It’s not very often that you find a fun, different activity that the WHOLE family enjoys but that is exactly what we discovered when we went to Kinglake Forest Adventures!
For 2 hours, we joined the experienced leaders who guided us (and the rest of our group) on how best to tackle the Zipline, Freefall Starter, Freefall Advanced, Tree Climbs, “The Triangle” peak challenge and the competitive “Centre Fall”.
Everyone (adventurers and spectators included) are supplied with a hard hat to enter the Treetops zone, which for us included Georgina’s Mum and Dad along with our friend Payno, who you can all thank for our photos as we were having way too much fun to take photos!
After being fitted with our helmets and safety harnesses, we had a go balancing on the slacklines, throwing the frisbee and playing with the hackey sacks whilst we waited for everyone to be ready. We then travelled along the rope bridge to home tree to get instruction on the zipline (or flying fox).
For some it was as simple as running off the platform (hello Isaac!) and for others (hello Mumma!) it was a gradual process to slowly get off the platform. We were amazed at the kids who were going backwards, upside down and all manner of other positions!
After the zipline, we attempted the freefall but it’s safe to say that we need a few more visits to muster up our bravery!
The staff are masters at encouraging everyone to step out of their comfort zones and really take note about the individual journeys everyone is on throughout the day. They love seeing visitors try something new or challenging and succeed!
We watched other members of our group have a go at “The Triangle” peak challenge – it’s not just the staff that take note when someone is trying to master a challenge, it’s everyone who cheers them on and joins in the celebration when success occurs!
The climbs were fun for everyone, Isaac worked hard to ring the bell at the top of the tree climb and Alegria enjoyed all of the challenges that she had a go at! Some were easy, some were hard but it was great to see both of the kids push themselves to achieve their goals.
It was after this, we headed to the “Centre Fall” for a game of tug-o-wall 8 metres above the ground. The climb to the platform was too challenging for Alegria and Isaac, and Tim politely declined so it was up to me to take up the challenge!
I have to say, I went up the pole like a rat up a drain pipe, but when it came time to step out on the tiny platform (it’s about as big as my two feet together) one foot made it, and the other refused to leave the safety of the pole! It is really interesting to see how everyone reacts to fear – my mind was simply telling me that it wasn’t safe (even though I knew it was) so I couldn’t get my foot to work. I think I even yelled out to my family “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here” but there were 3 kids (8, 10 and 12) eagerly waiting for the 4th player so I had to do it, it was just a matter of getting onto that platform! With each passing minute, the kids got more and more confident that they would wipe the forest with me but they obviously haven’t learned about physics yet because this Mumma had mass behind her!
Finally, I made it into position and the tug-o-war began. Two of the kids were eliminated, so it was just me and the 12 year old left. A top tip, is to wait until your opponent pulls on the rope and then release your end so the topple off backwards! I was crowned the victor, I was prouder than I should have been, but then had to jump off the platform for a freefall! It just so happens, that I still do exactly what my Mum tells me, so she counted me down. 1, 2, 3 …. JUMP GEORGINA! and off I jumped! My legs were shaking for a good 30 minutes after that, but I am really proud that I didn’t give up!
We then went to our TeePee – which was decorated for Isaac and Georgina’s birthdays, and had a picnic lunch. The TeePee was such a great place to keep all of our belongings and we would all love one in our backyard! There are picnic tables as well, if you don’t want to hire a TeePee.
After lunch, we spoke with the owners, Michelle and Colin about rebuilding after the 2009 Black Saturday bush fires, overcoming fears and the other activities visitors can do at Kinglake Forest Adventures.
We can’t wait to go back and go biking through the forest (they have all the bikes there – from balance bikes for the little ones to mountain and electric bikes), as well as having another go at the treetop adventures! Colin has said we can’t go biking until we have run off the platform or have done a freefall! Challenge accepted!