The cliche 'good things come in small packages' is true
Many of us remember Abingdon Miniature Village's tiny quaint railways and village green, the golfer who had fallen out of his buggy and the history compressed into knee high, yet authentic, buildings and models. We also remember how sad we felt when it closed in early 2015.
Put away your tissues - as the fun park once known as Abingdon has reopened as Amaze Miniature Park with all of its quaint models and miniatures intact.
Amaze is a whole morning (or afternoon) of entertainment for families – as your entry price includes a range of attractions including a 12 hole miniature golf course, two separate mazes, a playground and four acres of gardens containing model railways and historically accurate miniature buildings built into the manicured lawns.
Our primary aim for the morning was to play mini golf, one of two courses in the Mandurah area (the other being the mini golf course at King Carnival in Halls Head).
One of the many model buildings set amongst the gardens
The entry price includes the mini golf, and while you are handed a single scoring card as you enter the park, there would be nothing stopping you from playing more than one round. Make your way to the back of the park (the golf course is signposted) but don't forget to turn around when you walk through the hedge because the shed where the golf clubs and balls are kept is tucked around the corner.
The course is straightforward with no wizardry or gimmicks. It's pretty unexciting actually, but kids certainly won't mind as they rebound over piles of rocks, bounce over hills and aim for tiny tunnels. Unlike the rest of Amaze, the mini golf course is not set in lush gardens, and it can be quite exposed at certain times of day, so bring a hat in the warmer months.
After an exciting game of golf we quickly refreshed with some ice-creams. One major change from the former Abingdon Village is that there are no longer tea rooms, and the quaint Ruby House cottage is no longer open for Devonshire teas and lunches.
Although the tea rooms are no longer open, the lovely shady verandah are still available to have a rest of BYO lunch
We then headed to the first of two mazes – a beautiful hedged maze that is taller than the average adult. We did this twice, first unsuccessfully as we found ourselves coming back out the entrance, and then after we had examined the lie of the land from the lookout, and with me calling encouragement from on high, the kids managed to successfully make it through the maze.
The other maze is called the running maze, and is flush with the ground, strips of gravel versus lawn. The idea is that you start in the middle and run your way out of the maze as quickly as possible, without cheating by jumping over the lawns.
The other primary attraction are the many model buildings and railways set in amongst the manicured gardens. From Shakespeare's own house and a traditional English pub, to a wedding at a country church and other historic buildings, the scale replicas feature little figures, sound effects, and informative signs explaining the history of each building.
There are also two working model railways, one a Thomas the Train and the other running around a picturesque (albeit strangely coloured) lake. These are somewhat interactive, allowing visitors to push the button to make them start.
When it is time to take a break, there are a number of shady grassed areas where you are welcome to bring a picnic. A shaded and gated playground also provides respite for parents, with swings, a digger, bouncers, slides and two cubby houses. Be warned though, the sand is quite black and kids will naturally get a little mucky.
Amaze Miniature Village is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10am to 4.30pm, although they have extended hours during the summer school holidays and are open most days of the week (except Wednesdays). They also have an extended closed period over winter (18th July to 31st August, 2017).