... a dreamer, freelance writer, naturopath, mother & former social work student based in the Blue Mountains. Continue the journey with me- Soul Home: https://www.instagram.com/the_soul_home/thewildemoon: https://www.instagram.com/thewildemoon/
There's a moment of fear as I stare at the platform far away. An abyss of trees stretches between me and the other side. With my partner about to climb up behind me, there's no choice but to go on. The next moment I'm flying over the treetops, my feet skimming leaves and scraping branches. Releasing a ninja type whoop of euphoria, I land with a thump on the platform at the top of a tree. Alive.
In the rainforest below peacock screams curdle the air and various beasts growl and bleat. I 'high five' my inner Tarzan.
Set atmospherically on the banks of the Shoalhaven River amongst natural rainforest, a zoo and steep cliffs, Trees Adventure Park at Nowra offers something unique to do on a weekend. 'Unique' might be limiting it when 'fabulous' encapsulates it so much better.
Perhaps it the mention of 'flying foxes' or the word "adventure park" that wrongly conjures up the impression that this is a place for kids. Actually, adults will get their kicks here and find plenty to kick their butt too. With five levels in escalating degrees of difficulty, there's something for everyone from four year olds to seasoned adventure pro's.
During my visit the adults outnumbered the children, with couples, families and adult groups amongst the adrenaline seekers. From the grunts, groans, laughs and occasional utterances of disbelief emanating from the treetops there was challenge galore. Others exchanged tips on the best way to manoeuvre an obstacle or encouraged people (okay that was me!) frozen with fear by the sight of a twenty metre plus drop gaping below a dangling rope.
So what exactly is this place, you ask? And, why haven't you heard about it?
Described as an eco-adventure, Trees Adventure Park is essentially a safe, but challenging obstacle course amongst the trees using the latest state of the art German and French technology. Climbing hanging cargo nets like spider man, walking across logs or wires suspended mid-air, swinging or dropping off the top of a tree holding onto a rope is all part and parcel of it. No joke.
A total 13 flying foxes and 70 challenges are incorporated into five levels from the kid's course to the arduous 'black level'. Kids between 4-7 need to be supervised by an adult on the kiddie course, but if you bring your partner you can always take turns watching while the other toughs it out in the higher levels.
At the highest point of the course, participants climb up to 35 metres high while the longest zip line (flying fox ride) is a thrilling 80 metres long.
What makes this all possible and 100 per cent safe is what Neil van Mastrigt, Park Manager at Trees Adventure Nowra, describes as a state of the art harness system. Participants don a harness equipped with a pulley, karabiners (a safety mechanism) and double-locking lanyards that only allow one clip to be open at once. In simple language - and all you need to know - is it means you can never be unhooked, meaning you can't fall. Using the technology is unexpectedly one of the most intriguing aspects of visiting the park (if only I could use it to paint the roof). Trees Adventure is one of the first adventure parks in the world using the system. The staff seen bicycling about the place and hovering on the ground to help visitors, also do safety checks on the equipment each day.
Neil says that for those feeling fearful about being in the treetops, 40 per cent of psychological fear is released once they realise how safe it is.
I have to agree. By the end of my tree adventure (there's a limit of 2 hours on busy days) I was ready to start all over again. My partner, who originally imagined this was going to be a boring kids activity, was itching for a taste of the challenging "I need a chiropractor and a six-hour massage" Black Level, while two six-year-olds I brought with me were begging to come back again. "This is the most awesome day ever!" was their consensus.
Trees Adventure is very reasonably priced at $40 for adults, $35 for kids 10-17 and $25 for kids 4-7. That's probably cheaper than a movie and McDonalds and a whole lot better for them. It gets you and the kids off your butt, into nature and living like Tarzan for the day. And, the natural setting, wedged between the river and steep cliffs, add a special magic to the whole experience. What's not to like?
So why haven't we heard about this amazing place before?
Trees Adventure has only been around for two years (since 2013), so compared to places like Luna Park and Wet 'n' Wild it's a baby.
For those who can't make it out to Nowra, there's another Trees Adventure at Yarramundi by the Grose River. In Victoria there's a Trees Adventure in Belgrave in the Dandenong Ranges and one about to open in Perth, WA.
Tempting as it might be, don't bring your camera with you into the treetops. I'll leave it to your imagination what happened to mine.
For everything you'll need to know about the Trees Adventure check out the website here: and don't forget to book in advance.
A safe and fun adventure in nature for kids and adults