In May 2014, we had a long weekend thanks to Children’s Day, so we took the chance to rent a car to head over to Daegu for some obstacle courses, the east coast for beach camping, and then hiked some mountains with at least ten waterfalls, but who’s counting?
This is an article written up for the Gwangju News. Enjoy!
Enduring winters that leave people cooped up for months encourage many people to take advantage of Korea’s outdoor activities when it warms up. There are limitless ways to enjoy a nice day, from hiking mountains to lounging at the beach. One of the lesser-known activities is completing an obstacle course with ziplines. And indeed, there are a few places with eco-adventures sprinkled around the country. This article will focus on the adventures that Herb Hillz offers in the southern tip of Daegu.
Herb Hillz is an eco-park that provides entertainment for visitors of all ages and can be enjoyed at any time of the year. The attractive park stimulates all of your senses. As you walk around, inhale deep breaths of the fresh herbal scents lingering throughout outdoors, but watch out for the not-so-fresh zoo animal smells. Let your taste buds dance as you devour foods like pizza and cookies made by your very hands in on-site cooking classes. Some of the ingredients are grown locally, right in the park. Then, wash it down with teas like peppermint and jasmine from leaves also picked in the area.
Besides cooking classes, Herb Hillz offers craft classes to learn how to make products from herbs like soap and candles. If you do not wish to spend the extra money, visitors can simply enjoy a scenic stroll around the large park. There are gardens, both herbs and flowers, planted all throughout the area. It is a lovely way to spend a leisurely afternoon outside of the city, and this location is especially appealing to children.
The main attraction for adult visitors, however, is the eco-adventure. There are six options available, ranging from the Monkey course (for children) to King Kong (advanced), with medium-leveled courses aptly named Chimpanzee, Gorilla and Orangutan. The courses wrap around the park so you can explore the area by walking, crawling and flying above it.
If you would like to participate in an obstacle course, simply pay the fee at the ticket box. Admission costs 20,000 won for both entrance to the park and the obstacle course. When you arrive at the eco-adventure area, you will first try on the equipment: a harness, helmet, gloves and some carabineers. A safety guide will provide instructions on how to use the gear and facilitate brief practice rounds. After that, you are on your own and left to complete the entire obstacle course around the park as you wish.
Our group opted for the King Kong course because it is the longest one with the most diverse obstacles. The 470 meter-long course takes about 40 minutes to complete and consists of 15 different obstacles, four of them being speedy ziplines.
The first task is to pull yourself up a rock climbing wall. If you are afraid of heights, do not look down! Next, carefully hook yourself in and zipline over to another station. Peer at the tiny crowds below as you briskly traverse a zipline that consumes your senses. Later, you must travel from tree to tree with only two taut wires—one for carefully walking and one for your hands. Another task has you walk across thin ladder rungs while supporting yourself with hanging ropes. One of my favorite tasks brought back childhood memories of fast food playgrounds. It includes a big net that you must crawl through to reach the next station.
The variety of tasks in the obstacle course kept us entertained for over an hour as we took our time to enjoy the views. Sometimes activities like these can be underwhelming for me, but I was highly satisfied with the adventure.
Even though our group felt safe and confident with our fitness levels, we were a little surprised to be allowed to complete the entire course by ourselves. Be sure to exercise caution at each station and remember the safety procedures taught at the beginning.
Each course varies based on your fitness level (and your guts), so I would highly recommend giving Herb Hillz eco-adventure a try for an invigorating challenge or just to do something new!
For more information, visit HerbHillz.com.