Tree Top Challenge (1300 881 446) is the ultimate forest adventure, found in the great hinterland hub of outdoor pursuits surrounding beautiful Cedar Creek at the base of Mt Tamborine.
Nine acres of native bushland have been strung up with a labyrinth of bridges, platforms, gangways, scramble nets, Tarzan ropes, ladders, tightropes and 11 giant flying foxes high amongst the treetops, comprising a total of 100 challenges within 6 graded high rope adventure courses. And if that’s not enough there’s the uber adrenalin-pumping Skyfall Jump (at an extra cost), where, wearing the full body harness, jumpers get to freefall from a 12m high platform.
It’s not for the faint-hearted, super unfit or those with a fear of heights, but for everyone else it’s just about one of the most rewarding, fun and memorable things you can do.
The adventure starts at the entry cabin/ticket office, where there’s an outdoor deck to enjoy a pre or post climb refreshment and it is here that the allocation and fitting of harnesses, equipment and a video and demonstrative briefing is done. Tree Top Challenge guides are on hand to ensure everyone is up to scratch with safety and the correct use of their equipment before setting off.
Having trialled and become au fait with their equipment, climbers then head off via five suspension bridges across lush gorges which are frequented by low flying rainbow lorikeets and colourful butterflies.
The first courses are Green (the easiest), which are like an appetizer of what is to come, followed by the red (moderate), blue (3rd hard), up to the most difficult - black, which is the ultimate (and some say, insane) challenge. Climbers who take on all four levels can expect to take anywhere from 3-5 hours to complete them. (Allow approx. one hour per level if in a group of 2 or 3).
At the start there’s ‘easy’ stuff like spaced out suspension bridges, tightropes and short flying foxes, working up to Tarzan ropes, uphill flying foxes and wobbly rope stirrups. It’s worth noting that those who do decide to take on the four levels of challenges will be pretty tired, hot and sweaty by the time they commence the black level, for which every last bit of strength and perseverance is needed. To put it in perspective, as one of the employees explained, the black level ‘is about 10 times harder’ than the green. Yet those who do complete the black level get an elated sense of achievement that makes it all worthwhile.
While all climbs are tackled independently, on hand at the start and end of challenges and scattered around the course are the highly trained, friendly and professional Tree Top employees, ready to offer advice or encouragement if needed, or, in the odd event that someone loses their nerve or gets stuck, to climb up and assist them.
And those who want to tag along but not participate in the activities can follow their party via a series of interconnected ground tracks that follow the courses.
Need to know - Children must pass a reach test of 160cm before being allowed to participate. This is not an activity that would be recommended for those aged 8 or under or those without some fitness and endurance capabilities.
Mosquito repellent and suncream should be applied before heading out and take a bottle of water, which can be stored in the inbuilt container attached to the harness. Otherwise bottles of water are available for $1 for ticket holders.
Nice to know – Across the road from the entrance is a kiosk with tropical deck, selling snacks and light meals, coffee and cold drinks. Tree Top Challenge makes a great place to host a birthday party (especially for teens), bucks or hens parties as well as school excursions.
Getting There - Best route from Brisbane CBD is via the M1 to Beenleigh and then take Exit 34 City Road to connect with Beenleigh-Beaudesert Rd (92). Follow for about 15-20 mins until the roundabout which intersects with Mount Tamborine Rd. Turn left here onto Mount Tamborine Road and about 5 mins along, at the junction with Cedar Creek Rd you’ll find the Thunderbird Park entry - turn in here. Tree Top Challenge entrance is off the car park, just to the left of the Mini Golf entrance.
A$49; Conc $44; C U18 $39; Family 2A+2C $160; Grps 10+ $37
Tree Top Challenge is a valued sponsor of Must do Brisbane.com