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Published April 23rd 2012
The best Aquatic Centres have their facilities indoors in order to be accessible all year round.
The highlight for younger kids is a massive Water Adventure Park which has water cannons, a huge overhead tipping bucket, a spinning water wheel, hoses and plenty of slides. This is water mayhem when it is busy.
The Cannon Bowl waterslide is a 15m high slide which spits you out into a large bowl and swirls you around before dropping you out of a hole at the bottom of the bowl into a pool. This is equivalent to being thrown into a huge washing machine on spin cycle. The Black Hole Waterslide is a 15m high slide which twists and turns in total darkness until you reach a final splashdown.
These slides must be ridden on a tube and there are single and double tubes. Riders must be 1.2m or higher.
There are also plenty of other facilities including an 8-lane 50-metre swimming pool which can be split into two 25m pools, kids' splash pool and a learn to swim pool. The complex has a state-of-the-art gym and group exercise rooms.
The cream on the pie is the very low entrance price. A family comprising two adults and up to three children is $16.50 and an adult with a child under 5 years is only $3.80. The slides are an extra cost at $16 for unlimited slides or $3 for a single slide if you want to try it out rather than spend a lot of time on the slides.
The Adventure Playground and Slides may have restricted opening hours during school term.
At Casey RACE you can go down the Cannon Bowl waterslide without a tube. This makes for a more exciting (but more painful) spin around the huge bowl. Casey RACE offers tremendous value. A family swim with access to the rides is only $18.90.
Our favourite outdoors Aquatic Centre is Doncaster Aquarena Aquatic and Leisure Centre which has a 25m pool and some pools suitable for kids indoors plus outdoors there is a 50m pool, dive pool and a water slide which winds down the hill.