DIY forest adventure in Busselton for thrill-seekers
When doing a tandem skydive in Busselton, it only makes sense to get strapped up for a high-ropes challenge too!
FREE same day entry* to Forest Adventures high-ropes and zip line course with every tandem skydive video and photo package in June 2017!! Don’t miss out, book your skydive package today. *Conditions apply
I’m running five minutes late to check-in to Forest Adventures, even though it’s only 12 kilometres from Busselton. But all’s well – my 11-year-old son and I still have time to read the waivers, gear up and be ready for the briefing at the top of the hour.
Our guide, Jasmin takes us and the other adventurers (a father and daughter) over to the training course. She explains all the bits and bobs on our harnesses and how each part works.
When I found out that, after training, we’re on our own to go through the various courses, my heart flutters a little. What if I forget how to hook on? What if I freak out and get stuck. Up a tree? Some of the trees are impressively tall.
But once I learn how the double carabiner system actually works, my worries fade and I’m confident in my own abilities. I’m also assured that the DIY zip line tour is safe and sound.
High-ropes course for kids and beginners
After 15-20 minutes of getting to know how to unlock and attach the carabiners and use the zip line tool, we’re released into the wild to get lost amongst the treetops of Ludlow Forest.
My son, a real keen-bean, zooms ahead to course one to start. As the course number goes up, so do the age limitations and difficulty. At first, the most nerve-racking thing is assuring that you’ve clipped yourself in securely.
The practice and kids’ courses are low, short and tame, which are great ways to gain confidence. We inch across tightropes, suspension bridges and fly along mini zip lines.
The boy is all over it and in fact, I hold him back (kids aged 7-11 must be supervised at all times). By the time we advance to the family and zip lines courses, we are high-rope professionals (or so I thought).
Treetops courses for the brave
We truck along to the more advanced courses getting warmer with every climb up a ladder and each shimmy across a tightrope. It’s a beautiful, sunny day – a t-shirt would have been good enough but I’m wearing a hoodie over a long sleeved shirt for half the session. Thankfully, there’s a staff member nearby to help me out of it (around my harness). I didn’t realise the course would be so active. There’s a lot of climbing involved.
The team at Forest Adventures have made it fun and interesting by adding props like a snowboard to ride on one zip line and on another challenge, a bicycle to ride across a bridge – 15 metres above the ground.
We’re close to the end of our two hours and not near finished the entire park but we decide to do one more course – the one with the most zip lines. I’m pre-warned about the double-teared ladder system that will take us 19 metres above ground, the highest point in the park.
When I arrive at the tall tree, my son is already half way up the rope ladder. ‘Dearie me, that’s a long rope ladder’, I think to myself. I wait for the boy to arrive on the platform and clip himself in before I start my ascend. I won’t lie, it’s tough going. I’m stoked when I make it to the top.
Then, ladder stage two smacks me in the face, stomach and nervous system (figuratively speaking) when I come face to face with it. Seriously, it’s a log, suspended from above, with protruding handles all the way up. It just hangs there. It’s the only way up to the next platform, the start of a multi zip line section that will eventually get me back to the ground.
I clip in, then hesitate. “I don’t think I can do this,” I yell up to my son who is waiting patiently for me.
“Well, I can’t help you. You’ll have to go back down the rope ladder, I guess,” he says.
That’s not an appealing option. I muster up all my courage and hug on to the mock ladder.
I pull myself up the log by straddling it with my knees and wrapping my arms around it as if it were a big teddy bear. I’m sure I look ridiculous but it’s the only way. After about three minutes (but feels like a lifetime) I crawl onto the wooden platform. A heavy sigh escapes me and I press on with the mission.
The many flying foxes after is worth the struggle to the top. My favourite is the last one – 150 metres of flying through the forest and back to base. In all, there’s a whopping 1.5 kilometres of zip lines at Forest Adventures.
Although I felt out of my comfort zone on the tightropes and the swaying ladders, I’m stoked with myself for completing them. This is definitely an activity that takes some bravado, courage and energy. It’s an experience worthy of a feather in my cap!
Compared to tandem skydiving, you may think Forest Adventures’ high rope challenge in Busselton, is tame but it takes just as much bravery to tackle this course as it does to jump out of a plane. A high-ropes course is an awesome way to spend time with friends, family and co-workers doing something fun and active in the great outdoors.
Jennifer Morton travelled as a guest of Forest Adventures.