We all have fears, some irrational, some not. One of mine has always been a fear of heights. I am fine in enclosed spaces like on planes (and that’s a relief since I just did a 13+ hour flight to Australia a few months back). But being outside and dangling from ropes with nothing underneath me?! Well, let’s just say that the idea left me scared shitless. At the same time, I didn’t want to be the only one sitting this adventure out so I put on my best pokerface and climbed in the van headed for the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest in the world!
When we arrived at Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours, our first order of business was to pick out a helmet. Safety first! We each grabbed the one that most closely matched our likenesses: Kat went with Cat Woman, Gala took Tank Girl and I grabbed…Mini Me. Haha. Next, we were strapped into full body harnesses which made us walk like we were wearing very stiff diapers. Glamorous!
After hiking a quarter of a mile up to the platforms, we were given a safety talk. You can bet I hung on every last word of what our instructor said! With a total of 5 platforms, you’re given the opportunity to take in a bird’s eye view of both the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. It’s the only place in the world where two World Heritage sites bump up next to each other!
As you can see, I was a little apprehensive on the first run. The tour guides could sense it and made every effort to fill me with fear. And being gullible, I believed it all! When we were instructed to wear comfortable clothing, I figured that it was still an opportunity to be stylish. Maybe to impress a few monkeys? Who knows. I wore a Vogue shirt, Forever 21 windowpane leggings and Zara motorcycle boots. Hey, you’re only going to live once so you might as well overdress every opportunity you get!
Gala and Kat were much more zen about the whole concept of flying through the trees attached to a pulley system.
Me? Not at all. There I am, sizing up the next platform.
Can you spot me up there? As the we moved along to each platform, a new twist was introduced. On one, we were flung down the line as fast as we could possibly go, only to be stopped a split second before we hit the wall. Ahhhh! And on the final platform, we flipped upside down and inched along with no hands. I managed to do that one and it was pretty magical — I felt like a superhero. Did I mention that this all took place on Halloween?!
We were rewarded for surviving our jungle surfing adventures with three scoops of tropical fruit-laced ice cream (including wattle seed!) at Daintree Ice Cream Company.
I don’t have a so-called bucket list and needless to say, jungle surfing was never on my radar of things to do. But looking back, I am so glad I did it. Facing those fears and just going for it leaves you feeling exhilarated and thinking, “Wow, that wasn’t so bad after all.” If you ever get the chance, just go do it! If I can, you can. Truly.
Location: Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours.
Photos: Janneke Storm.
Special thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland for making this post possible.