Fitzroy Falls and Tree Climbs

Clipped to a steel cable I looked six metres down, struggling to get the zigzag planks to stand still long enough to let me cross. It was only the first of ten.

It’s school holidays and B rarely wants to stay home. After agonising over a range of options we’ve headed south. I’m driving, a rare role for me.

I’ve got the GPS set for the Kangaroo Valley as we drive the M5. Following its instructions we make a turn-off at Mittagong and end up driving along narrow rural roads over rolling hills and past pretty hedge lined farms, wondering if we are lost.

Eventually we meet again the main road we turned off, possibly a case of a GPS placing distance over practicality, following it until we come across the sign for Fitzroy Falls. There we turn off, not knowing what we will find.

The waterfall, located in the Morton National Park, cascades down a sheer sandstone cliff before disappearing into a hidden creek below. We walk the West Rim trail until the Twin Falls lookout (barely flowing) and, along the way, are treated to spectacular views down the valley. A number of shrubs and trees are labelled and there are signs describing indigenous culture along the way.

Fitzroy Falls is definitely a place we’d like to take international visitors to in future.

The nearby general store sells scrumptious meat pies and sausage rolls that were surprisingly filling.

Next stop had to be Nowra because we had a booking to make.

The road was steep and winding with more spectacular views had I been able to do more than focus on the road ahead. We didn’t stop at Kangaroo Valley, with its visitor crowds, but we did cross the Hampden Bridge.

When we finally pulled up at the Shoalhaven Zoo we took one of the last remaining car parks.

We weren’t there for the zoo, but for the Trees Adventure aerial obstacle course.

If you’ve read this blog in any detail you’ll know that I’m a chicken, but this time I paid my fee to join Alex and B in the trees and put on the helmet, gloves and harness. After waiting for another family to return after quitting I climbed that ladder to join the other two. I put my feet out on to the zigzag wooden slats suspended in the air and…

I couldn’t go through with it. Waves of vertigo washed over me. If I couldn’t cope with this, what about the nine others waiting ahead?

Sadly I climbed back down with the assistance of a guide (you can’t unclip yourself in reverse) and handed in my equipment.

Meanwhile Alex and B were so brave, completing one green and one blue course, ziplining, cliff walking, stepping on dangling posts. They did an amazing job.

I got to watch, which was way more fun than watching at an amusement park.

After that our time was up and I drove us home along the same route we’d taken almost a couple of weeks before on a birthday trip to Berry.

We stopped at Penshurst to try an Indonesian restaurant B had read about, but discovered it closed for the school holidays. So we drove to adjacent Hurstville instead where we rediscovered that Sichuan cuisine really is too hot for two out of three of us (Alex being the exception).

Like me in the trees, at least we tried.