We awoke to the thundering roar of unusual Australian weather. The Tree Top Adventure Park had told us they would run their tours rain or shine and unless there was extreme thunder and lightning we were to meet them at ten thirty in the morning. Not having very many warm clothing options all the kids pulled whatever they could manage to layer up with out of their luggage. No one was concerned about style or matching our clothes we just tried to have closed toed shoes and long pants. We were told this was not normal for them to have such an endless down pour and the locals were celebrating because they were in great need of moisture for the plants and soil. Eli really had hopes of being able to do the adult course but knew he was probably a bit too short. He borrowed my higher runners and wondered if that might make a difference. Teyauna could not sleep the night before because she was so excited to finally learn to ‘fly’ .
All nine of piled into our eight passenger van and took our google maps instructions and set off with confidence. The rain only seemed to increase as we began our journey. The instructions told us it should take about about 50 min. to get to our destination. After an hour and a half of driving we realized we had taken a few too many wrong turns. Once again we silently wished our gps was working and as dad stopped (finally) at a gas station to get directions I stocked up on snacks. I could tell we would be in the car for a little while longer and I knew food+ kids make car rides more peaceful. After calling the Adventure Park and telling them that we would be there soon we started back on the road.
What I did not know then was that it would take us a total of three hours to finally arrive. As any mom out there can attest, the snacks ended up being my life saver. I guess we are better navigators on sea than on land. After passing the entrance twice we finally made our way into the Tree Top Adventure Park. Although we were relieved and ready to move around I noticed a slight hesitation before everyone tumbled out of the squishy vehicle. The rain was behaving like a cold tropical rain storm with no signs of letting up.
We were greeted enthusiastically when the guides finally got us under cover. We could tell by the empty parking lot that there were not many other adventurers out on this stormy day. When we asked about it they smiled and told us most Aussies are not too eager to play in the rain. One of the guides was Canadian and spotted our accents right away. Even for the West Coast of Canada this weather was heavy but we had spent three hours getting here and the kids were eager to see what games up in the Austrtalian trees were like. Norm took the older four kids and they did the adult course. I stayed behind with Teyauna and Eli. As they suited up Zak stayed warm inside my jacket clinging to me like a Koala bear. Rain poured down and still the kids were eager. One thing that made it easier for the younger kids was that they made the whole course so the kids did not have to clip and unclip because of the continuous course. I was worried for Teyauna because she is so short and I thought she would be afraid of heights but before long she was balancing on all the boards and rope bridges. I knew Eli was a bit disappointed to have been an inch too short for the adult course.
He mastered the course before his sister but true to his nature he waited for her every time and even rescued her when her foot got stuck on a net bridge. Together they faced the first flying fox or zip line as we called it. He was a pro but she was so nervous. It it took her a full five minutes of his coaching before she finally let go and flew through the air. I could hear him cheering her on the whole time. Even in the rain I ventured out with Zak to take pictures. I missed it the first time she whizzes through the trees on the flying fox but the second time around she was all smiles and confidence and I got video clips of her finally realizing her dream of being able to fly.
The older kids came back not too. Much after us. The were soaked to the bone but had huge smiles as they got out of their wet gear. The trip back to our hotel was much shorter and we laughed at the many retellings of all our adventures in the Australian tree tops.