This is the most common response when we tell people we’re off to the Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthurs Seat. I’m not quite sure what to expect myself, so I just respond that it’s some kind of high ropes adventure course.
“Should be a bit of fun,” I muse.
I’m blissfully unaware of how much of an understatement this is.
We’re called in and fitted with harnesses, then our friendly instructor leads us to the start of our adventure. Here we’re given an induction on how everything works and how to keep ourselves safe, and then she watches each person in our group complete a very short and easy (and close to the ground) practice course, before setting us off on our adventure.
Surrounded by native bushland, a staircase structure leads into the tree-tops. At the base of the stairs, we need to select a steel cable to hook onto with the pulley attached to our harness. Each cable from 1 to 5 is a different level of difficulty, so naturally, we start with Level 1.
When we hook on there’s no turning back. We climb the stairs and find ourselves at our first obstacle. It’s just a few metres above the ground but our lizard-brains are already telling us that death is imminent. One by one, we cautiously cross the bridge to the next tree platform, holding onto our pulley ropes so tightly they might as well be umbilical cords.
The second obstacle is a similar bridge, but the steps are spaced out unevenly and with greater distances between them. This is just a small taste of what’s to come.
Level 1 tests us all physically and mentally for the next 15 minutes or so, but this is just the beginning. Over two hours we take on all five levels. Each one has over 50 obstacles and finishes with a zipline (ranging from 40 to 100 metres long), which we all agree is our favourite part of every level. My other favourite is the Tarzan swing on level 4, where we jump off a 10-metre-high platform and swing into a cargo net.
The “Grand” tree surfing experience is one of the most popular at the Enchanted Adventure Garden, but although it’s very busy on the day of our visit, it doesn’t really feel that way. We never feel pressured to move faster through the obstacles and we’re so caught up in our own experience that we barely notice the other visitors.
Our kids (who are 9 and 11) struggle with a few of the obstacles and need some coaxing to overcome their fear of heights, but at the end of the day, they’re proud of themselves for completing the whole challenge. This is a definite must-do outing whether you have children or not.
While you’re visiting the Mornington Peninsula, you should probably check out some of the area’s spectacular beaches and visit it’s pretty seaside towns for some lunch.
Need to Know
Getting There: The Enchanted Adventure Garden is at 55 Purves Road, Arthurs Seat. It’s about an hours drive from Melbourne, via Eastlink and Peninsula Link. After Dromana, take the Arthurs Seat exit and head up the hill, turning right into Purves Road.
Rules & Inclusions:
- You must be over 135cm tall and under 120kg to ride.
- There is a 2-hour time limit for completing the course.
- Wear enclosed toe flat-soled shoes. No skirts or dresses. Activewear is recommended.
- Under 18s must be accompanied and supervised by an adult. The adult does not have to take part in Tree Surfing but must pay for General Admission to Enchanted Adventure Garden.
- Tree Surfing admission includes all day entry to Enchanted Adventure Garden, including the beautiful gardens, mazes, tube slides, canopy walk and more.
Have you been Tree Surfing at the Enchanted Adventure Garden? Got it on your bucket list? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.
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