Slip, Slide and Go Hard at Melbourne’s Aqua Fun Park!
Were you one of those kids who’d watch ‘It’s A Knockout’ or ‘Gladiators’ and wish you could be right in the thick of the action, competing against the adults as if your life depended on it? Well now you have the chance to shine (or not!) at one of the newest – and definitely one of the most fun – attractions in Melbourne. The Aqua Fun Park at Melbourne Cable Park will leave you with lots of sore muscles, not only from the physical activity, but from constant laughter too!
My three daughters and I were lucky enough to test out Melbourne’s first permanent inflatable aqua park just before it opened to the public in January. It’s a purpose-built fun park located on a man-made lake at the National Watersports Centre and it proved to be even more fun than we’d expected.
After being fitted into our lifejackets (which are mandatory and supplied as part of the ticket cost) by the friendly staff, we were let loose on the lake. For anyone like me who detests the cold, the warm water was like an instant win! The kids loved the feeling of the squishy clay underneath their feet as we walked into the lake but I hated it (blergh!) so I swam out to the inflatable as quickly as I could, hopped up, and the hilarity began!
I consider myself reasonably fit, but I was puffing and panting within two minutes of trying to run, jump and crawl across the obstacles. My breathlessness wasn’t helped by the fact I was doubled over with laughter as I watched my daughters slip and slide like graceless seals.
The highlights included my eldest daughter making a giant leap onto a pontoon on her stomach, only to be propelled straight across it at a rapid rate and deposited unceremoniously head first into the water. Oh what mirth! It was like our very own slapstick comedy, created right before our eyes. My youngest made a similar leap, only to end up spinning on her back like a helpless beetle – all four of us lost the plot then, and had to stop for a few minutes to regain our composure. My middle daughter proved to be annoyingly coordinated, meaning none of us could point and laugh at her because she jumped nimbly from one obstacle to the next without ever falling in. Maybe next time!
There were challenges aplenty, with a large slippery ramp to climb up using only a rope – after a few attempts I finally made it, and was rewarded with a big slide at the top that bounced me straight down into the water. I swear I was an 8-year-old again for that handful of minutes!
There are lifeguards stationed all around the course, ready and waiting to help anyone in trouble or just needing an extra hand to get up out of the water. For safety reasons, the minimum age for participants is 5 years old, and children under 11 years must be accompanied on the water by an adult (with a maximum of six kids per accompanying adult).
When our time was up we were exhausted and dragged ourselves happily from the water for a well-earned ice cream from the kiosk, and a relaxing time sitting in the landscaped area around the lake. Each session lasts for 50 minutes, which might not sound like long, but once you’re out on the inflatables, trying to navigate your way around and constantly falling into the water then having to haul yourself back out, 50 minutes is plenty!
Sessions commence on the hour from 9am until 5pm, and tickets are $20 per person, regardless of age, or more adventurous souls can book a double session for $35 per person. (Bookings must be made online only).
If you’re looking for something completely different to do with the kids that combines lashings of excitement, some exercise, a dash of competitive spirit, a good dose of the outdoors, bucket loads of laughter, and a lake full of water, then the Aqua Fun Park at Melbourne Cable Park should be top of your list. And stay tuned for all the exciting new attractions set to open there soon!