Social Media Manager with Carmel at Sorrento. Always looking for travel adventures in VIC - Visit my social pages @carmelatsorrento or www.carmelatsorrento.com.au
Published July 18th 2019
Pack the gumboots
A crisp winter morning with the warm sun on our backs. There was no way our little family were going to waste a moment of this day driving each other crazy at home while the outside world was inviting us to explore. We can save the crazy for dinner time.
The major advantage of a local weekday trip to a well-known tourist spot in winter is you only have a few other tourists to share the experience with.
Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthurs Seat is located on Purves Rd approx. 300m from the Arthurs Seat Eagle gondolas. A visit in off-peak affords you the pleasure of no queues, personalised service and the luxury of taking your time.
Entrance to Adventure Park
Arriving shortly before 11am, I was super excited to practically have the adventure land to ourselves. I panicked assuming we got lucky and the tsunami of crowds would be busting the doors down soon. I moved the kids at a steady pace wanting to complete the mazes, view the grounds, walk the canopy, ride the tube slide, idle chit chat with others and more, more, more.
Quite often you hear about the small things in a business that make a huge difference, sometimes known as the 1 percenters. As I was making payment of entry to the park, I was curious as to why my two excited companions under the age of 5 were quiet. I turned around and master 2 said "look up mum" I looked up to see a toy train making its way around the ticket window roofline railway track, choo chooing in and around the building. Great idea to keep kids occupied, especially on the busier days when a long queue is the most tedious requirement of a family outing.
Once inside the grounds, my military precision outing began. We walked briskly past the magnificent water feature to quickly be the first ones into the Leighton Green Conifer hedge maze. Planted in 1993 the hedge is well established with hints of oriental zen throughout. This is your classic maze that you would see in movies with the two lead characters laughing, running and laughing some more trying to find the exit.
As we were walking along the paths admiring manicured gardens, bridges, miniature waterfalls, statues, plants and everything else that was shiny and catching our line of sight, we hear a gently whirrzip noise. Again master 2 says "look up mum", we watch on in awe as the big kids master the zip line.
Garden path and zipline
The definite highlight of our day was the second maze we tried, the Children's Maze. Encouraging you to be creative and play, the maze was like Christmas around every corner with an African safari, fairy realm, panda paradise with bamboo and an inland beach complete with a beach house.
The treetop canopy walk was great fun to giggle on and feel wobbly. Tube slides were enjoyed by everyone in the family. Our day was turning out to be such fun with more giggles in the house of mirrors. In fact, we were having so much fun I got smug. My adventurous kids and I decided to try the 3D experience of the haunted house. 3D glasses adorned, our little boy looking like the old man Charles Muntz in the movie Up we got ten steps inside when we turned around and high tailed it out. This particular attraction is not for the easily spooked. Lots of nervous laughing by a petrified mum who thought she scarred her kids for life we quickly found more distractions outside and paused to listen to a babbling brook. Time briefly stood still, we could not hear a single other noise in our moment of connection with nature.
The grounds are beautifully maintained with happy grounds keepers advising kids where the next big mud puddle is or advising mum of slippery spots. Ultimately the park is well thought out and easily accessible for prams or wheelchairs.
With my military worthy marching and keeping the kids in check, it still took us two hours to get around the property. Kids under 3yo are free but an entry fee of $30 for adults and $20 for kids plus extra dollars for the zip line, I thought was a bit steep but in hindsight, this outdoor experience was well worth the investment considering we could have stayed so much longer and made some beautiful memories.
For my eco-friendly warrior friends, drinking fountains are located throughout the property, byo cup coffee discounts are available and biopak timber utensils available in the café.
Now I know what to expect, next visit will be slower paced, spare clothes will be packed especially if we intend on doing the zipline, a picnic hamper will be on hand, and I will remember to look up.