I am a freelance writer, I love writing about gaming, film and my challenges as a parent. I currently live in the West of Sydney. Visit my blog at adamsfilmfoodnfun.com
Published June 25th 2013
Swim, splash, spray and play at Olympic Park
Not all Aquatic centres are created equal. This is no more so true than for the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre. The location of the swimming, diving and water polo events for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, now a local hub of activity and interest.
You know you are somewhere a little special and a little different before you even get through the front doors. The walls either side of the glass front entrance and flowing beyond the doors are tiled with large round disc commemorating the athletes and their achievements at the games. All the big names and their records are there, it is a stroll down memory lane.
Once inside the Olympic atmosphere continues. Just past the front desk and its smiling staff, running along the back of the pools grandstand, plastered along the wall and extending the entire corridor, is a history in pictures and words of the site and its construction. Walking along this corridor and taking in this history is very peaceful and gives a real sense of place for the centre.
Past this deeper into this mammoth complex the Olympic celebration continues. This time with a set of podium, Gold, Silver and Bronze. You can climb up for photo opportunities, or just to get a sense of what it might have been like.
Take a moment while on this level, before descending to the pools, from here you can survey the entire floor plan. To the left is the Olympic pool, where all the action happened. Beyond that the diving and water polo pool. To the right the warm up pool, recreation pool, spas, sauna and steam rooms, whirlpool, giant slide and Splashers kids playground. Also in this complex, hidden out of sight is a gym, aerobics room, childcare, massage rooms and offices. Outside offers an adventure treetops walk and circus school.
The change rooms are ample, but can get congested during the hotter summer months. The same can be said for the pools and playground. My tip, get there early, the playground opens at 10am, if you are there at 9-930am then plenty of play in the recreation and whirl pool can be had before hitting Splashers when it opens. Also it is less busy in its first hours of opening. This is true even in the school holidays. Both Splashers and the whirlpool require parental supervision is child is under 10, this is just common sense. The Sauna and steam room is off limit to those under 16 and also requires additional payment upon entry.
As for Splashers, this is free with entry and the kids will love it. There are multiple slides, a water fort with water cannons and waterfalls. In addition to this there is a giant bucket on top of the structure continually filling with water, when it gets near tipping point a bell sounds out and kids and adults come running from everywhere. Then when it reaches its tipping point it falls hitting the roof of the fort and cascading down in a monstrous splash to the screaming victims below. I have been one of these victims many times and it is a blast. Little kids be warned this is a powerful splash of water.
At the back of Splashers is a giant slide, again free with entry. This usually has a pretty big line, but is worth the wait. You jump in and shoot around its twists and turns getting splat out at the other end. Pure fun.
Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre is a perfect school holiday escape, with heated pools and insane fun it is perfect summer, winter, anytime.
Reasonably priced the family ticket (2 Adults, 3 Children or 1 Adult, 4 Children) is only $25, this includes 4 hours parking. Additional fees apply to use the gym, sauna and steam rooms.