FIRST LOOK: Treetop course takes adventure to new level
PLATFORMS are in place, cables are connected and harnesses are handy for adventurers to take their rainforest exploration from the ground to the canopy.
Treetop Challenge Sunshine Coast owners Steve and David Taylor and their team have built about 90 per cent of the courses they expect will feature prominently in the Big Pineapple precinct redevelopment at Woombye.
Their focus is now on renovating the run-down former macadamia nut building on the site into a headquarters and starting point for a network of courses.
The area's unique topography has them confident their course is among the highest in the country, with some points at least 20m above the ground.
"If we built a standard adventure park we could have opened two months ago," Steve said.
"There are not many places in Australia where you can build this high so we decided to take advantage of it."
Some sections of the forest feature three levels of different courses on top of each other which the brothers believe will add to the atmosphere.
David said the courses were designed to cater for a wide range of abilities from easy through to extreme.
"There are really amazing spots where you can see the whole valley," David said.
"We say it is a half-day experience."
When adventurers are done in the canopy they will be able to zipline across a lake back to the Treetop Challenge headquarters.
Are you excited for the new treetop course on the Coast?
This poll ended on 15 February 2019.
Yes, it will be a lot of fun.
No, I'd be too scared to do it.
I'll have to see someone else do it before I give it a go.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"In every hard area there is a way around it," David said.
"Staff are there to let them know about what is the best way through the treetops."
He said his family business, which also includes his parents Max and Julie, had made a "significant" investment in the course.
They already run two other courses at Mount Tambourine and Currumbin.
Steve moved to the Sunshine Coast with six Gold Coast staff members in August to start construction.
It involved using a 45m cherry picker to remove strangler vines from trees that were barely visible when they started work.
"We were dropping guys at the top and they were abseiling down removing the strangler vines," Steve said.
Platforms have been designed so they can be easily expanded as the trees grow.
They are catered to the characteristics of different types of trees.
David said it was in their interests to take the best care possible of the trees supporting their course.
"Trees, at the end of the day, are our product," David said.
He said there were designated tracks on the ground to minimise human impact on the area.
"We don't allow customers just to walk anywhere through the forest."
David said the first stage would be open to customers aged eight years and older when it opened in March.
He said plans for further expansion with a junior course would be put into action after that.
"We feel we are a big component of the overall (redevelopment) master plan," David said.
"It really activates the heritage of the Big Pineapple and brings it into what today's tourism climate is."