If, like me, you’re an aunty of a 15 year old boy and are tasked with entertaining him for a couple of days, a visit to the shopping mall is not going to cut it. I know this because I tried. Apparently trying on clothes followed by a flat white mixes with yoof like oil and water.
But this will earn you serious Aunty Brownie Points: a trip to Tree Adventures in Woodhill Forest where he can strap on a hard hat, attach a jingly belt of hooks and carabinas to his waist and swing, leap and fly through the trees between 3 and 14 metres overhead.
We arrived at the same time as a class from a local school (goodness, this place is miles from Auckland – past Kumeu and Waimauku) so Jake slunk in on their safety and rules briefing about how to attach one carabina at a time, before chosing a helmet and and harness.
We started on Course 5 (out of 9) so as not be way-laid behind 30 excited 9 year olds who started at #1. You can start anywhere though and each course has varying degrees of difficulty. Aunty followed underneath with a camera and quite often a hand over her mouth at the more gravity defying leaps.
But this is seriously good fun, the park is studded with pine trees and there are courses for kids and adults. All went without a hitch, except for one boy (who I didn’t own) who’d hooked himself to a handrope instead of the wire rope and was left dangling in mid-air requiring a dramatic rescue as the instructor belted through the treetops like Tarzan scooping smaller kids out of the way in front of him. It is actually very safe and I only heard a couple of terrified squeals – usually from the girls as the flying fox hurtled them into a rope net at the end.
You could easily spend 3 hours out here and Course 9 opened only last year which is double the height of the rest. Jake tells me we’re definitely going back.
Bookings essential. Jump here to Tree Adventures or phone 0800 TARZAN or 0800 827 926