Loves going out and about, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing about her adventures!
Published August 17th 2018
Experience a sugar glider's view of the rainforest
The sugar glider is a very small possum that lives high in the treetops. It loves eating the sugary nectar of plants and can glide up to 90 metres from tree to tree. We humans-being the big, very important, land dwelling, daytime creatures that we are- don't usually think about this tiny tree-dwelling nocturnal marsupial.
But there is a place where you can think just a little bit more about it. In fact, it's a place that has been specially designed from the sugar glider's point of view. It's called the Illawarra Fly, and it will leave you breathless.
About two hours' drive from Canberra is the Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures. There are two adventures: the treetop walk and the more daring zipline experience.
The Zipline Tour. The Zipline Tour is officially Australia's highest and involves flying (that's right, folks! Flying, like a sugar glider) on a series of elevated cable spans and navigating suspension bridges from one tree platform to another 35 metres above the forest floor. For more information on the zipline tours, gohere.
Treetop Walk The Treetop walk is an exhilarating walk high up in the treetops. It's a return 1.5km walk through warm temperate rainforest with 500 metres of steel walkway nestled in the treetop canopy some 20-30 metres above the ground. The steel walkway is perfectly safe and perfectly tough-after all, it can withstand winds of up to 280 km/h, and it has been engineered to hold 400 kg per square metre!
The steel walkway winds its way through the native rainforest. It features two swaying cantilevered arms and a central tower called Knights Tower. Knights Tower is a spiral tower that rises to a breathtaking 45 metres above the forest floor. It is definitely worth going up this tower and enjoying the views from the highest point in the Illawarra. From here you can see panoramic views of the rainforest canopy, coastal towns of the Illawarra escarpment, and the Pacific Ocean.
The Knights' Tower
As you stroll along the walkway surrounded by trees, keep a lookout for birds and other tree-dwelling creatures that you may not ever find on the ground. Unfortunately, we didn't come across a sugar glider possum, but we did spot a sleeping tawny frogmouth who we watched long enough for it to wake up and stare solemnly back at us for a photo!
If you are terrified of heights, then the Treetop Walk is most definitely NOT for you! But if you don't feel the fear, then I highly recommend visiting Illawarra Fly, for a day trip from Canberra or as part of a longer holiday. Believe me, you'll begin to think more about that tiny sugar glider and what amazing creatures they truly are.
Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures also offer an after dark zipline tour, bushwalks and guided tours, and a rainforest ranger trail. There's also a visitor centre, souvenir shop and café (open Thurs-Sun only).
The Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9am-5pm. Last admission is at 4.15pm. The Zipline tour is available Thursday to Sunday.
Walk-up admission fees are: $25 for adults, $15 per child aged 4-15 years, $75 for family (2 adults, 2 children), and $20 concession. If you book your tickets online, you can save 10% on entrance fees.
Illawarra Fly is located at 182 Knights Hill Road, Knights Hill, NSW. If you are travelling from Canberra via the Southern Highlands, Illawarra Fly is only ten minutes' drive from Robertson via the Jamberoo Mountain Road. Take the turn opposite the famous Robertson Pie Shop towards Kiama.
For more information and/or to book your tickets, visit Illawarra Fly.