Enjoy a huge water slide each weekend & school holidays
Tomaree Aquatic Centre is located just off Nelson Bay Road, in front of Toboggan Hill Park tourist attraction. This outdoor pool complex is popular with locals for lap swimming, children's swimming lessons and leisure swimming for all ages. It has a 50 metre lap pool and also a shaded toddler pool and wading area, which is a highlight for families with small children. The pool offers a range of fitness classes for adults and multiple visit passes to make going to the pool cheaper for regulars. If you like to mix up your sports, there is also a volleyball net to have a few games, before diving back in the pool for another swim. When you get hungry, there is a kiosk at the front entrance, for hot food and ice-creams.
With so many family friendly bays around Port Stephens, many people ask - why would you want to pay money to go to the pool? Our family love going to this pool because there is plenty of shade to lay down the towels, no sand to clean out of the car afterwards and lifeguards at every corner. Oh, and one final attraction each weekend and school holidays - the water slide!
The water slide - an affordable activity at $1.50 a turn
The water slide is open each school holidays (except in winter) and every weekend, between 12pm - 3pm. The entry fee to get into the pool is $5.80 per person and then it costs $1.50 a slide (or 7 tickets for $5.80) which you purchase from the front gate. If you think you will be there for the full 3 hours, unlimited passes cost $17.70.
Depending on how busy it is when you go, there is a shaded queuing area to line up for your turn. When you get to the front, you walk forward to collect an inflatable tube from the lifeguard at the bottom of the slide. The inflatable tube is for 2 people to sit on and is shaped in the figure 8, with two holes to sit in - one at the front and one at the back. Once you have your tube, you then climb up the fireman stairs to the top of the slide. When you are given the OK, it is time to hop on and start sliding - be prepared for it to go dark and to get water in your face at the end. Everyone comes out the end laughing!
Even Santa likes to slide! Image: Original photos from Tomaree Aquatic Centre Facebook
As with all rides and slides, there are height regulations to be able to ride. There is a line on the sign that children need to be taller than to be able to ride at all, the next range allows children to go on with an adult only, and the highest range on the board allows children over a certain height (eg. age 6 - 7) to ride on their own or with another tall friend. There is a measuring height sign at the front entrance to the whole pool complex, as well as in front of the slide itself.
Measure your height against the chart to see if you can ride at all, with an adult (yellow) or with a partner who can be an adult or another child who just as tall (green)
Our family enjoys going to this pool, particularly in the summer school holidays, as there is a lot of shade to escape to when the temperature starts going over 30 degrees. It is also relaxing to watch both locals and visitors spending the day swimming and playing in the 50 metre pool, with blow up toys and noodles to keep them afloat. Meanwhile, families with small children start chatting to each other under the shade of the toddler pool, while older kids squeal down the water slide with their parents or friends. It creates a vibrant, social atmosphere to the pool - where all ages have a good time. Each time we leave, our daughter asks "Can we come back tomorrow?" - which says it all.
Why don't you give it a try for yourself this weekend?