Zipping along the tree tops
HIGH up, high speed, and certainly high adrenalin.
The new Otway Fly Zip Line attraction transforms a tranquil rainforest setting into one of the most thrilling experiences on offer. But far from spoiling the natural beauty of the Otways, this ecoadventure aims – and succeeds – in giving visitors a unique way to enjoy the spectacle.
Located about 90 minutes from Geelong, the zip line is the newest addition to the popular Otway Fly Tree Top Walk, which offers guests a chance to experience the unseen heights of the rainforest through a raised platform walk.
The zip line taps into this head for heights, while offering the incredibe thrill of whizzing along on a cable through the trees. With the attraction already proving popular, zip line guests should book in advance onto one of the tours running regularly throughout the day.
On arrival, we were taken into the briefing room with the rest of our tour group to get strapped safely into our harnesses. Groups are made up of about 10 people, with children over a certain height welcome.
Friendly guides talked us through putting on our harnesses, before carrying out a thorough safety inspection. Heading outside to the simulator, we had a welcome chance to practice our moves just a tew feet on the ground.
Sitting back in the harness for the first time and trusting it to hold fast was possibly the most nerve-racking point of the whole experience, and made me glad any problems would have resulted in nothing more serious than a bruised bottom. But as expected, the expert safety measures did their job, and we were whisked away to the first of nine ‘cloud stations’.
These bouncy white stations circle the trees along the zip line and serve as the departure and arrival points along the zip line route. Under the watchful eye of our friendly and entertaining guides Rachael Sady and Clayton Purvis, our group members were soon zipping our way one by one along the first line, measuring about 30 metres.
The breathtaking rush alongside the high-up canopy felt like flying. While it was tempting to concentrate on nothing but the approaching cloud station landing the first few times, by the time our group reached the longest zip line – all 120 metres of it – we were easily confident enough to look around and enjoying the stunning views. The zip line finishes at the start of the existing tree top walk, allowing visitors to seamlessly enjoy both activities.
And fans of the tranquillity offered by the walk needn’t worry, the adrenalin-thrilled zip line is invisible from the boardwalks and doesn’t disturb the natural surroundings. Otway Fly’s general manager Elaine Burridge said the zip line was already proving a hit. “It is extremely exciting,” she said. “Not only is it a wonderful adventure that showcases the rainforest, and provides an adrenalin fuelled activity for visitors to the Great Ocean Road, but with its unique features it’s also the first of its type to be built in the world.”
The zip line experience takes about two-a-half hours from checking to completion, with a further hour recommended for the tree top walk. Combining the beauty of nature with the adrenalin rush of adventure, the Otway Fly Zip Line is something that once experienced, will never be forgotten.
The Fly is directly accessible from Phillips Track and is 15 minutes’ drive from Lavers Hill, 45 minutes from Apollo Bay and 40 minutes from Colac. Travelling time from Melbourne via the Princes Highway is 2.5 hours. Travelling time via the Great Ocean Road is 3.5 hours.
For bookings and information, call 5235 9200 or visit www.otwayflytreetopadventures.com.au