Do you enjoy facing your fears?
How does taking a 150-foot plunge towards the Nanaimo river sound? Or how about traversing obstacles at 60-feet off the ground?
I am most definitely NOT an adrenaline junky, but I have done both of the above, plus a few more crazy adventures while at the Nanaimo WildPlay Element Park and lived to tell you about it!
Hopefully this article will convince you to unleash your wild side at WildPlay!
First, let me tell you a bit more about what WildPlay is…
The short answer is, WildPlay is an aerial adventure and zipline park that offers activities of every intensity. Read on for more details.
There are three self-paced Adventure Courses that require you to navigate over and through log ladders, cargo nets, rope swings, tightropes, swinging logs, wobbly bridges, and many more challenging surprises, all while gradually getting higher and higher off the ground.
- The Classic Course allows participants to choose what levels to experience after they’ve completed the first level, for a maximum of two hours of anywhere in the trees. There are 57 games and 13 ziplines in three levels of progressive intensity that climbs up to 50ft high.
- If you think the Classic Course isn’t challenging enough for you, then add on the Extreme Course. This will give you another 12 games and 4 ziplines and climbs up to 60-feet high. The obstacles on this course will surely test your strength, endurance, and balance.
- The Kids Course offers 18 games and 6 bumple zips that climb up to 15 feet high. They get to do the course twice around, and it takes approximately 45 – 90 minutes to complete. The Kids Course is suitable for ages 5 – 12.
I can attest from personal experience that the Classic Course is more than enough of a challenge. But if you think you’d like to push yourself even further then the Extreme Course is definitely worth it.
Enjoy the thrill of a 900ft open-air ride at 100-feet above the Nanaimo River. A guide will clip your harness to each of the taught ziplines and send you whizzing on your way. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.
If you can keep your eyes open, it’s definitely a spectacular way to see your surroundings!
This adventure takes approximately 20 – 40 minutes to complete.
What’s to Fear Jump (WTF! Jump)
Jump from a 40-foot perch onto the soft earth below! This one looks and sounds easier than it really is. You would think after completing both a bungy jump and the two adventure courses, the WTF jump would be a walk in the park. However, for some reason, I backed out several times before actually being able to jump off the ledge.
If dipping your toe into exhilarating adventures is something you are after, this one is a great starting point.
Strap your ankles into a massive elastic rope and plunge headfirst towards the Nanaimo River from 150-feet above! Doesn’t that sound like fun?
It doesn’t to me, yet this is exactly what I did! As I was standing at the top of the bridge looking down I definitely had a sick feeling in my stomach at the thought of what I was about to do. I ended up having to ask the attendee to push me off the ledge, for fear was holding me back from doing it on my own. Once at the bottom, though, the sense of accomplishment was more than worth the fear!
Do you have what it takes?
There are now sixteen Bungy Jump styles in six levels of difficulty to try.
It’s just like a regular swing…only you are 150 feet up in the air and soaring through a natural rock canyon at 140 km/h. But really, what’s so scary about that?
The Primal Swing is the only adventure I have yet to try at WildPlay. I guess I have reason to go back!
Completing any of the adventures at WildPlay makes you feel as if you have achieved something pretty darn special. It is without a doubt one of the most exhilarating and challenging (both mentally and physically) things one can do.
Don’t believe me?
Every year, the 6 parks across North America encourage over 50,000 people to get outside their comfort zone, face a fear (or two), and reap the benefits of overcoming mental and physical obstacles.
50,000 people per annum can’t be wrong!
We are lucky enough to have two WildPlay Parks on Vancouver Island!
The Nanaimo location opened in 2006 (the original WildPlay), and has the most elements available in one place (includes all of the above-mentioned elements). It can be found at 35 Nanaimo River Road.
The Victoria location opened in 2009 and offers the three Adventure Courses, as well as the What’s to Fear Jump. It can be found at 15-1767 Island Highway.
If you don’t live on the Island, there are three other WildPlay Parks across Canada (and one US park located in NY).
Please check the WildPlay Element Parks website for further details.
So, have I convinced you to unleash your wild side at WildPlay?
Things to Know Before You Go
- You will need to sign your life away (AKA: waivers)
- Bring a heavy wallet (these adventures aren’t cheap!)
- Book the adventure before you go (either online or by calling toll-free 1-855-595-2251)
- Get one of their ‘bundles’ for a price reduction
- These adventures are perfect for any kind of celebration or occasion – a milestone birthday, stag or stagette, team-building for businesses, etc.
- There are restrictions on age, height and weight for each adventure, so make sure to check the website for further details
- Chaperones are required for kids 13 years and under
- You must be wearing sturdy, closed-toed shoes for the majority of the adventures
- Dress for the weather, but also consider wearing close-fitting clothing for ease of use
- Long hair must be tied back
- Bring water with you to the park, but not while you are on the adventures (they have water stations set up for your use)
- Bring a camera only if you have a pocket it will fit in. The less you have to worry about the better!
- Leave your sunglasses in your car! I made the mistake of wearing mine while on the Adventure Course, and I was sweating so much they kept slipping off my nose. You are in the trees, for the most part, so a lot of the adventures are shady anyway.
- Bring a snack or lunch for afterwards (unless you want to pay for one at the office) and utilize their picnic tables
- Be brave and have fun!
If you have ever experienced a WildPlay Element, I’d love to hear about it! Share your experience in the comments below.
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