Firstly, even if you don't do the abseil, do go to the cascades. The park is beautiful and even the little touristy area down the bottom is a nice place to spend some time. We were there in July so it wasn't very hot, but in summer this would be a great place for a swim.
The abseil was a good experience. If you've never abseiled before or haven't done much climbing, abseiling, or the like you'll have a ball. The guides are friendly and professional. Everything is provided, the equipment is all Petzl (a good quality European brand of climbing gear) and there is a practice session on a small cliff before you go down the cascades.
If you've done a bit of this stuff before, it's still worthwhile, but the 50m abseil is actually two 25m pitches and it goes by fast. You start down the cliff hauling rope through your device to get going, then step over a couple of uneven rocks to get a good position then a couple of jumps and you're done. When I got to the bottom I though I was halfway down and we were just getting ready for the next pitch.
That said, I would still recommend going as it is a beautiful place and the cascades are pretty cool viewed from right in the middle of them.
As I said, we were here in July and though it was a nice sunny day, standing in the water, soaked, waiting to do the last pitch I was a bit cold. I was just wearing board shorts and a rashie, but I noticed the guides were all wearing short wetsuits. If I was doing it again at the same time of year I reckon I would wear a neoprene vest for a bit of extra warmth. But I'm sure in summer the cool water is a welcome relief from the heat and humidity.
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