Young and the Restless: A theme park in our own state
Especially water-themed theme parks, as our southern climate only really facilitates outdoor swimming a few months of the year.
Although I’ve taken the kids once before (albeit half a decade ago) and they’ve gone on school trips once or twice, I often forget that we have a gem of an amusement park in our state that’s just a simple 90- minute drive from Shepp.
Ready to Explore: The amusements aren’t the only traces of fun at Funfields. Photo by Bree Harding
If you’re new to Funfields in Whittlesea (this side of Melbourne), let me introduce you to the location where you’ll find Victoria’s tallest water slides, which are nine stories high.
Funfields holds three world records for three of its waterslides: the Gravity Wave, “the world’s largest, longest, and tallest ProSlide Tornado Wave” (it is more than 27m high and more than 200m long); the “world’s longest ProSlide Kraken Racer”, the first of its kind in Australia and one of only 20 worldwide, measuring six meters high, 109 meters long and capable of speeds of up to 60 km/h; and the “world’s longest ProSlide CannonBowl” – the Typhoon – measuring 137m long and traveling at 30km/h.
Buckle up: The Dragon’s Revenge ride was a hit with the kids. Photo by Bree Harding
The newest slide slash ride (it’s so much more than “just” a slide) at the park is an $8 million nine-story facility called Supanova, which opened just this season.
It’s a 1/4 mile of pure adrenaline, with color effects, positive zero-G forces, high-speed banks, and a 60-foot smokestack.
Up and down: The pirate ship Blackbeard’s Fury was one of the children’s favorite rides. Photo by Bree Harding
We took our chance buying tickets to visit to ride it and everyone else on last week’s bank holiday, expecting large crowds, long lines for rides and limited shaded grass space to provide a base.
While it was a warm, sunny day averaging 30C in Shepp, it was a breezy, cloudy 22C by the time we arrived in Whittlesea just before 10am – not necessarily conducive to staying comfortable in wet swimming trunks all day .
Way down: The nine-story Gravity Wave and the all-new Supanova stand side by side at Funfields. Photo by Bree Harding
While the weather wasn’t a pleasant surprise, the short line-ups were.
The longest we had to wait all day to get on a ride was 10 minutes.
Luckily, this theme park has plenty of dry options to keep the hordes entertained when you’ve had enough shaking and need to change into dry clothes again.
There’s mini-golf, go-karts, a toboggan run as well as a plethora of carnival-themed rides, including the 18m high, 360º looping Voodoo and the floating pirate ship Blackbeard’s Fury, which will knock the socks off even the most stoic of riders.
The Shallow End: There are water playgrounds and rides for all ages. Photo by Bree Harding
About sixty dollars a ticket is good value if you get there early and stay all day.
My kids rode the Dragon’s Revenge and Pirate Ship about 8 times each, had about 5 sessions in the heated wave pool, and went on multiple slides and other rides/amusements once or twice.
You’d burn 60 bucks in minutes at a local show or seaside carnival with rides between 10 and 15 dollars apiece so great value in that regard, especially considering there’s no need to once you’re at the gate Open your wallet to everything else when you pack your own picnic food and drinks.
Friendly Faces: This talking tree can be found in the Mystic Kingdom area of Funfields. Photo by Bree Harding
Of course, non-essential add-ons are always available if you fancy tickets that whisk you to ride lines, poolside VIP booths, lockers, or food, drink, and showbags.
While it’s good value per ticket, buying four at once was a bit of a pain, so I think a season pass for less than two visits would make a great Christmas present for kids who love theme parks.
I love a good experience based gift in a stocking more than all the tangible or impractical items.
And this is not a one time experience, this can be used over and over again until you are so soaked you can barely walk the length of one of the impressive slides on site.
Who needs to go to Queensland when we can slip into some fun like this here in the Garden State?