear to capture some amazing footage. Or stills (see above).

Time Out
left Phil, Linda and Klauss at the Wharf, where the drinkers were now pinker and more plentiful, and we felt good about bypassing the booze for a natural kick instead.
Written by Sam Egan


Manly Wharf
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