A stay at home Mum who doesn't stay at home much; too many exciting things to be discovering in this city...
Published May 31st 2012
Driving through Bentleigh East recently, I was surprised when two huge waterslides loomed unexpectedly by the side of the road. I thought I had a pretty good knowledge of swimming pools in the area so I was somewhat taken aback by what looked like some kind of giant aquatic paradise. What was this place and how did I not already know about it? A little Googling later informed me that GESAC (Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre) officially opened its doors to the public at the start of May 2012 and that it had a pretty amazing looking indoor water park. Time for a trip with the little one and long-suffering husband to check it out.
GESAC services the suburbs in the city of Glen Eira. It's pretty huge and as well as all the aquatic facilities (I'll come to those later), it has all the bells and whistles you might expect: a health club including a gym, personal trainers and fitness classes, childcare facilities, a cafe, sports facilities for netball, soccer, basketball, badminton and more. What we saw of it was mostly clean and efficiently run and of course everything looks nice and shiny and new as it has been open less than a month.
The swimming facilities include a leisure pool for the kids which features Pirate's Cove, plus an assortment of water guns, sprays, tipping buckets and beach entry. Pirate's Cove is very impressive with an array of slides, nets, fountains, walkways and a huge bucket which drenches everyone every few minutes. It took my little one a fair while to pluck up enough courage to sample some of the delights of this noisy, busy play space, but he thoroughly enjoyed himself when he did.
There are 2 waterslides; Ship Wreck and Pirates Plunge. One is a raft slide for 2 people at a time and the other a traditional body slide. As I am currently pregnant, I sadly couldn't test these out (and our little one was too little - you have to be 110cm to ride) but let's just say that the speed at which people were deposited at the bottom of them leads me to believe they would be a lot of fun. The slides only operate at certain times so be sure to check out the GESAC website for details.
The 25 meter main indoor lap pool has a ramp entry and varying depths. There is also an outdoor lap pool which is double the size and open all year round. There were some crazy people swimming out there even though we went on a very cold day. This leads me to my one big disappointment about this pool. The water in the leisure pool and the indoor lap pool was way too cold. I was shivering after about 15 minutes and had to abandon my poor husband with our son and go and have a hot shower to warm up (the changing facilities are clean and roomy). For the poor kids playing in Pirate's Cove who weren't underwater the whole time, it must have felt even colder and my son's lips had started to turn blue by the time we dragged him away from the water guns.
There is a learner pool which is a bit warmer and a 'wellness program pool' which is used for rehabilitation purposes as well as infant swimming lessons. It has a ramp and a hoist for easy access and is heated to 34 degrees. Oh how I wished they had heated the leisure pool to that temperature too so I could enjoy playing with my son in the shallows.
Now it may just be that I'm a bit pathetic when it comes to water temperatures so don't let me put you off going to try out this pool for some family fun. It is very impressive and tons of fun for kids, but just bear in mind that you might be a tad colder than you bargained for.