Picture yourself tramping through the forest following the guides, your safety harnesses, straps and buckles clanking and jangling. One by one, the group climbs the ten steps to a 2-metre-high platform. The kids take off first, flying towards the nearest ‘cloud station’. They scream with exhilaration as the ground drops away beneath them. A moment later, you follow. Any fears are swept aside by the magical sensation of flying. You are gliding through the treetops and it’s like nothing you have experienced before.
■ Checking out your photos at the visitor centre before you leave. You cannot take your own cameras on the trip, but the guide takes photos of highlights of your experience and these will be ready for you to purchase if you wish.
■ Exploring Hollybank Forest Reserve. Hollybank was one of the earliest private plantations in Tasmania, and some of the European trees planted here were for wood to make cricket bats. The deciduous trees are very picturesque in autumn. There are various walking trails, as well as space to run around – or play a game of cricket.
The full length of the cable adventure is almost one kilometre and once your pulley is attached to the wire it cannot be removed from the cable until you finish your ride approximately one-and-a-half hours later! However, you do have stops along the way, so the journey is broken up into spans ranging from 15 to 400 metres. (The first is a short one.) You travel from heights of 4 to 50 metres above the ground.
■ It is imperative to check in 15 minutes before your confirmed tour time.
■ The guides on this zip-line tour are expert at calming people who are afraid of heights.
■ The harnesses are designed to provide the sensation of sitting in a big seat – you don’t even need to hold on.
■ Each group has two guides and is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.
■ There are six ‘cloud stations’ where you stop and rest en route.
■ The tour lasts up to three hours including harnessing up, safety checks, training on a simulator and a short walk through the forest to and from the course.
■ Every child under 13 must be accompanied by an adult guardian, and kids less than 8 years old (or lighter than 36 kilograms) are required to ‘fly’ in tandem with an adult.
■ Loose objects such as jewellery, watches, hats and mobile phones need to be removed. There are secure lockers for storage.
■ Wear enclosed, comfortable sports or hiking shoes. In winter you’ll need warm clothes and a weather-proof jacket.
■ There are barbecue and picnic facilities, and a kiosk selling snacks.
■ A bus shuttle is available from Launceston (extra cost).