One of the most quintessential activities for families on holiday, a visit to a theme park offers an adrenaline packed outing. Australia’s theme parks are constantly reinventing themselves, catering for the thrill-seekers in the family as well as hosting a variety of entertaining attractions for the little ones. Here are BHR’s favourite amusement and adventure parks for all ages.
#1 SEA WORLD, GOLD COAST
Based in Australia’s theme park hotspot- the Gold Coast, Sea World ticks all the right boxes for marine lovers and those looking for a bit of an adventure. Even better than visiting an aquarium, all your favourite sea creatures can be found from dolphins to penguins, to the more alarming sharks and sting rays. If you are eager to get up close and personal, then you can snorkel in Sea World’s Sea Reef Lagoon alongside harmless sea creatures, getting a unique glimpse into their underwater world. If you don’t want to get wet there are still plenty of opportunities for a pat and photo moment, like Seaworld’s “Meet the Dolphin”, available to adults and children 4 and up.
For a thrill-based flume ride, be sure to check out the new Storm Coaster where you face 20 metre waves on dry land on Coastal Rescue boats, travelling up to 70 kilometres per hour. Children under the height restrictions of 110 centimeters can still join in the fun, if they are accompanied by an adult.
#2 JAMBAROO RECREATION PARK
A popular destination for families during warmer months, Jamberoo Recreation Park is a convenient hour drive south of Sydney or only 20 minutes from coastal city Wollongong. Parents can relax on 40 hectares of parklands and landscaped gardens or join kids on some dazzling water slide rides at this much-loved water themed park. Already boasting the largest Aqua play structure in the Southern Hemisphere, this year the park is unveiling “The Perfect Storm”- the tallest, longest and fastest water slide. With mountain toboggans and free car parking on site, there’s really no excuse not to visit.
#3 ADVENTURE WORLD, PERTH
Located in Bibra Lake which is 20 kilometres from Perth’s CBD, Adventure World is opened during the city’s warmer months from September to April. Since its establishment in 1982, Adventure World has undergone multiple expansions and renovations and today boasts 25 unique attractions which includes water rides and slides, gravity-defying rides and an authentic Australian wildlife experience. Cementing itself as a must-visit adventure park, Adventure World continues to add to its world class attractions like the $12 million roller coaster “Abyss”, taking riders to a height of 30 metres before dropping in a spectacular 30.5 metre drop in a 100-degree angle. This season, Adventure World introduces “Goliath”, a Gyro Swing with open lapbar restraints increasing the exhilaration for ride-goers.
#4 WAVE LAGOON, DARWIN
Northern Territory is not known for its safe, stinger and crocodile-free infested waters that’s why the man-made Darwin Waterfront Precinct is a strong family attraction for its safe year-round swimming conditions. Covering 4,000 square metres, the Wave Lagoon creates ten different wave patterns with the highest wave reaching 1.7 metres. Accompanied by shallow toddler pools, if you spend an afternoon at the Waterfront Precinct checking out the landscaped gardens, retail outlets and alfresco dining, you’re certain to catch one of Darwin’s famous sunsets overlooking the Timor Sea.
#5 ENCHANTED ADVENTURE GARDEN, MORNINGTON PENINSULA
Set on 22 acres, the Enchanted Adventure Garden is a is a perfect excuse for a short hour drive south of Melbourne’s CBD. As its name suggests Enchanted Adventure Garden is like stepping into world designed to ignite the imagination and awaken the child within, with three maze hedges, 20 themed gardens and outdoor adventure for all ages. Open all year round except Christmas Day, it’s most famous for introducing ‘tree surfing’, showcasing 50 aerial obstacles that test balance, strength and coordination with some platforms being up to 10 metres high. For children eager to tree surf, there is a separate Nippers Course designed for 4 to 12 year olds so they don’t miss out on the action.