Take the kids for a walk in the tree tops

There’s something particularly exciting about a tree top walk. It’s as if you are travelling on another plane, suspended amongst the leaves and privy to the secret life of birds.

I spotted an incredibly beautiful, almost delicate, forest path designed by architect Tetsuo Kondo and located in the Kadriorg Park near Tallinn, Estonia. It’s magical – I know my kids would love weaving through the trees, suspended above the ground. Unfortunately the path was a temporary installation (plus we’re not planning a trip to Estonia anytime soon!) but it did make me think about other tree top walks closer to home.

There are a number of incredible tree top walks in Australia, some located in World Heritage forests and others boasting some of the biggest and tallest trees in the world.

The first is the amazing Valley of the Giants in Western Australia (shown below). Located four-and-a-half hours south of Perth at the Walpole-Nornalup National Park, the Valley of the Giants includes an awesome lightweight bridge, perched forty metres above the forest floor as well as the Ancient Empire Walk, a boardwalk through an impressive grove of ancient, enormous tingle trees. Kids will be awed by the size and age of the trees, some with trunks up to sixteen metres in circumference and some more than four hundred years old!

Enjoy spectacular sunrises from a great height at New South Wales’ Illawarra Fly (shown below). Located an hour-and-a-half from Sydney, the Illawarra Fly is a steel canopy walk (making it safe and suitable for all ages) stretching five hundred metres through the Southern Highlands rainforest. Cap off your visit with a forty-five metre climb up Knights Tower for stunning views of the surrounding valleys.

Meander amongst ancient fig trees and lush rainforest at Queensland’s Booyong Boardwalk and O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, located near Canungra, less than two hours south of Brisbane (shown below). The one-and-a-half kilometre walk is made up of a series of suspension bridges and features an exciting platform, accessed by ladders, perched thirty metres above ground in a fig tree. The timber boardwalks and bridges are easily traversed with prams (our own writer Nikki did it with a big clunky three-wheeler) while older kids will love the opportunity to scramble up the ladders to the crow’s nest in the tree-top, taking in views of the World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park.

From Queensland’s rainforest to Tasmania’s cool tall eucalypt forest, the Tahune Airwalk offers incredible views of the Tahune State Forest, home to the earth’s tallest flowering plant, the Eucalypts regnans, breathtaking swinging bridges and an incredible cantilever set high over the confluence of the Huon and Picton Rivers. The Tahune Airwalk is south-west of Hobart and has a range of forest walks suitable for all abilities (shown below).

Tahune Airwalk Tasmania

Finally, in Victoria, head to the beautiful Otway rainforest for the Otway Fly Treetop Walk (below). The two kilometre rainforest walk includes a six hundred metre long and thirty metre high steel tree-top canopy walk that’s apparently the longest and tallest walkway of its type in the world. Children will particularly enjoy the Prehistoric Path, with a dinosaur around every corner!

 

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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