Guest post by Mary Somervell of Auckland Based Inside Out Adventures – offering some great trips for women
The ferry docks at Matiatia wharf on Waiheke Island and a courtesy van is there to meet us. Gavin takes us on a mini tour of the island with a photo stop at Palm Beach before we arrive at the Trig Hill base. What a superb location – the second highest point on the island. A millionaire’s helipad would not be out of place in a spot like this – majestic views across the island and the Hauraki Gulf and our first glimpse of the native forest below.
Becks and Morgan are our guides for today’s zip lining (flying fox) experience. We are quickly kitted up with harnesses individually set up to fit like a glove. We can see this is a seriously safety conscious operator!
Any butterflies about what lies ahead are swatted away by the relaxed banter of the guides. We are escorted to the platform for our first of three zipline rides. Pairs are selected to ride in tandem on parallel lines. Becks leads the way solo to await us at the end of the first run. Morgan is very reassuring, talking us through what to expect on the descent before we are positioned on the launch pad.
Each zipline ride is 200 metres in length. The course has been carefully designed so we graduate from shorter easier slopes to steeper faster ones. My 1st ride over a picturesque vineyard is exhilerating fun. On the 2nd run my rope grip is less rigid and I’m more relaxed taking in the native forest canopy below. They save the best to last – we zing down the line for the 3rd time – all over too soon.
Our interpretive bush walk through regenerating bush makes the whole experience more special. Our friendly guides point out interesting native species and share amusing anecdotes about the island’s history. It is delightfully quiet and peaceful listening to the tuis and wood pigeons as we meander back up the track. The day I was there we needed to watch our footing after recent heavy rains left some sections mushy underfoot. No real problem – our trusty guides had dropped fern branches to soak up the worst of the wet.
If you like the idea of combining an adrenalin buzz with experiencing the breathtaking beauty of Waiheke from a whole new perspective, the EcoZip Adventures experience is certainly worth a go.
What do you think – tempted to give it a try?