Gayle Beveridge is a past winner of the Boroondara Literary Awards and her work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing. Gayle is passionate about family, writing, photography, and with Victoria’s beautiful Bass Coast which she now calls home.
Published July 24th 2016
Daredevil Adventures for the Young and Young at Heart
Daredevil adventures are not just the realm of movie stuntmen. Adventure tourism is on the rise and there's no need to leave Melbourne to participate. Challenge yourself with these exhilarating activities. Take the dare, feel the fear, have some fun and secure some bragging rights.
1. Tandem Skydiving: Imagine being in freefall, the air in your face, the ground rushing toward you at around 200kms an hour. That's almost as fast as a Ferrari. Will you be admiring the scenery as you drop or will the detail be lost in the screaming? Tandem skydiving is a great way to get a feel for the sport most describe as exhilarating. So often we see reports on our news of folks in their 80's or 90's trying this for the first time but why wait that long?
Skydive Melbourne offers tandem skydives over St Kilda beach. Your 60-second freefall begins at 14,000 feet and is followed by 5 to 7 minutes parachuting above Melbourne and enjoying spectacular city and ocean views. They also have drops over the Great Ocean Road and The Yarra Valley.
Commando Skydivers tandem skydives commence with a scenic flight over Westernport Bay. The company operates out of Tooradin and Traralgon.
2. The Edge: Afraid of heights or not, this is the place to find out. The Eureka Tower at its highest point is 301 metres tall and is numbered amongst the highest buildings in the world. It rises 92 floors but it is the 88th we are interested in for here you will find Eureka Skydeck 88, Melbourne's highest observation platform and home of The Edge.
Take the fastest elevator in the Southern Hemisphere and in 38 seconds you will arrive at the Eureka Skydeck 88 where you can take in 360-degree views of Melbourne. Enjoy the panorama or zero in using one for the many viewfinders. But anyone can do that. Daredevils step up to The Edge, a glass cube that protrudes from the side of the building 285 metres above ground. Now here's the adventure, the floor is glass. Glance down at your feet suspended 285 in the air.
3. Paranormal Investigations: Ghost tours are popular the world over. People love to be scared so they embark on a guided 1 or 2-hour tour, absorb the hype and gasp at the unexpected. And then they go home to the safety of their beds. But what if it didn't stop there, what if it was all night? Not only that but a night of paranormal investigation, of deliberately seeking the subject of your fear and perhaps even bedding down amongst the ghosts themselves. Are you up for it?
Lantern Ghost Tours gives you a chance to become part of a paranormal investigation. Your evenings start with a ghost tour which is followed after supper by 3 hours of paranormal investigation before bedding down the spirits. Investigation experiences are offered at Old Pentridge Gaol, Altona Homestead, Point Cook Homestead and further afield at Ararat's J Ward and Old Castlemaine Gaol.
4. Aerobatic Flights: Did I hear you say you love flying? Of course, you don't just mean inside a comfy commercial airliner being served drinks and snacks do you, you mean real flying. Melbourne has a number of experienced businesses offering joy flights but forget about them. Instead, hook into the thrill of aerobatic flight; loops, barrel rolls, spins, stall turns, and G forces.
Warbird Aerobatic Flights offers flights in a WWII vintage Nanching CJ-6A, a prop driven fighter aircraft. Flights are 15 to 35 minutes duration and run from Barwon Heads and Moorabbin. Wild or mild it's your choice as you will be in contact with the pilot throughout the flight.
Tiger Moth World Aerobatic Flights offers a range of aerobatic flights - you choose the fear factor - in a 1930's open cockpit biplane. Select from Barnstormer, Mild Aerobatics, Wild Aerobatics or Extreme Aerobatics. Flights depart from Torquay.
Vintage Airways offers a 30 minute Barnstomer flight in a Tiger Moth performing what they refer to as 'gentlemen's aerobatics'. Flights depart from Lilydale.
5. Fly Through the Trees: Fly through the trees with the greatest of ease. That's right, you don't have to be a bird, and this is achievable right now. Clip on to a zip line and let's go tree surfing. When I was young we called these flying foxes but today that term seems to be reserved for children's playground equipment. No longer is it a crudely strung set of ropes from one tree to another but a safely engineered and supervised experience. Hmm, safe and supervised doesn't so daredevil, but will you dare.
The Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthur's Seat offers an all-encompassing tree surfing adventure which in addition to 5 zip lines includes, 10m high tree platforms, a Tarzan swing, rope bridges, a rock climbing wall and much more.
Glen Harrow Park in Belgrave offers 2-hour treetop adventures of flying foxes, tight ropes and tunnels.
6. Drive a Stunt Car: Put a car in a spin, set it up on two wheels, or jump it. No, I'm not talking about a wild ride after a night on the booze. I'm talking about a stunt driving experience. You too can make like the movies, if just for a while.
(Photo from Stuntdrivingschool.com.au Facebook Page)
Stunt Driving School offers stunt driving experiences in Mini Coopers at Sandown Race Course. All you need is a current driver's licence and a lot of nerve.
7. Rap Jumping and Abseiling: What is rap jumping? It's abseiling backwards, which means it's actually forwards. Like abseiling it is freestyle rope work but allows the person descending to rappel forwards giving them a full view of what's going on. Oh and did I mention you will be running. So dare yourself to abseil down a building or rock face or double dare yourself to rap jump.
(Photo from Melbourne Adventure Hub Facebook Page)
Rap Jumping offers experiences ranging from an introduction to abseiling trough to rap jumping. You'll be going off the edge of a 7 storey building in South Melbourne.
Melbourne Adventure Hub offers a variety of abseiling experiences some with add-ons for rock climbing, caving, kayaking and winery lunches. Experiences run from Healesville, the Brisbane Ranges (near Bacchus Marsh) and the You Yangs (near Geelong).