Hollybank Treetop Adventures attracts more than 150,000 in ten years

At least 150,000 people have flown over the Lilydale River since Hollybank Treetop Adventures opened.

On Saturday, the adventure-tourism business celebrates its 10th birthday. 

Site manager Jacqui Willis, who has been employed at the site for more than eight years, has watched the business grow and change. 

“It started with just the canopy tours … That is a fully-guided, three-hour tour where you zip from platform to platform through the native forest,” Mrs Willis said. 

“In 2011 we started running the segway tours and in March 2016 we started running the high ropes course.”

The canopy tour, which has the longest span in Australia, has stayed the same, with the other options strengthening the adventure’s brand, Mrs Willis said. 

The site now averages 15,000 to 20,000 people flying through the trees annually and has employed about 80 people since 2007, with just one original staff member remaining. 

“Hollybank had its grand opening in December 2007, but it didn’t actually start running tours until January 2008 because a bit that was integral to the system got lost in the post,” Mrs Willis said. 

Now Hollybank is just one of many adventure-tourism businesses in the state. 

“Adventure tourism has come a long way. I don’t really remember much being around the place when I first started,” Mrs Willis said. 

“There was Tahune, which wasn’t really adventure and Bruny Island Adventure Cruises. Now, you have a lot more of the walking tours, cradle mountain canyoning and a lot more outdoor tourism stuff happening.”

Tourism in the state has also changed, Mrs Willis said. 

“There has definitely been a big increase in the Chinese market coming to Tasmania,” she said. 

“Our tourism numbers, I believe, are also up on last year. We run flat stick over December, January and February and then it dies off.”

As a celebration of its 10 years, Hollybank will also be running a birthday event to recognise 10 summers of canopy tours. 

Mrs Willis is also in the process of organising a reunion of former Hollybank staff.

To be involved in the reunion, contact Hollybank on Facebook, or call the office.