Tree Adventures

Tree Adventures

Ironic then, that my ‘safe’ job as a journalist has led me to the Auckland’s Tree Adventures; the home of doing scary things in trees.

When I arrive at the Woodhill Forest site, approximately 35 minutes north-west of Auckland City, groups of people are milling around in safety helmets and harnesses, but I see nothing of the park’s play-adventure tree activities. That’s because I haven’t looked up yet.

Everything at Tree Adventures, apart from the ground-level safety demonstrations, happens at least three metres up in the trees. The highest point I reach is 10-metres—or 11.5 if I add my crouched body, points out the operation’s team manager, Antoine Allier.

Once I am buckled in to my safety harness and have been shown how to use my two karabiners (chunky metal safety clips) and pulley (for sliding across cables), I am off to tackle course number two. It’s the second easiest out of eight courses made up of tree-top obstacles that include monkey bridges, wobbling logs, rope swings and stirrup bridges.

Legs wobbling slightly, I climb the rope ladder to 3.5 metres, latching my karabiners to a pulley running up the side. Strict safety guidelines are followed at Tree Adventures; my harness and helmet are secured tightly, but it’s up to me to ensure my karabiners are always attached to the thick, red-painted ‘lifeline’ cables.

Obstacles range in difficulty from tightly-stretched single cables, to planks spaced at irregular intervals and a short slide between trees. Course two conquered and my time running out, I move straight to seven.

It’s higher and the bridges require more skill and concentration, but I am more confident as I clamber between crossed planks and step from loop to loop of hanging rope. My reward at the end is a blissful ride down the 150-metre flying fox.

The park is used by families, schools, birthday parties and for corporate team-building; catered BBQs can be organised for groups to stay on and enjoy the peaceful, shaded forest atmosphere.

My fun afternoon at Tree Adventures is over and I feel a happy sense of achievement after conquering my fear of tree activities. Antoine laughs at my school camp story; they too get their ladder out at least once a weekend.

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Content updated: 14/10/2019 13:59

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