Last Sunday I went with some friends to a placed called Tree Adventures in Belgrave for some Tree Surfing fun!
What’s Tree Surfing?
Just imagine an obstacle course taken up 20 or more meters into the air. That’s what tree surfing is and heck is it a lot of fun.
When we arrived at the tree surging place, I caught a glimpse of people harnessed up and jumping from tree to tree. I even said to my friend, “looks pretty easy”. I was so wrong. In fact, tree surfing is much harder than what it looks.
Where is Tree Adventures?
There’s actually two places in Melbourne where you can do Tree Surfing. One is inside the Enchanted Maze garden in Mornington Peninsula, and the other one is in the Yarra Valley (Belgrave). We chose the latter because we had already visited the Maze Garden on an earlier occasion. So off we went to Belgrave, to the “Tree Adventures Glen Harrow Park“.
From my place, it takes around 40min, but from the CBD, it takes a good 1 hours drive. Finding the actual park was a bit tricky since it was off the main road. You had to drive up a super steep narrow gravel road. Once at the top, you had to follow it to the end where the park is stealthily hidden.
Booking is critical! I noticed many people rocking up to the park on the day only to be told it is fully booked and that they will need to go online and book in another day/time. Luckily, I had already making a booking and had a place secured for 4 friends including myself.
I must admit, it is a bit pricey. Kids (4-7yrs) $25, Concession $35, and Adults $40, but it is worth it. I would be more than happy to go back and do the obstacle courses again. On the plus side, it is completely free to observe and take photos from below. There are also pagodas which you can book for birthday parties.
When we arrived, we were given a harness, protection gloves and a helmet. We were then given a 20min training session where we were taught how the lock in system of our harness worked and how to attach the metal handle to the flying fox. It was all very practical but I found it confusing. Luckily, with some practice I got the hang of it and was ready to tackle the first obstacle.
There are 6 courses to pick from with the Green course designed specifically for kids and the lowest in height. Then you get the Long Blue and Short Blue Course. Harder is the Red Course, then the Short Black Course and the most challenging of the lot is the Long Black Course
I managed the Short Blue and Red Course. One friend managed the Long Black course and said “it wasn’t too bad” :p
Within each course, there are numerous obstacles. On a rough estimate, the Short Blue course had maybe 8 obstacles and the Red Course had 15 give or take.
Blue and Red Course
One of my friends was incredibly terrified of heights so I let her go first, and that I would watch from behind. So technically speaking the Short Blue course could have been done in 15 min but I think we took around 30-35min because my friend kept on freezing and needing time to mentally prepare for the tall jump during the flying fox stage, the ladder climbing, and the hopping from wooden pole to wooden pole.
When we finished the Short Blue, I was eager to start the Red Course. My friend who was scared of heights was hesitating between doing the harder Red Course with me or doing easier Long Blue Course. So dumping her (I am such a bad friend), I went to do the Red Course by myself.
The Red Course is much higher up compared to the Blue Courses. It felt pretty weird to be in the middle, to see people down below you doing the Blue Course, and people way above my head doing the Black Course.
The Red Course required good upper body and arm strength, more so than the Blue Course. Thank god for the regular gymming and Pilates classes. It paid off.
The Red Course had two parts that were pretty challenging. One part was at the very start, and the other, towards the end. The part at the start required us to climb across a wobbly net to the other side, much like spider-man would. The part at the end were a series of broken up platforms, with large chunks of wood in the center, blocking you from walking in a straight line. So effectively, I was climbing over things, ducking under other things, midair, as I tried to maneuver myself to the other side. It was pretty intense, and boy did I need to catch my breath at the end. The lady before me got stuck during this obstacle and needed to be rescued (and that took like 20min).
My glove got jammed under the flying fox, and I was so scared it would grate my finger off. Luckily I pulled hard enough and the glove came undone. When I got to the resting platform on the other side, I took my glove off to see if my hand was ok, and accidentally, my glove fell onto the forest floor. I had to do the remainder of the course without a glove. It wasn’t too bad and I didn’t get any rope burn, thank god!
By the time I finished the red course, I noticed my friends were still midway through their courses. My friend who was scared of heights was being supported by another friend through the course. She poked her tongue at me probably annoyed for dumping her before. HAHA. My other other friend was still on the Black Course. If I had the energy left, I would have love to challenge myself to the Black Course. Maybe next time if we visit Tree Adventures 😀
As my three friends were finishing off the course, I was photographer for them. Being the photographer, it always means that I never end up in photos, but that’s okay, the memory of the fun experience is inside my head !
- Tree Surfing can be done at the Enchanted Maze Garden in Mornington, or where we did it, at Tree Adventures in Belgrave
- Admission is a bit pricey, but I think it as worth it. Plus, you get a bit of a gym workout from it too!
- Tree Adventures has 6 courses graded in difficulty and height – so it is suitable for everyone (even if you are scared of heights)
- Beautiful park, with lush green trees. Even if you don’t participate, you can observe from below for free and take photos of the park and of your friends/family members as they complete the obstacles.
- Rating 10/10