Exploring Brisbane

Brisbane was the last stop of our Hell Yeah, Schnabelteah! Tour of Australia. Since we wanted to fly to Hong Kong by plane the next day, we dropped our car off at the car rental company Jucy as early as in the morning. Then we took the train to the main station where our hotel, the Pacific Hotel Brisbane, was located (unfortunatelly situated on a mountain). In retrospect it would actually have been cheaper to take an Uber…

However, I really liked the city. The big public swimming pool on the Brisbane River, the long promenade along the cliffs of Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park and the breathtaking Story Bridge, which I would have loved to climb and then abseil on. I really liked all of that and who knows how much more you can discover if you spend more time in the city than just an afternoon.

 

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Home of the Crocodile Hunter

History of the Animal Park

The Australia Zoo is probably the most popular zoo in Australia and that is due to just one person: Steve Irwin. The Crocodile Hunter himself made the zoo famous. The animal park itself has its roots back in 1970 when it opened as the Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park. Its main attractions back in the days and even today are the large numbers of reptiles, especially crocodiles which can be found in the front section of the back. The large Crocoseum stadium houses a world-class animal show and can hold up to 5000 visitors.

Tour of the park

If you follow the paths next to the Crocoseum you will end up in a large Kangaroo and Wallaby enclosure, where you can pet all your favourite Australian animals or have a look at Echidnas. Right behind the enclosure there is a small Dinosaur path and a wetland area, where you can find many wetland birds, Jabirus, Brolga and Emus.

From here you can go either through a koala walk-through and have a look at red kangaroos as well as many colourful birds in the rainforest aviary before looking at birds of prey or a lot of wombats or continue your way straight ahead into an Asian themed area. Here you can find red pandas, as well as a beautiful tiger enclosure.

The path then continues onto Bindi’s Island, where you can find lemurs, parrots, and tortoises or directly into Africa. The large savanna houses Giraffes, zebras and rhinoceroses and reminded me a lot of the heart of africa savanna at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. It is a genuinely nice area and probably the one, where you can spend the most time at. At the end of the cul-de-sac there is a small meerkat enclosure.

As we did not have that much time at the Australia Zoo our day ended in the African section of the park. Shortly before closure all remaining guests are collected by the tram and brought back to the entrance of the park.

Pictures Australia Zoo

Conclusion Australia Zoo

The Australia Zoo is a nice animal park, which surely did profit a lot of the Crocodile Hunter show back in the days. 13 years after the death of Steve, it is nice to see the zoo growing, although I find it kind of questionable to offer a lot of upcharge experiences and still try to hold on the Crocodile Hunter’s legacy to sell more merch. At least there is a new show now called Crikey! It’s the Irwins, yet it’s nothing more than a scripted image movie for the zoo. If you have some time to spend, the Australia Zoo sure is a nice place to visit; yet it is not the world-class zoo you might expect.


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Wet and wild fun on the Gold Coast

History of the water park Wet ‘n’ Wild

Wet ’n Wild is probably the best-known brand for water parks worldwide. The concept was developed by George Millay, who previously established the SeaWorld marine mammal parks. Over time, there were eight water parks sharing the same ideas with the most prominent one being in Orlando. Most of the parks were sold and there are currently just three parks left in operation. Wet ’n’ Wild on the other hand is a popular brand of water parks by Village Roadshow Theme Parks, who licenced the Wet ’n Wild name.

Wet ’n’ Wild Gold Coast originally started as Cade’s County by the Herringe Group of Companies in 1984. Back in the days it was a state-of-the-art water park and the biggest one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere consisting of a wave pool, a kamikaze slide and a bunch of mat and body slides. Nowadays, it is pretty clear that Wet ’n’ Wild Gold Coast was heavily influenced by its namesake sharing most of the attractions once featured in Orlando.

Tour of the park

Surfrider

One attraction which is rather unique to the park is the Intamin half pipe roller coaster Surfrider. This LSM coaster features two revolving gondolas which are placed onto an oversized surfboard. Due to the small launches the ride more and more increases in height and the spinning just gets wilder and wilder. At the highest point you feel a great amount of airtime and, depending on your position, some very impressive views. This ride is fun and should not be missed when visiting the Gold Coast. But caution, the floor up to the ride’s platform can get very hot.

H2O Zone

Mach 5 and Black Hole

In the area behind the Surfrider, there were only two of the four slide towers operational. The most impressive of these was the Mach 5 slide tower, which just got demolished to be replaced by a similar tower featuring two water coasters, two raft slides and a bodyslide racer. The Mach 5 had two large scale mat slides and some rather impressive looking kamikaze slides. It was a shame that I could not give it a try, as I was nearly one year too late for that. The neighbouring Black Hole tower was currently scheduled for maintenance, so we had to give the nice-looking tube slides with all its tight curves and jumps a miss.

Tornado and Kamikaze

The two slide towers which were open on the day of our visit in the Extreme H2O Zone were the Tornado and Kamikaze slide towers. Where the Tornado provides its usual large scale funnel slide experience, the Kamikaze is a rather oddly named Boomerang slide. Both slides are basically sharing the same experience, yet the Kamikaze is slightly steeper and provides a longer time swinging up and down in the slide’s main element. Both slides are great fun!

Calypso Springs and Mammoth Falls

Past the closed Whirlpool Springs and the still closed lazy river Calypso Springs, we now head towards the front section of the park. To the left we find the large wave pool, a flow rider, a sky coaster and the Mammoth Falls water slides. The two family raft slides provides a rather tame experience with no real surprises along its serpentine style path.

River Rapids and Constrictor

To the right there is the kid’s area Wet ’n’ Wild Junior, as well as a large selection of water slides. On an artificial mountain you can find the four River Rapids bodyslides offering two enclosed turbo slides winding down a curvy path and two open slides featuring a series of tight curves and great jumps. The nearby raft slide Constrictor is the first installation of a constrictor slide by whitewater featuring very tight helices along its path. Unfortunately, it was the best visited slide at Wet ’n’ Wild Gold Coast and after some minutes not moving forward in the queue, we had to give it a miss.

Super 8 Aqua Racer and AquaLoop

A slide we sure did not wanted to miss is the mat racer Super 8 Aqua Racer. This kind of slide is always a great experience, and it did not disappoint! I even won the race 😊. Enthusiastic, I would have given the nearby AquaLoop slides a try, but they were not opened, even through their maintenance was scheduled to end on the day before.

Pictures Wet ‘n’ Wild

Conclusion Wet ‘n’ Wild

As the number of attractions was extremely limited during my visit, Village Roadshow Theme Parks once again did not provide a great experience. I seriously cannot understand how on earth you can not manage to open your attractions on time after a rather long maintenance period. If you cannot plan it well, then increase your timing or hire more people. This is simply not very professional.

Wet ’n’ Wild Gold Coast surely offers a great selection of water slides and their Surfrider roller coaster is great fun, yet I would have enjoyed the park far more, if all their slides would have been open. Combined with a visit to Sea World or the Warner Bros. Movie World, you can have a great day off – just make sure you don’t visit the parks during the low season.


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