Highlining is a young, yet worldwide sport, with some of the best athletes in the world coming out of America, Canada, France, Germany and Brazil. Australian athletes are also considered among the best in the world. The community continues to expand – especially on the NSW coast.
Highlining festivals in Australia have set incredible records, with the most recent in the Blue Mountains seeing the longest line established in the Southern Hemisphere – at an outstanding 400m in length. It was also the ninth largest line ever rigged in the world.
The Illawarra Escarpment, nestled between the cities of Wollongong and Sydney, is the perfect place to practice the sport. With hundreds of kilometres of cliff line, gorgeous views and easy to access spots, athletes from around the globe spend days at a time walking high up above waterfalls, rainforests and beaches below.
Arthur Pera is the founder of Slack Mate, a Sydney-born company with the mission of spreading the sport of slacklining and highlining to as many people as possible, making it extremely accessible to anyone. His dream was “born out of a love for that feeling on top of the line”. Chris Wallace is another local highliner, with a mission to push his own limits and the boundaries as far as possible. Both men are important members of the highlining community, and spoke with UOWTV Multimedia about the development of this sport and the escarpment’s role in fostering this growth in Australia.
(Cover photography by Marley Butler)