Exhilarating zip and zap through the tree canopy
Whooshing through the tree canopy at up to 40 kilometres an hour, spinning 540 degrees and feeling a G-force of two pretty much sums up the TreeTops Crazy Rider zip line adventures on the NSW Central Coast. We’re talking about the world’s longest rollercoaster zip line at an awesome one-kilometre long! It’s exhilarating, eco friendly and wheelchair accessible.
But if you’re having trouble imagining what it would be like trussed up to and zapping along this rollercoaster zip line, check out this YouTube video. The GoPro shows what a rush it really is.
The adventure is set in the exquisite Ourimbah State Forest, just five minutes off the M1 at the Wyong exit.
To get ready for the ride, you sign a waiver form, don a safety harness, and learn about safety. You don’t need any special training, skills or knowledge to do these rides. There’s a short couple of bush tracks to the start of the ride.
The most popular option, the Combo, gets you onto the Pioneer and Xtreme rides. The Pioneer has ten curves, a 360-degree loop and a cool drop over 330m. The Xtreme has packed in 40 curves, four 360 degree loops, one 540-degree loop and two drops in this twisting winding adventure.
“It feels like you’re tethered by a bit of nylon and metal and there’s a 10 metre drop and away you go,” said my partner, Nathan.
Each ride is a few minutes long and not just a steady pace. The riders controls the speed by leaning back to go faster or stay in a seated position to slow down. At times you’ll almost slow down to walking pace, ambling along, then you’ll see the line dip and, yup, suddenly you pick up speed and shoot off again. There goes your stomach. The real thrill is those 360-degree turns and the amazing 540-degree turns that will have you spinning. The rides really combine the thrill and suspense of a rollercoaster with the flying sensations of zip lines.
“It’s a bit like riding a motorbike… You really feel the G-forces on you. You know gravity is completely controlling your body. You’re just there for the ride,” said Nathan.
The rides opened in November 2014 after 2,000 hours of development and 5,000 hours to build. The metal system uses 11km of cable to clamp to about 200 trees. When you’re doing the ride, you’re an incredible 18m off the ground. Same as a six-storey building. Now that’s a thought!
By Margaret Paton
Margaret Paton experienced the Combo TreeTops Crazy Ride, which costs $90pp at the Central Coast of NSW. Must weigh more than 40kg to go on these rides.
t: 02 4025 1008
a: By car from Sydney, take the Wyong Exit off the M1, then follow the white on brown tourist signs.