The Crazy Ride Express
The world's fastest rollercoaster zip line which sets riders suspended above ground by a harness flying through the air at speeds of up to 50kms an hour has officially opened in Sydney's west. Video supplied by TreeTops Adventure Park.
Daredevils who love the thrills of zip lining and the spills of rollercoasters – yes, you know the type – will be delighted to hear the two experiences have been combined in Sydney's latest adrenaline-pumping ride, The Crazy Rider Xpress at TreeTops Western Sydney.
I'm far from a thrill-seeker, but the chance to be one of the first to try this new attraction becomes a personal challenge. Who knows, I may love it? Though I'm doubtful.
Located about an hour's drive west of the CBD, and nestled within local parklands, I pass families happily picnicking in the sun and enjoying a friendly game of cricket in the adjoining parks as I make my way to the TreeTops entrance. All completely oblivious to the human bundle of nerves strolling past.
My heart rate is measuring 110 beats per minute on my Fitbit as I reach the reception desk. Once the waivers are signed (without looking too closely at the small print – I'm nervous enough as it is) and all jewellery removed including my wedding ring (till death do us part, eh?) I'm strapped into my harness, a helmet is firmly placed on my head and a pulley device thrust into hands. A short walk through the bushland takes me to the take-off platform – there's no turning back now.
While the zip line is suspended above the ground, I'm relieved to see the drop below isn't a terrifying height. Though fear must still be clearly written on my face, as the attendant jollies me with his catchphrase, "Don't panic, it's organic" as he pushes me from the platform.
The takeoff is smooth but the jitters kicks in about three seconds into the ride as I make the first turn. The slow-ish start quickly turns into speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour and a 2.3 G-force. To put that in perspective, astronauts experience 3 G-force when launching from Earth. Houston, we have a problem, this is not my idea of fun!
The 500-metre ride has me skimming scarily close to surrounding trees and branches, and I tuck my arms in close to my body and try to keep my legs stretched out straight in front, so I don't become quite literally one with nature. But these botanical obstacles pale compared to the panic I feel doing 360-degree loops, and one particular drop that has my stomach lurch to my throat then return rapidly down to what feels like beyond.
The ride claims to be the fastest zip line in the world, and as I land at the finish line, my wobbly legs will attest to that. But strangely, as much as I wanted it to all be over when I was on the ride, the rush feels good and I'm contemplating going again for round two. I may not be a born daredevil, but after this shot of adrenaline, I can feel a thrill-addiction kicking in.
Fear factor: High
Fun factor: Even higher.
Riders of the Xpress need to be more than 25 kilograms and less than 120 kilograms.
Pricing for the Crazy Rider Xpress: Adults (18 plus) – $35; and, Youth up to 17 years – $25. Discounts are available when packaged up with the TreeTops Adventure Park challenges.
For further Crazy Rider information: treetops.com.au
The writer visited as a guest of TreeTops Adventure Park.