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Big Banana To Expand With Waterpark

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The iconic Big Banana at Coff's Harbour is celebrating 50 years this year, and as part of their Golden Jubilee they will be adding a waterpark.

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From the Coff's Coast Advocate:

Coffs' Big Banana to become major water theme park

David Barwell | 3rd Mar 2015 11:00 PM

TOURISM in Coffs Harbour is set to reach new heights with the announcement of a major new water park at the Big Banana.

Plans have been revealed for a landmark $1.6 million development that will also see the revival of a much missed other - the aquajet.

Big Banana general manager Michael Lockman said the project was the ideal way of marking the Big Banana's 50th anniversary.

"This is a key strategic move in converting the iconic tourist attraction into a major theme and fun park," Mr Lockman said.

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An artists impression of the proposed water park to be developed at Coffs Harbour's Big Banana.

Construction is due to commence in May by Coffs Harbour-based company Swimplex Aquatics.

Project manager Daniel Leaver said highlights of the water park would include a 14m platform height that would launch four exhilarating rides.

They will include a 96m open body slide, a 119m raft ride and a "heart-stopping" kamikaze slide.

"After the first hump, the kamikaze slide is a 45-degree plummet that gets riders to the bottom in 38 heart-stopping metres," Mr Leaver said.

"It's the quickest way to the bottom short of bungee jumping.

The fourth slide is an exhilarating 90m tube body slide with "black hole" and "light effects" features for even greater excitement.

The project was announced by Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight and MP Andrew Fraser at the Big Banana's 50th anniversary cocktail party on Saturday night.

A video message on the night by Prime Minister Tony Abbott highlighted the wide-spread appreciation of the iconic "traffic-stopper".

"Although there are more than 150 big things across our land... there is none more iconic than Australia's very first big thing - the Big Banana," Mr Abbott said.

A commemorative plaque unveiled by Cr Knight and Mr Fraser will be displayed in front of the icon.

But all eyes are now on the water park and Mr Lockman said further developments could follow the success of the first stage.

"We have experienced a considerable uplift in visitation since the laser tag and mini golf course was built," Mr Lockman said.

"We believe that this major water park will take visitation to the park and Coffs Harbour to record highs."

An extensive marketing plan is scheduled for the opening of the water park and a Stay and Play-style package will be developed with accommodation providers in the region to drive tourism and visitation.

Other major elements of this project include an AquaTower complete with tipping bucket, interactive water toys, an additional three kid-sized water slides and an Interactive Water Jet Zone.

Work is expected to be completed by September.

The full article can be found here.

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This is great news! The only question I have with this is "Why has it taken so long to realise this potential?" Although its early days, comparisons must be drawn against a park with similar propositions and beginnings- Jamberoo Action Park. The Big Banana has the potential to be just as big as Jamberoo with similar varied attractions such as its toboggan run and Ice Skating. This is a great move and will definitely entice families to stay over in Coffs on their way to the Gold Coast. I predict this will be very successful. Brilliant! :D

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GoGoBoy, I agree. I scoffed when it said the words 'Major Waterpark' together with 1.7mil, but if it is indeed everything they portray in the conceptual art, then it looks like a lot of bang for their buck. I hope it's successful and Stage 2 follows sooner rather than later.

Coasterdude, I prefer the original badger song, call me old-fashioned, but it's a modern classic.

Aaaagh!! Snaaake!! Snaaake!!

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There's an artist's impression?

Damn overprotective gateways. If anyone can be bothered - it'd be great if you could screencap it save it and repost in the thread on the Parkz server (rather than hotlinking).

Of course - this would also serve to preserve the image in the event the article dies.

Edited by AlexB

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The artist's impression and what's described seems like exactly what you'd get for about $1.6 million. You see more extravagant "water parks" at council pools these days... these are not inherently expensive attractions to build.

Interesting. Then I don't understand why WnW Sydney cost $120 million. Seems a bit much for a park that is widely billed ( by the company) as the world's biggest but when you are actually there many people complain is too small. Of course WnW Syd offers a tiny bit more than the proposed Banana water park, but still, the price difference seems astronomical.

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Kahuna Falls at Adventure World cost $3.5 million, reportedly. Outback Splash's total budget is going to be $70 million. It's first stage, four main slides and a tipping bucket, cost $1.5 million. Are prices a whole lot cheaper over east?

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Kahuna Falls at Adventure World cost $3.5 million, reportedly. Outback Splash's total budget is going to be $70 million. It's first stage, four main slides and a tipping bucket, cost $1.5 million. Are prices a whole lot cheaper over east?

I think it's cheaper to buy things from Swimplex Aquatics. It's just because it's a different company I guess.

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Yep - i'm with Joz - WnWS had to construct carparks, massive drainage, food outlets, bathrooms... they started with a blank canvas.

Big Banana already has most of it's infrastructure in place. They've had "water play" activities in that area previously, so presumably theres a level of drainage already in. Bathrooms change facilities are probably there (although needing an upgrade). Based on what i've seen of the concept - they're building a pool (which one can do for $20-30k), a single tower and 4 or so slides off that tower. I'd be way off but I could see tower and 4 slides costing around $500k if they're reasonably simplistic. However did the 'old' water slide parks survive if the cost was more than that? (Coffs used to have a set of water slides down the mountain from the banana - they had about 4 slides themselves and not much more than a splashdown pool - it wouldn't have been in the millions...)

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