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Published April 1st 2019
Indoor & outdoor activities for the whole family
Toboggan Hill is a family tourist attraction located at Nelson Bay, in the Port Stephens region. It is popular with all ages, with a wide range of activities for toddlers to teenagers and everyone in between. It opened its doors for the first time in 1987 and has been going strong now for over 30 years, creating memories for locals and tourists who visit the region.
The attraction is set amongst bushland behind Tomaree Aquatic Centre and when you drive in, you soon realise the "rustic" nature of the attraction, set amongst the trees. Some parts of this business look like it hasn't changed in decades, however, it has a quirkiness that your kids will absolutely love. Why don't you try it for yourselves these school holidays?
Ensure you go up the hill and have a ride on the toboggan!
This family attraction has a number of indoor and outdoor attractions to choose from on your visit. My family and I visited on a quiet Sunday in April and knew that we wanted to ride on the toboggan and also play a game of mini golf. If you wish to do more activities however, there are package options or you can buy individual tickets and pay as you go. See here for the range of options.
We paid for the toboggan rides at the front counter (at cost $8 per person - with children 7 years and under free with an adult) and mini golf would cost us $8 per person, which the attendant suggested we pay when we got to the mini golf (further up the hill), so we could then get our clubs and balls.
Pay for your pass or individual tickets at the front counter. Image: Toboggan Hill Park website
After buying our toboggan tickets, we walked up the hill past the main building to the entrance to the toboggan ride. When we got to the front of the queue, the attendant gave us instructions on how to operate the toboggan (push the lever forward to go, pull back to brake) and to leave a distance of 15 metres between toboggans. As our daughter is aged 7, she was to ride in front of me on the toboggan. We then got on and pushed the lever forward and we were carried on to the uphill pulley system to get us to the top of the hill. It was then time to hold on, feel the wind in our hair and squeal with delight as we sped down the 1km track.
The track had 11 twists and turns, with signs at each bend to instruct riders to brake. At first, my daughter and I took it slow and then after a few turns she asked me to go "Faster, faster!"
Feel the anticipation on the long ride up...before a quick ride down!
After our thrilling rides, we then walked a short distance back up to the main building and bought tickets to mini golf and received our clubs and balls. The attendant offered us a can of Aeroguard to spray all over us, which we did with trepidation. The mini golf course was located under trees and amongst bushland, with mosquitoes all around on our visit. The rustic course, which had leaves over each hole and had seen better days, wasn't what we had hoped for, but we still had a good time and our daughter even managed a hole-in-one!
Toboggan Hill Park also has a tractor ride around the park, a maze and an indoor activity zone. This indoor activity zone is perfect for a rainy day, with indoor rock climbing, "hot" ice skating, jumping castles, air hockey and activities for smaller kids. Although this building looks a little dated, your kids will think they have walked into a children's wonderland.
Toboggan Hill Park was an interesting experience - it felt like we had gone back in time to an attraction frozen in the 1980s, however, we enjoyed exploring the different activities. The toboggan ride was the highlight of our experience, which we would happily go back for time and time again. We were also impressed with the range of activities - with things to do for small children, as well as teenagers and adults. Next time we visit, on the next rainy day in the school holidays, we will give the "hot" ice skating and rock climbing a try.
If you are looking for some thrills, action and some laughs, then get to Toboggan Hill when you visit the Port Stephens region. I can almost guarantee, you will want to go on the toboggan ride more than once!