Timezone is a games arcade that is located on the top floor ("The Rooftop") at Westfield Kotara, Newcastle. You can find it on the same level at Events cinema and with a wide range of restaurants and eateries nearby, including San Churro, Kinn Thai, Grill'd, Lone Star and Hong Kong Chef. It is a food and entertainment destination in itself.
The arcade itself is one of the bigger Timezone arcades that our family has visited, with a small bowling alley, laser tag area and individual Spin Zone Bumper cars. On a rainy Sunday afternoon, it drew us in with its bright flashing lights, pops of colour and loud music pumping out from the doorway. Be warned - you could easily get carried away and spend hours in here!
When you first enter Timezone, the first thing you need to do is pay for a Timezone card at the central counter. Before you pay, ensure that you take time to look at their specials - you can either pay per game (eg. pay $25 and get $5 credit) or pay for time (eg. 30 minutes play for $20). Keep in mind that the arcade games cost between $2.20 and $4 each, depending on what you play. See here for prices.
Alternatively, which we didn't know about at the time, Kotara Westfield also has its own Rooftop Kids Pass which includes 30 minutes at Timezone, a burger at Grill'd and an ice cream at Cold Rock for $25. They can be purchased from the Concierge desk. See here for details of the Mini and Mega Rooftop Pass.
Load up your card and then tap at each game to play. Image: Timezone Facebook
When you are cashed up and ready to play, it is hard to know where to even start! As well as the dodgems, bowling and laser tag (which all have higher prices), there was also a wide variety of fun arcade games for all ages and abilities. There were active and sporty games such as air hockey, basketball hoops, motorbike races and car racing, as well as older games, such as shooting, coin slides and virtual ten pin bowling. Take a chance on the claw machines and pick up a toy, gadget or even a roll of tickets. Smaller children enjoyed the virtual reality rollercoaster and anything that required pressing a lot of buttons!
We enjoyed playing a wide variety of games, but the machine that surprisingly hooked us all in was the coin slide game, where you have 12 turns to push the coins and cards off the ledge and boost up your ticket numbers. There were several of them around the arcade floor and we wanted to try them all!
In the central Timezone area is a "prize" area, as most games have tickets as a prize, which are then redeemed at the prize counter at the end. In years gone by, the tickets used to literally print out from the machines, but today they are added onto your swipe card at the end of each game.
When our family spent all the money on our card, we checked our ticket balance at a self-serve machine on the arcade floor. It was very easy to get caught up with winning tickets for prizes, however, the prizes were mostly lollies or small toys that were worth only a couple of dollars each. For example, we spent $30 on games and my daughter won 400 tickets - which sounded like a lot, but it equalled to approximately $2.50 in lollies or prizes. If you spend more money or hit a jackpot, however, there were larger prizes such as Monopoly games, large plush toys and model toys to be won.
The loud dance music in this venue creates a party vibe to the whole experience which makes you want to stay longer - if you can afford to keep topping up your card, that is! Due to this party vibe, it the ideal venue for the children's parties that they hold in the designated party rooms - see here for party options and details.
It doesn't matter what your age is, you can't help but enjoy yourself at Timezone Kotara. You are sure to leave with a smile from ear to ear!