Why go all the way to Queensland for theme parks when Victoria's newest amusement park ticks all the boxes.
It's been a year since Gumbuya World re-opened to the public after a whopping $50 million upgrade.
Twelve months on and we finally made it out to Victoria's newest theme park.
Gumbuya World is a huge adventure park, split into four sections:
Wildlife Trail: meet and great Aussie animal favourites and some exotic species too.
Oz Adventure: ride rollercoasters, swings and the Gumbuya Express mini train around the park.
Outback Explorers: a world of adventure for smaller thrill-seekers, with pirate ships, kinder playground, giant berries and big-rig trucks.
Oasis Springs: an epic water park! More below.
Oasis Springs at Gumbuya World
Admittedly we spent 95% of our time in the Oasis Springs because the day we chose to go happened to be 39 degrees, but wow.. what a day.
Water slides big and small, a 300m Lazy River, group surf lessons (not always in operation, check when you arrive and book in early), water play areas, shallow pools for wee ones and slightly deeper pools for confident swimmers.
Surfing at Gumbuya World
Inbetween our water play, we took a stroll through the Wildlife Trail. Rare albino wallabies call Gumbuya World home, as well as the usual Aussie animals; dingoes, wombats, koalas, a beautiful variety of native birds in the aivery, emus, deer and kangaroos. There's a petting zoo for the little ones too, with baby farm animals to cuddle and feed. Lastly a "critter cave" with reptiles and creepy crawlies.
Wildlife Trail at Gumbuya World
How to make the most out of your visit to Gumbuya World
After our visit to Gumbuya World, we would recommend the following if you'd like to make the most out of your visit to Victoria's newest amusement park:
Visit "off peak." Not always posssible, particularly during school holidays, but if you can visit on a day when crowds are less, you won't have to queue for popular rides.
Arrive early, preferably when the park opens. We can't emphasise this enough if you choose to visit on a hot day when visitors are heading for the Oasis Springs. Find a sunbed in the shade and set yourself up for the day.. early. Break the budget if you wish and hire a powered cabana with a fan for a cool $129. Worth it if you can split the cost with another family?
Pop your valuables away in a locker in the Oasis Springs. $10 will set you up for the day but take cash because lockers don't accept cards.
Don't forget your water bottles. No outside food is permitted, but you are allowed to BYO water bottles.
Bring goggles. If you intend on spending time in the Oasis Springs, goggles are a must, particularly if your child is prone to sore eyes due to pool chlorine. We forgot goggles and our sons suffered.
Annual pass. The Gumbuya World Annual Pass is excellent value if you think you'll visit the park on numerous occasions.
If you want to book an animal encounter, do so in advance online. We left it too late to book the macaw experience.
Small Ideas members get 10% off Gumbuya World entry, but there is a blackout period. You can't use your discount voucher in January.