I first heard about Acrobranch when a friend of mine told me about her recent family adventure. She had my full attention, the word ‘adventure’ being music to my ears, and by the end of the conversation, I had made a booking to visit our closest branch (they have 6 Nationwide) at the James and Ethel Gray Park in Melrose.
An Outdoor Family Adventure
When the day finally arrived (I had been waiting for it in anticipation), we were delighted by the beautiful natural surroundings and big trees of the park - that feeling of peace which large open spaces generate, almost immediately washing over us. A team of friendly, expert guides greeted us and helped us put on our safety gear while explaining the ins and outs of our chosen activities, namely the Big Zip and the Acro-bungy.
The Safety Station
The Big Zip is a loooong zip line which saw us zooming through the air from one large tree to the next (it was fast!), followed by a shorter zip line back to the ground.
Excitedly climbing up to the Big Zip starting point
The view from the Big Zip
Safely back on my feet, I immediately ran back up to the beginning, eagerly awaiting my second (and third) turn.
Once we had completed the first part of our adventure, the time came to face our fears and we excitedly made our way to the Acro-bungy station. This exhilarating, adrenaline pumping experience has been called the ‘reverse-bungy’, but to me, it looked more like a catapult. There are two straps, each one tied to a tree on one side, and a harness (keeping the thrill-seeker safe) on the other. Once said thrill seeker (in this case, me) is safely strapped in, the acro-bungy basically catapults the person into the air (up to 14m).
John checking that the harness is secure
It was my turn to go first and so the guides took me aside, discreetly weighed me (safety first) and strapped me in. As John, our guide, explained to me what was about to happen, I looked up at the trees (nervously thinking, ‘am I really doing this?’), took a breath, steadily placed my feet on the ground, and gathered my composure (I am a strong, fearless woman after all). ‘Five, four, three, two, one...BUNGY!’, shouted John, and I was up in the air, only to be flung back down almost immediately. My stomach lurched into my chest, the blood was pulsing through my veins, and I laughed! What an experience!
Acrobranch Obstacle Courses for the Family
Obstacle courses in the trees for a fun tree-top experience
After our adventure activities, we decided to walk around the park, freshly brewed coffee in hand. We were impressed by the variety of age- and skill-appropriate obstacle courses (each with their own set of safety-conscious guides) available. I was particularly impressed and intrigued by the Acro-Twigs (ages 3-6) and Monkey-Moves (from aged 7) courses as both of these had trained guides watching over and helping the kids, leaving the parents the freedom to take on their own obstacle course challenge. Seeing the kids in action on these courses made me realise the countless benefits such an activity has for them (read more about that here).
The start of the Acro-Twigs course
While we were there, we noticed a kids party being set up on one of the large picnic benches available. Although there is a tuck-shop on the premises, the parents had brought their own party packs, snacks and food and were enjoying a cup of tea while the kids were having a blast.
Picnic & Braai Spot
This venue offers fantastic picnic and braai spots as it is situated in a large, lush and tranquil park environment. The facility is self-catering, so be sure to bring your own blankets and braai equipment along.
Important to Know
Although there are bathroom facilities available, these are the municipal park bathrooms.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and pack in sunscreen
Acrobranch is a cashless environment
Booking in advance is imperative - you can do this here.
Not all branches offer the same facilities, please, therefore, visit the Acrobranch website to find out about the various branches and the adventure activities on offer.
Acro-bungy is age and weight restricted:
Minimum age: 10 years
Minimum weight: 35kg
Maximum weight: 120kg
A very special thank you to our awesome guides: Pearl, Abraham, Prince and John! You made us feel welcome, comfortable and safe. We cannot wait to return to your amazing venue.
P.S. Have a look at a video of our amazing day:
For more information please visit: Acrobranch