Posted by G. Raymond Leavold
01. Feb, 2012
With summer seemingly upon us it is finally acceptable to be outside doing stuff. And there is so much to do during these warmer months: go to the beach and have a water-fight or lounge around in a park and throw a Frisbee—or you could wrestle a mate to pass the time.
But I must say one thing you beach-going, frisbee-throwing, water-bombing fist-fighters: Shame on you; you disgust me! Where’s your damn sense of adventure?
Here are some fun activities for those who crave an alternative to their tedious routines.
FAIRY PARK – 2388 BALLAN RD, ANAKIE
The Fairy Park in Anakie is a place of colour, magic, wonder with a hint of creepy.
Opened in 1959 by Peter Mayer, a German immigrant with a passion for all things (Brothers) Grimm, the park recreates scenes from many popular fairy-tales, though there is something about the stillness of the place that is a tad eerie.
Sign should probably say ‘Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter.’
With features like 22 ‘animated’ scenes from various recognisable children’s stories, model trains and Camelot playground – the latter two are both rather incongruous considering the whole ‘fairy-tale’ theme, but hey, who am I to argue? I love trains and knights, it’s a place where kids can enjoy the magical atmosphere while the glassy looks on the faces of Cinderella and Goldilocks disturb adults.
One of my favourite TV ads as a child was for Gumbuyah Park and, seeing as Wobbies World is closed—and with it, that dumb helicopter ride—I say plan a day trip out to Gumbuyah Park (where the city meets the country).
Along with heaps of Australian wildlife to look at, they’ve got toboggans that seemed to go dangerously fast when I was a kid, paddle-boats for strenuous exercise out on the placid lake, mini-golf, waterslides, mini-cars (like go-karts, but for pussies) and Twister-Karts, that were not there when I went quite a few years ago, but which I must admit look pretty damn cool.
So go along and pat an Emu. I remember there being Emus in the commercial. I also remember those weird kangaroo bouncy-ball things that kids grasp the ears of and bounce around on, but I may be getting my memories crossed with the Wobbies World ad.
KELLY LAND, GLADSTONE ST, GLENROWAN
Located in Glenrowan, where the outlaw made his final stand, this is marketed as ‘Computerised Theatre’, with animatronic-robots acting out the lead up and eventual capture of this national murderer… I mean hero.
Though it touts itself as being historically accurate, I am hoping that this robot-version of Ned Kelly does a better job of fending off the cops than the real one did. His legs are made of metal this time; he should be impervious to attack. Though it does make the helmet a little redundant, seeing a robot-version of Ned Kelly killing a bunch of dudes while spouting tough one-liners like ‘such is life’ in a tinny-robotic voice should be of the highest priority this summer.
Open every day, the show has a running-time of 40 minutes and, with shows starting every half-hour (apparently Glenrowan exists within a temporal rift in the space-time continuum where time does not pass as it should), the Ned Kelly Show at Kelly Land seems like a bit of hokey fun that you might as well check out.
GIANT EARTHWORM MUSEUM – BASS HWY, BASS
Do I even need to go into details with this one? Okay, you talked me into it…
Situated within the Wildlife Wonderland in Gippsland, where some of the world’s largest earthworms have been found, the Giant Earthworm Museum has earthworms up to wahzoo, some three-metres long, and the museum is both awe-striking and educational. Plus the building is shaped like a worm so that’s pretty cool.
The Wildlife Wonderland has more than just earthworms. There is also a dingo den, a wombat centre, an aquarium display containing the rotting corpse of a five-metre Great White Shark, a snake pit (this is kind of sounding more like Skeletor’s lair than a Wonderland, but trust me on this) and a trout farm. But really, who needs all of this other stuff when there are Earthworms to be gawked at?
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