The Illawarra Fly can be a wild ride or just a stroll in the park, depending on how you make of it. You can either opt to zip your way to the base of the tree top walk or you can just walk there from the ticket office.
We walked it, couple of scaredy cats and we couldn’t afford it. So this activity can also be budget friendly.
We have been planning on doing this walk for quite some time now, but never really got to it. Work can be a drag sometimes.
It looks like a beautiful day for a stroll.
Illawarra Tree Top Walk Video
You can watch the video to see and hear our experience.
Then come back here for more detailed information.
How to get there, where to eat the best pie, and of course the costs.
Illawarra Fly Experience
We got up pretty early to have breakfast and coffee at home. The plan was to leave at 8, but the usual happened(Yen talking too much) and ended up leaving at 9:30 am.
On our way, we only stopped at one place which were selling fruits. I think it was the first rest stop on M31, called the Pheasants Nest. Go to the toilet if you can’t hold it for another 1 hour and a half or so. There aren’t many rest stops with good toilets on the way. You can also buy snacks if the kids are hungry at 7 eleven.
The road from the main highway to the Tree Top Walk was so narrow. It was so narrow that we had us questioning each other if this was a single lane or two. A great care should be taken when driving through turns. I don’t know how a bus full of tourists can navigate it’s way through this narrow road.
-We made it!
Funnily enough there is a bus on the car park. Must have been a great bus driver to get it up here. There are 2 car parks, I think one of them are for staffs only, but there wasn’t any sign saying so. I’m pretty sure you can park in either of them.
We got here at 11ish, which took us an hour and a half. My timing is probably off because my memory is not as fresh but should be around that mark.
Illawarra Tree Top Walk
Where you buy the ticket is the entrance, souvenir shop, cafe and it is also where you exit. The ticket costs are outlined below. Apparently there is a 10% discount when you pay online.
|Ticket||Walk-up Price||Online You Pay|
|Child (4 – 15 years)||$15||From $13.50|
|Family (2 Adults and 2 Children)||$75||$70|
|Concession (NSW Senior or NSW Student)*||$20||N/A|
What is it?
Tree Top Walk is a half kilometer of steel walkway, 30 meters above ground, in a jungle. On that walkway is a tower which is almost 15 meters high. Once you get to the top you are most likely 45 meters above the forest floor. Located on the sides of the walkway are swaying springboards, which felt like a very safe hanging bridge. The walk is 1.5 km in length and will take you 1 – 2 hours, depending on how much you love sight seeing.
- The whole thing weighs about 160 pounds, an equivalent to a Blue Whale.
- It was originally a fire trail, hence no trees were cut down during construction.
- Six men, six months, is what it took to built it.
Illawarra Tree Top Zip Line Tour
If you are the thrill seeker, then you might opt for the zip line tour. Currently, it is the highest in Australia. You zip your way from one tree platform to another with hanging rope bridges to walk on along the way. Watch the video, this girl, probably the age of 14, walking the hanging rope like a boss.
There is a 20% discount if you pay online.
|Ticket||Walk-up Price||Online You Pay|
|Child (4 – 15 years)||$45||From $36|
As previously mentioned, we opted for the walk because we are cheap. Watching the girl cross the hanging bridge with only a harness to stop her from falling straight to the forest floor was quite scary though. So lucky we didn’t do it, ha ha!
Both the zip line and the walk shares the same entrance but for the zip line tour they have to be inducted for safety reasons. This is held in a little room just right after the entrance.
Walking along the path to the Tree Top Walk are some cardboard cutouts where you can stick your face in and take photos. Yeah I don’t know what they are called, anyone?
The path then divides into two, to the left is for people who are just doing the walk and to the right, is for the zip line tour.
Both zip line tour and walking tour will meet up at the base of the Tree Top Walk.
Just before the base is another path for bush walking. There are warning signs saying that there are snakes and leeches along the way and this sign.
What the heck is a Jabberwotky?
The Knights Tower
The walk itself is quite easy, my grandparents can do it. The tower though is a different story. The long, steep, spiraling stairs may have given me a heart attack. It probably took me about a minute to reach the top, it was a struggle.
Once at the top.
I took a brief moment and just appreciated what I was seeing. ‘Straya is beautiful.
Zoom into the distance with a coin operated tower optical and spy on wildlife or bushwalkers below.
It’s a great feeling looking at small things from way up high. Makes me feel big somehow.
-Short man syndrome.
There are more photo opportunity located on each side of the Tree Top Walk by the suspended walkway. Be careful though, it shakes a lot.
Took us about less than 1 hour to complete the walk. I would say you can do this walk in 30 minutes if you are not being touristy like us or just passing by. We took photos, took a break and took in the experience.
At the exit, there is a souvenir shop and a cafe We didn’t buy anything from the shop nor ate at the cafe. Reason being is the famous Robertson Pies is just located down the road. They are famous for, yep, you guessed it, pies.
But, before we go eat the best pies in Sydney, let me highlight some of the other things you can do here in Illawarra Fly.
Other things to do in Illawarra Fly and tips
In addition to the Tree Top Walk and Zip Line Tour, they also offer a guided tour at night, bushwalk yourselves or with a guide.
There is also a Ranger Trail which is an interactive tour mostly for kids, great for families.
Some tips and FAQ
- Book online, you will be saving 10% for the tree top walk and 20% for the zip line tour.
- Family package is available except for the zip line tour.
- For the zip line tour, you must weigh less than 120 kg, on the first trimester of pregnancy and not beyond, must be taller than 105 cm, must be over 4 year old and reasonably fit.
- Prams can be taken into the Tree Top Walk, however it’s not allowed to be taken up to the Knights Tower due to safety precautions.
- It is wheelchair accessible.
- Hail, rain or shine, it’s open.
- Bring water when it’s summer/hot.
- Best time to go is early in the morning or in the afternoon for great photos.
- Best season to go is NOT summer.
- You can go by train or car.
Where to eat
The meat pies here are Yen’s favorite, it is better than most pie places. My favorite is actually atMountain High Pies located near Katoomba. That big breakfast in a meat pie was just so filling and so rich.
This place gets really packed during weekends. This is where group of motorbike riders gather, take a break and have something to eat. Fear not, they are not gang related.
In addition, weekend travelers and tourists drop by here.
It is a cheesecake factory without cheesecakes. What!? Absurd. This place used to be an old cheesecake factory turned cafe.
I was actually expecting to dig into some cheesecakes when we decided to stop by here. Even though we just had some meat pies, our eyes were just too hungry.
I’d recommend their pumpkin soup which is velvety and rich in cheese. It’s not sickeningly cheesy, they balanced it really well.
Robertson Pies and Cheesecake Factory Video
Yummy food, yummy life!