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Tree Top Crazy Rider
by Andrew Mevissen

If you and your family love exploring nature and the trill of amusement parks you can now enjoy both at the same time on the world’s longest rollercoaster zipline in the world – right here on the Central Coast an hour north of Sydney.

If you loved flying foxes as a kid, the new 1km-long TreeTop Crazy Rider zipline ride (which is nothing like the restrained flying foxes of old) near Wyong is a dream come true – an adrenalin experience you and the kids can enjoy together.

Opened just before Christmas last year, the Crazy Rider Xtreme (1km long), and its tamer cousin, the 330m-long Pioneer, provide the sensation of flying through the trees with the surprises and adrenalin-pumping twists and turns of a rollercoaster, creating a bold new meaning of eco-tourism.

My family and I roadtested the new tree-top ziplines for ourselves recently, not quite knowing what to expect. As you arrive in the Ourimbah State Forest, you can see the twin ziplines snaking through the trees near the carpark, building a sense of anticipation and also fear. We decided to try both rides, beginning with the shorter Crazy Top Pioneer. Harness and helmet donned, we nervously hiked up the path to the launching station where, in turn, we were clipped to the line and bid farewell. The experience was exhilarating. High above the bush, gravity propels you faster and faster around 10 curves, a 360-degree loop and a sudden drop, eliciting screams and laughter from every rider. And yes, suspended below the zipline on a flaying harness seat, it does seem like you are indeed flying wildly through the forest, wind in your hair.

But the Xtreme Rider takes the cake. Three times longer and starting much higher, you whizz, dive and wind wildly through 40 slaloms, three 360-degree loops – and one 540-degree circle - around trees and down steep drops. Grown men like me scream like girls as you soar and whirl dizzyingly through the forest, not knowing what to expect next. And when you reach the end, you can’t wipe the big smile off your face.

The unique TreeTop Crazy Rider took 18 months to build and was created by Australian business, Ecoline, an award-winning treetop adventures company renowned for innovation. The company’s mission is to create exciting, challenging and unique adventures and foster environmental education at the same time.

The two zipline rollercoasters are a great way to appreciate the great Australian outdoors from the perspective of a fast-flying bird. Interpretive signage at the park and along the tracks to the zipline launching stations encourage a better understanding of the forest. The design, construction and operation of the ziplines adhere to strong environmental principles with respect to the natural playground that hosts the rides. The ziplines are tethered sturdily to trees which are regularly monitored by independent arborists to ensure their health and all structures are designed to allow trees to grow unrestricted. In addition, all infrastructure and the quality and colours of materials are chosen to integrate into the natural surrounds.

Due to the nature of this unique, world-beating experience, the TreeTop Crazy Rider is not a cheap experience but if you’re looking for a thrilling day out in the bush doing something you and the kids have never down before, this amazing new attraction wins hands down.

* Minimum age for the two TreeTop Crazy Rider ziplines is seven (min 30kg/max 120kg). Also suitable for the disabled. No special ability required – just a sense of fun! The Pioneer ride is $35 for youths (7-17) and $45 for adults and the Xtreme ride is $75 for youths and $85 for adults while a combo ticket is $99 for youths and $109 for adults, Open daily to April 26 then on weekends and during school holidays. Bookings are essential.



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