Dermott Brereton slipped across Bass Strait to Launceston to experience Tasmania's newest tourism venture.
Hollybank Treetops is where visitors glide across treetops for a bird's-eye view of stunning old- and new-growth forests. After a safety briefing, visitors soar over trees and different types of forest. The fantastic mix of tranquillity and adrenaline could be the most exhilarating few hours of their lives.
Visitors are attached by harnesses and glide along cable of spans varying between 14m and 371m. Once attached to the wire, you don't need to do a thing and can reach up to 60km/h. Wires are connected by tree platforms called "cloud stations", about 30m above the forest floor. Guides accompany gliders all the way. Most guides are local residents who've grown up in and around the Hollybank area.
If you take the ride, try to keep your eyes open as you skim across the treetops over Pipers River. You'll be glad you did for the sake of the view.
Following your adventure you can walk to the visitors' centre along a pathway of mature trees which were planted early in the 20th century. You can relax over a drink and snack or picnic or barbecue at one of the sites available.
Just in case you were concerned, platforms are clamped rather than nailed to the trees, so there is minimum impact. The clamps widen as the trees continue to grow.
If you don't fancy flying, there are a wonderful variety of walks to take. Stroll through The Avenue or the longer Walk of Change. A sidetrack leads to the junction of Butchers Creek and Pipers River.
Hollybank Reserve has native and exotic forests. It was one of the earliest private plantations in Tasmania of European trees. One species was planted to obtain wood for the making of cricket bats.
Underwood, 15 minutes from Launceston.
Hollybank Treetops Adventures are $99 for adults and $66 for children. Tours take about three hours and are conducted every day except Christmas Day. Bookings are essential and bus pick-up is available from Launceston.
Prices correct at July 2, 2009.
For further information
Hollybank Treetops Adventures
66 Hollybank Road
Ph: (03) 6395 1390
Until August 31, 2009 Hollybank Treetops Adventures will cost $99 for two and others for $50 each.