Raff takes us flying, jumping and hopping through the trees at TreeTops Coffs Harbour, one of the best adventure park experiences in NSW.
I’m flying through the air like some kind of demented, wingless bird. My sister soon follows, squawking happily. No, we haven’t lost our collective minds, we’re just zip-lining through the forest canopy at Sealy Lookout (Niigi Niigi) with TreeTops Coffs Harbour. It is the third of the TreeTops Adventure Park locations we’ve visited in NSW – other locations include Central Coast, Newcastle and two in Sydney – but this was by far my favourite to date.
How we came to be flying through the trees was a happy accident. There’s more to Coffs than bananas and beaches, and we’d initially come up to Sealy Lookout to see the Forest Sky Pier and head on an incredible Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience.
But as we explored the forest with our Gumbaynggirr guide it was hard not to notice the legs dangling above us. It was even harder to resist joining them.
So, once our enlightening Gumbaynggirr tour ended, we signed up for an afternoon of sky high adventure in the very trees we’d spent the morning learning all about. After gearing up in helmets and harnesses, and going through an extensive safety briefing and training, we began our TreeTops adventure on the easiest of the park’s four elevated ropes courses, each graded by the degree of difficulty.
Mum will probably edit this out but, just quietly, she’s a different kind of bird to us –– a chicken –– because she passed on the entire exercise heading back to our Let’s Go Motorhome to read a book. And, though Dad was at least brave enough to join us, he also did a reasonably good chook impersonation once he made it to the top of the first puny zip-line. But my sister and I were born to bounce around the treetops, and we leapt from obstacle to obstacle without so much as a backward glance. Mum would suggest that is because we’re daft, I reckon it’s because we’re badass.
The award-winning TreeTops Coffs Harbour is located amongst the towering trees of the Orara East State Forest, but has been designed for minimal environmental impact. You see, these massive trees are not only part of a protected national park, the whole area is of special significance to the the Gumbaynggirr people, the traditional custodians of the area.
Anyway, after whizzing through the green course, we step up to the harder blue course, where things started getting interesting. The park has more than 100 challenges including 20 zip-lines, the longest of which is a massive 200 metres. There are rope bridges, log walks, floating steps, tightropes, cargo nets and zip-lines and we love them all.
Unfortunately, for safety reasons, kids under 16 aren’t allowed on the black course, so red is the toughest we’re allowed to tackle. It is awesome, kicking off with a terrifying tightrope followed by more floating stepping stones until we are presented with a choice: go left to speed down another zip line, or go right to swing on a rope like Tarzan into a spider web, which proves ridiculously fun.
The best part is that the timed sessions at are so long at TreeTops Coffs Harbour is that if you take the no fear approach and buzz through at speed like we did, there’s enough time to do the courses all over again, so we continue to zip and leap and swing until the sky turns the trees golden with the setting of the sun. A thoroughly epic end to an epic day.
Reviewed by Raff – aged 13