Corin Forest

12 Jan

Corin Forest’s reputation precedes it. Skiing in the 1980s; every kid who grew up in Canberra in the 90s went on the bobsled or flying fox then; waterslides; one of the best areas to access to see snow in snow season; site of Corinbank… and then, more recently, an area still full of potential but marred by run-down infrastructure, and then a rockslide, and then… nothing. Corin Forest was closed for some time, until we learned in late December it was reopening with new management. With a growing social media presence, it hits my radar earlier this week, and we schedule in a visit.

I’ve never been to Corin Forest. I’ve no idea what to expect. The first thing to know is that while there’s new management, the focus appears to have been on reopening the site, rather than revamping it first. Some of the signage is dated and infrastructure remains dated; most notably, the hulking dilapidated waterslide sits beside the cafe.

On the way to the entrance

On the way to the entrance

Through the cafe we’re greeted – by the manager? – who asks us how we know about Corin Forest, advises a ‘full lunch’ is being served, and that we can buy tickets for the bobsled in the cafe if we’ve only got card, or up at the bobsled itself if we’ve got cash. We head out the back of the cafe where there are a few seats; the function/restaurant area is still undergoing renovations.

It’s a steep walk to the bobsled area.

Bobsled prices - we buy 6 for $30, which are shared between us

Bobsled prices – we buy 6 for $30, which are shared between us

We buy our tickets and sign a lengthy waiver. While we wait for a family to go ahead of us, we read the instructions.

Detailed!

Detailed!

Despite the details, it’s pretty simple: push forward on the lever to go fast, and pull back to brake. As simple as it is, I have the fleeting thought that I don’t really like these sorts of rides.

Our bobsleds are stored at the back of a shed, and are lifted onto a track.

On we go

On we go

Our first instruction is to push the lever forward, and we’re given a push by the man running the slide. The sleds move on their own a little way, before they’re automatically hooked to a cable which pulls us higher, and higher. This is the most uncomfortable part for me – we’re at a really steep angle, and I’m not exactly sure what to hold onto. Because it’s automatic, there’s no need to hold onto the lever.

The automatic bit starts at the bottom right of the pic

The automatic bit starts at the bottom right of the pic

Away we go - already breaking rules about not facing forward. Oops.

Away we go – already breaking rules about not facing forward. Oops.

Still going - this is more than half way up!

Still going – this is more than half way up!

Waiting at the top. There needs to be 100m between you and the person in front before you take off.

Waiting at the top. There needs to be 100m between you and the person in front before you take off.

Boyfriend on his way

Boyfriend on his way

Boyfriend goes a lot faster than me

Boyfriend goes a lot faster than me

I happily employ the brake all the way on my first go. I take it a lot faster on my second and third attempts.

I happily employ the brake all the way on my first go. I take it a lot faster on my second and third attempts.

Weeee

Weeee

Near the end there are big signs to SLOW DOWN - and enter the shed again at 'walking pace'

Near the end there are big signs to SLOW DOWN – and enter the shed again at ‘walking pace’

A flappy finish... very 90s

A flappy finish… very 90s

Despite my trepidation, it is actually a lot of fun. I’m a little concerned that helmets aren’t offered – the worrier in me thinks a lot can go wrong over 1.2km and speeds of 80k/h. I’ve read elsewhere that the person who used to run the track (the old manager?) would yell a lot through speakers employed over the course, but there’s none of that while we’re there. In fact, all the staff we see are young men.

Here’s a YouTube vid where no brake is employed:

As we leave the bobsled area, there are a lot of families – great to see it so successful after only being open for just over two weeks.

Some families are  making use of the picnic tables; there’s no one using the barbecure for hire. We decide to try out the ‘full lunch’ at the cafe.

I’m still not quite sure what it means. There’s not a great deal on the menu, but I also respect a place which is starting out and testing the water, and not trying to do too much. That said, the menu could do with a proofread, and while there’s ‘Coke etc’, the ‘etc’ doesn’t include Diet Coke or Coke Zero (!). I am devastated.

Menu page one

Menu page one

Menu page two

Menu page two – I do like the ‘vegemite sandwich’!

We both opt for the nachos. While we wait (we’re told they’re being baked ‘fresh’), we’re told that the new management is trying to do a few things, and do them well – so the waterslide is over, and so is the flying fox, but the bobsled will remain, and there’ll be a snow machine in winter. Corin Forest could end up a venue for functions (there’s no mobile coverage!). Corinbank will be held again this year, too. It’s encouraging to hear that they had their best day in terms of attendance yesterday.

Monstrous bowl of nachos

Monstrous bowl of nachos

Our nachos ($10 each) are huge, although interestingly displayed. The bowl’s been in the oven; the sour cream’s probably overly melted, but it’s actually a great dish of nachos.

It’s an interesting experience, and I can’t wait to see what happens next; with the injection of new and enthusiastic management, it can only get better from here (I hope).

Date: Sunday, 12 January 2013

Where: Corin Dam Road, past Gibraltar Falls but befor Corin Dam; the same road where the Square Rock walk is

Cost: $30 for three bobsled rides each, ~$28 for lunch

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile

Want more? It’s open every day in the summer holidays from 10am-4pm. Try Corin Forest’s Facebook page.

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3 Responses to “Corin Forest”

  1. Vanessa Monaghan January 13, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    I’m very glad to hear there is new management. Corin Forest has always been a fantastic place to visit, but it’s been let down by the lack of facilities and services.

  2. Helen January 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    I watched the video of the bobsled (with a fascinated Alice!) and told her I went on that many, many years ago. Such memories. I’m so glad it’s reopened and is looking like it’s going to be good. Can’t wait to go back there!

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  1. Coming Up in 2014 #4 | In The Taratory - July 2, 2014

    […] Piccadilly Circus (on the way to Mt Coree or Mt Gingera) but you do need a 4WD. The folks out at Corin Forest have been doing a superb job keeping everyone updated about road conditions on their Facebook page, […]

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