The Illawarra attraction that's hard to beat

MERCURY SERIES - SUMMER DAZE

If you want to see the South Coast in all its glory, then you can't beat the view from the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk.

The 1500-metre walk takes you through beautiful rainforest, up into the treetop canopy and then on to the spiral tower that rises 45 metres above the forest floor.

There are sunrise walks and wet weather challenges, plus a visitor centre and cafe for you to make a day of it.

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But for those with young children, the best thing about the Southern Highlands' attraction is the iFly 4 Kids which runs in school holidays.

This reporter took her young son to the ERTH performance last July, where large and scarily life-like dinosaur puppets entertained a large crowd of kiddies - and their carers.

The format of a petting zoo allowed youngsters to really engage with the "dinosaurs". Indeed those in charge of the puppets made them seem so realistic that I had a tough time replying when my five-year-old challenged: "But you said dinosaurs were eggs-tint".

Tickets quickly sold out for last September's school holiday show, when a snow play space was created on the grounds for four days, including a small two-lane tubing hill and a snowball target throwing area.

And tickets are fast selling for this summer's line-up, which includes a comedy show presented by Wollongong's Circus Monoxide from January 10-14.

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures general manager Neredith Elliott said the school holiday program offered a range of educational, environmental and entertaining shows and activities.

"We've found that our iFly 4 Kids events are incredibly popular, our visitation spikes by 200 per cent during these events, which has very positive flow-on effects for other local businesses," she said.

"(These school holidays) we are thrilled to be working with such a great local theatre company, Circus Monoxide.

"The show is all about Australian fauna and flora, I particularly love the Lyra character as we have so many Lyre birds here at the Fly."

TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS

1. Jamberoo Action Park.

2. The Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk, Robertson.

3. Nan Tien Temple, Berkeley.

4. Symbio Wildlife Park, Helensburgh.

5. Skydive the Beach, North Wollongong.

6. Minnamurra Rainforest.

7. Balloon Aloft, Camden.

8. Science Centre and Planetarium, North Wollongong.

9. Hangdog Climbing Gym, Wollongong.

10. Wollongong City Raceway, Kembla Grange.

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