Tree top walks
The following two access travel reports are first hand accounts from AQA Victoria members.
Tahune Forest Airwalk - Tassie
by Peter Lloyd
The next time you visit Tasmania for your holidays and would like to do something different that won't empty your wallet; you might consider a visit to the Tahune Airwalk.
Situated about 50 kms south of Hobart you'll come to Geeveston, turn right and about another 20 kms will see you there. If you give yourself plenty of time just getting there is worth the drive. The road traverses the Huon Valley and there are many historic sites and antique shops that will augment your day out.
The Airwalk is open daily from 9am to 5pm except for Christmas Day and during unsafe weather conditions. Facilities for people with disabilities are very good as far as access goes. There are good accessible toilets and the visitor centre includes a licensed café and retail sales. For the able-bodied, you have the option of an interpretive guided walk as well. If you're touring the State in a campervan or using a tent there is a very good camping area which you can use as a base to discover many of the other delights in the area.
The only disappointment I had during my visit (and this is purely personal) was the Airwalk it self. Whilst I've never been to the Airwalk in Northern Queensland, I have seen it many times on television so in some way I was conditioned to expect something similar. In comparison, it's very short so don't expect to take an hour to get to the end and return (if you don't stop on the way). In spite of this, don't let that put you off. What it lacks in distance it makes up for the enjoyment of being above the canopy of the rain forest.
One thing you must remember. The Forestry Depatment provides golf buggies to anyone who can transfer making it very easy to get around. If you can't transfer and need to stay in your electric wheelchair, contact one of the park staff and they will allow you to drive up to the Visitor Centre where it's a lot easier to alight and start your outing.
For further enquiries:
Phone: (03) 6297 0068
Website: Forestry Tasmania - Tahune tree walk
The Otway Fly - Victoria
The Otway Fly is located 500 metres above sea level and is perched high in the rainforest tree tops of Victoria's Otway Ranges.
The walkway provides a unique walk within the canopy of the exquisitely beautiful beech myrtle forest and provides you with an all year round experience. In summer you can escape the heat of the coast. In winter you can experience the enigmatic mists enhancing the beauty of the forest.
It is the longest and highest walk of its kind in the world. "The Fly", which commences at the visitor centre, is a 600 metre long 25 metre high steel trussed tree top walk that ascends at a gentle grade through a magnificent stand of cool temperate rainforest featuring Myrtle Beech, Blackwood and Mountain Ash.
While it is suitable for all ages, the walk has limited mobility access and some steep gradings. There is some assistance available and if needed, although you need to phone to arrange this prior to your arrival.
The visitor centre subtly introduces you to this amazing rainforest, whilst providing gourmet food, beverages, wine and the opportunity to relax and gently absorb the rich beauty that surrounds you.
The Otway Fly Tree Top Walk is located in rainforest adjacent to the Otway's premier waterfall destination Triplet Falls. It is directly accessible from Phillips Track and is 15 minutes' drive from Lavers Hill, 45 minutes from Apollo Bay and 40 minutes from Colac. Travelling time from Melbourne via the Princess Highway is 2.5 hours. Travelling time via the Great Ocean Road is 3.5 hours.
For further enquiries:
Phone: (03) 5235 9200
Free Call: 1800 300 477
Website: Otway Fly tree walk
About AQA Victoria
AQA provides support and services for people with spinal cord injury and similar physical disabilities, including a valued information/peer support service aimed at assisting it's members to gain maximum independence and community access. The two reports above were first published in the AQA News Link newsletter.
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