Our kids are obsessed with the flying fox at our local playground so we decided to take things up a BIG notch with the ultimate zipline adventure at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures.
Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures offers a fantastic family day out, full of adrenaline, excitement, and shrieks of excitement mixed with exhilaration. It’s about a two-hour scenic drive from Sydney so a visit can easily be done as a day trip but we decided to make a weekend of it and stopover at Wollongong for the night.
There are a few adventure options available – depending on your desired thrill level. We opted for maximum action with the famous zipline tour.
The Illawarra Fly Zipline Tour is officially the highest zipline in Australia and is a combination of ‘flying’ from one end of the forest to the other as well as clambering on suspension bridges high up in the tree canopies. Kids as young as four can take part in the ziplining. And there is also the treetop walk for an equally scenic but less heart-racing adventure (it’s available from age 3 upwards).
Once we’d registered, we joined a group for a briefing and got fitted with our harnesses and safety gear. We met our super-experienced guides and made our way to the first cloud station, which is a tree platform that connects each zipline.
The first zipline was probably the most nerve-wracking – we pretty much had to step onto the very edge of the platform, get into a seated position and let go. It really was the most exhilarating feeling whooshing through the air 35 metres above the forest floor. What a view and my goodness, what a rush!
I was quite nervy about the whole thing but my kids (5 and 7) didn’t waver for a moment before leaping off the platform to zip along the steel cable. There were a few shrieks of elation and the biggest grins on their faces. They loved every single moment.
Lots of Thrills
Next up was the suspension bridge, which for me, was even scarier than the zipline. There were steel cables to hold onto and of course, you are firmly harnessed and attached to the overhead lines, but you still had to put one foot in front of the other and conquer any fears to get to the other side. I was pretty proud of myself (and my kids) for crossing the bridge with minimum fuss.
There was one more bridge crossing and two more zipline flights during our tour, both just as exciting as the first one.
At the finish line, we unclipped our harness and were then free to wander through the treetop walk – which is a 1.5km trail through the gorgeous rainforest. 500 metres of the walk is on a steel walkway which is nestled in the treetop canopy some 20-30 metres above ground level.
At one end of the walkway is a spiral structure, called the Knights Tower, which reaches a breathtaking 45 metres above the forest floor. To be honest, I’d reached my fill of adrenaline so decided to enjoy the view from the base while the kids and hubby clambered up to the top. There are also two spectacular lookouts, suspended 25 metres above the forest floor which take guests to the edge of the escarpment.
The full experience, from start to finish, took about 2 hours and we returned to the base station bubbling over with excitement.
We treated ourselves to a scrumptious lunch at Cafe 106, aptly named after the number of steps you’ll need to climb to ascend Knights Tower. The cafe is very reasonably priced and has a delicious menu and yummy food. There’s a kids menu available – with chicken nuggets and chips on offer for only $6, plus $10 meals for all those who braved the zipline (woohoo! that was us!).
Our adventure at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures was definitely one of the most fun, bonding experiences we have done together as a family. Next time, we’re going to take on the after-dark, night time Zipline Tour. Oooh, we can’t wait!
What’s On During The Spring School Holidays 2019
These school holidays, Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the classic children’s book The Gruffalo, by encouraging families to embark on the Gruffalo Spotters Trail!
Visitors of all ages can explore and search for The Gruffalo and other characters from the book using the Spotters Activity Trail and exciting NEW Augmented Reality App!
Guests will be able to immerse themselves in our ‘deep dark woods’ and find their favourite characters from the book using the free interactive App and the Spotters Activity book, exclusive to Illawarra Fly.
Follow the activity book to see who the mouse meets along the way as we follow in his footsteps and stroll through the Treetop Walk, and use the fun and Interactive App to capture your precious holiday memories!
What: ‘The Gruffalo’ at Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures
Where: Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, 182 Knights Hill Road Knights Hill NSW 2577
When: 21 September – 20 October
Hours: Open daily 9:00am – 5:00pm. Last entry to Treetop Walk is at 4:00pm
Cost: The Gruffalo experience and activity book included in price of Treetop Walk. Adults from $22.50. Children from $13.50. Zipline Tour (includes Treetop Walk): Adults from $60. Children from $36
More details: Visit www.illawarrafly.com/news/the-gruffalo-spotters-trail/