“Do one thing every day that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
I did one thing today that scared me. I visited Tree Top Adventure Park out at Minmi. The park bills itself as an adrenalin-pumping eco-friendly experience for everyone and that it certainly is! It’s an amazing adventure if you want to test yourself and have lots of fun. Obviously this isn’t for the faint-hearted, so avoid if you have a phobia of heights unless you’re into seriously facing your fears.
The session started with being fitted with a harness and a helmet. It was then followed by a comprehensive safety and training session with the enthusiastic and knowledgeable Ryleigh explaining how to move through the courses. She explained the carabineer belay system and drilled in the message ABC – Always Be Connected. She also stressed that if in the event that you did fall off a rope or suspension bridge, the harness would prevent you from going very far. You just safely dangle from the line above the ground. These are reassuring words when you’re up high and worried about losing your balance.
After graduating from the training session, I was able to start the course. The adult course consists of 4 stages, Green, Blue, Red and Black which get progressively harder and higher off the ground! It usually takes 2 to 3 hours to complete the course. The courses are a network of suspension bridges, flying foxes, trapezes and ropes high in the tree canopy of the beautiful Blue Gum Hills State Park. Staff members are below the course offering encouragement or advice if you need it.
I won’t lie to you. Some of the challenges were fun and relatively easy to complete. Others were more difficult and required concentration, balance and some thought as how best to tackle them. It can be a bit unnerving being that high off the ground struggling to make it across the void especially when the wind starts blowing. However, the sense of accomplishment when you complete a challenge is just so satisfying. It’s great to be able to push yourself to your limits in a fun, safe environment.
My favourites included creeping through the tunnel, the log suspension bridges and especially the flying foxes. I loved the feeling of soaring through the air.
I’m also very proud to say that I completed the Tarzan Jump which involves swinging across on a rope to a giant green spider net. Of all the obstacles, that was the one that got my heart pumping the most. I’ll confess it did take me a while to push off from the platform. But when I did, wow, what a feeling!
I asked Ryleigh what happens if someone can’t continue the course due to fear or exhaustion. She explained that rescues happen regularly and a staff member assist the person down using a ladder. Fortunately, I didn’t need rescuing and completed three stages: Green, Blue and Red forgoing the challenging Black course. I’ll wait until I have better upper body strength to try the Black course as it’s a must.
There’s also a children’s course for adventurous 3 to 9 years olds. These have similar obstacles to the adult course including suspension bridges, ropes and flying foxes. If you are concerned about safety, a continuous belay safety system is attached to the child leaving them free to climb, swing, leap and fly through the air. Parents are required to supervise from the ground. I’m planning to bring my child to experience this course for her 4th birthday.
In further words from Eleanor Roosevelt “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face.” Oh, I stared fear in the face today and then jumped Tarzan-style!
Tree Top Adventure Park is located at Blue Gum Hills Regional Park in Minmi. There are additional locations on the Central Coast and in Sydney. Bookings are essential. For more information on Tree Top Adventure Park, visit the website.
Disclaimer: Tree Top Adventure Park kindly provided two passes for myself and a guest to test this experience. However, this in no way affected my written opinion about Tree Top Adventure Park. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.