NEDERLANDS // ENGELS
Austalia is well-known for its laid back culture, its nature and its livable cities. However, it isn’t the most logical choice as a rollercoaster destination. Most people know Warner Bros Movie World and Dreamworld near Gold Coast, but those are the only two big parks this country has to offer.
Luckily, small amusement parks shouldn’t necessarily be considered as bad amusement parks. That’s why we plan a trip to Sunshine Coast, approximately one hour north of Brisbane. This coastal region is home to Aussie World, a small but lovely amusement park. A major reason to visit Aussie World is its classic wooden wild mouse.
On the way to Aussie World, we notice a sign indicating Wild Horse Mountain Lookout. We’ve got plenty of time, so we decide to take a look. It’s a short, but rather strenuous hike to the mountain top. Views are pretty amazing, though.
These are the Glasshouse Mountains, which were formed by volcanic activity. Hiking and climbing these iconic hills is possible, but we’re actually more interested in riding some classic amusement rides today.
That’s why we quickly head to Aussie World. The park lies right next to the Bruce Highway, so it’s very easy to reach.
Aussie World is more than an amusement park; it’s also known as a pub for travellers. Michaël orders the pub’s Signature Steak and it’s nothing less than huge.
In fact, that Signature Steak seemed bigger than the park’s ferris wheel.
Aussie World features a good collection of classic attractions such as this Waltzer…
… and a quite popular slide.
Theming at this park may be limited, but there’s one particular attraction with elaborate decoration: Professor Bogglesworth’s Illusionarium. This unique walkthrough consists of several optical illusions and maze-like elements. And although the park is mainly focused on children, this attraction really blew my mind. Biggest surprise of the day.
The next ride is less mind-blowing, but essential for our coaster-bingo. Bug Run is a standard Big Apple built by Pinfari. This is really just a credit, but I have to admit that Bug Run looks better maintained than most similar rides.
The Sunshine Coast lives up to its name during this Easter weekend. Weather is beautiful and it’s quite hot, so the log flume is undoubtedly the most popular ride at Aussie World. And although this once again is a standard model, it looks nice and shiny.
I can appreciate unusual theming. Aussie World is one of the very few places in the world that didn’t decorate its swinging ship as a pirate ship. They chose a space rocket instead. Where’s the Like-button?!
We both like classic rollercoasters, so a ride on Wild Mouse is our top priority for today. But why are we so interested in a coaster type which can be found at nearly every amusement park on the planet? The answer is simple: Aussie World’s version is not just a wild mouse. No, this is one of the few remaining wooden wild mouses.
I had the privilege to ride Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s wooden wild mouse in 2007 and that was a crazy experience. That ride is intense and it features some of the craziest airtime I ever felt. Aussie World’s version, however, is rather tame and considerably slower. Don’t get me wrong… I thoroughly enjoyed my ride on this wooden classic, but it wasn’t nearly as impressive as its British sister.
Bad news if you’re reading this trip report today: Wild Mouse was closed and demolished just a few months after our trip. RIP Wild Mouse.
And that’s it for today… a small report for a small park. Aussie World isn’t a must-do destination, but we had a few pleasant hours in this cosy amusement park. It’s not worth a big detour; Sunshine Coast and Brisbane definitely have more interesting options if you’re searching for day trips. However, if Aussie World is on your route, it’s an ideal place to take a break. Have a huge steak in the pub, get a quick coaster-bingo and get amazed by the Illusionarium.