By Cameron McCullough
Gumbuya World is Victoria’s newest theme park, and we were lucky enough to be let loose there for a day to experience it in all its glory.
Purchased in 2016 by a group of investors, they set out on a massive redevelopment of what was previously know as Gumbuya Park.
And while the giant pheasant still sits at the entrance, virtually every other corner of the park has been rebuilt and remodelled, giving a fresh, vibrant feel to your visit.
The park is broken up into four ‘experiences”; Wildlife Trail, the Oz Adventure, the Outback Explorers and, of course, Oasis Springs, Gumbuya World’s water park.
Having arrived early, we hit the Wildlife Trail first. It was a wonderful close-up experience through a natural bushland setting. You’ll come across Dingos, wallabys, wombats, emus, koalas and kangaroos, which quickly bound up to you. The avaries house an array of native birdlife, and the petting zoo lets kids get hands-on with furry friends.
After that it was off for some rides at Oz Adventure experience with its mining race coaster, rush-hour ride, tree swing and a host of other rides.
From there, we ventured into Outback Explorers for more rides including a pirate ship, and the perennial favourite, dodgem cars.
After a long stint on the rides, it was time to cool off. We made our way to Oasis Springs for some “splashtastic fun”.
Immaculately presented, Oasis Springs is a collection of water fun for the tame to wild-a-heart.
Sit back and float around the “Lazy River”; the moving river that takes you on a 300 metre trip through the park. Get adventurous with the kids on “Typhoon Island”, a kids water adventure park that has three waterslides and 100% chance of getting wet. Or be a daredevil on the massive waterslides; the Taipan and the Boomaerango.
The Boomerango was particularly blood-curling for this mid-forties male, while my eight-year-old had a grin from ear-to-ear, (although she did say she thought her face was going to fly off!).
The best way to do Oasis Springs is to splash out (no pun intended) on a private cabana that gives you a home base for the day, as well as somewhere to eat, relax, and change clothes as required.
It was a full day of fun. We arrived soon after opening, and dragged the kids out two minutes before closing eight hours later!
Perhaps the most exciting thing about Gumbuya World is the plans it has for the future. The place is abuzz with the energy of an attraction that is on the move. More waterslides are coming, more rides, and more experiences such as the Woolshed Auditorium, Dinosaur Experience and Indigenous Cultural Centre.
We can’t wait to go back again. And again.
Gumbuya World is located at 2705 Princes Highway, Tynong North; just under an hour from the peninsula. They are open 364 days a year (closed Christmas Day) from 10am – 6pm.