I’m sitting here on terra firma, feet up and laptop on my knees, 3 days after flying through virgin native forests at Rotorua Canopy Tours, trying to think of how I can possibly explain my experience in any way that does it justice.
My legs still have a slight ache from nervously holding them just right so as to not knock the guides off the perch, or to hit my foot on the platform. I search my mind to try and evoke the feeling I felt in the forest and it’s almost like an ache to be back there again in those trees. I struggle for a word to describe it but really there is only one.
A magic that made you forget your fears, stretch your arms out and fall backward of a platform into nothing.
A magic that turned a forest that was silent only 10 years ago, decimated by pests, into a forest full of bird song. Some 280 hectares of forest restored through a portion of sales and the incredible mahi of the team.
A magic that saw you abandon all inhibitions when you flapped your arms and legs like a bird while flying through the trees.
A magic that saw birds fly in to your outstretched palm, Cinderella style, to take a worm.
A magic that takes 10 strangers and bonds them over 3 hours of adventuring through a forest and flying through the canopies.
A magic that for 3 hours made you forget about everything else outside the forest.
A magic that settled in the afterglow of the experience, 10 silent travellers on the way back to base replacing the nervous chatter on the way there.
A magic that means we smile even when launching ourselves down a 220m zip line (and yes, we remembered to look at up that tree).
So, just in case magic is not your thing and you are after a bit more information I thought I’d cover a few of the facts too…
We went to Rotorua Canopy Tours on a girls weekend away with my eldest daughter, two of her best mates and their Mums.
I had no idea what to expect, but what ever it was, this was infinitely better. My 15 year old daughter was so nervous going in to it that we had to look up the FAQ’s to see if they’d let her back out. She ended up going down the last of the 6 zip lines upside down so I guess you could say she definitely got over her fears!
We did the Original Canopy Tour which consisted of 6 zip lines and a couple of swing bridges. There is a bit of walking but it’s all easy stuff and through the most amazing forest.
Prepare to learn a lot about the forest along the way and the awesome conservation efforts of the team. You’ll encounter loads of birds (and happily not many pests) and if you have guides anywhere near as awesome as Harry and Stacey were for us you’ll feel totally at ease before you even get out of the van.
This was a planned adventure, but a lot of the time we just like to leave it all up to chance and get lost! If you are looking to leave it all up to chance and explore in a different way we recommend checking out our range of Getting Lost Games. They’re all made in New Zealand by me (Cat) and my husband James and they can be played anywhere in the world.