The Sunshine Coast’s “theme park” game has always been strong.
Word on the street is that the kids on the Gold Coast have always been jealous of how much fun we were having without a Tower of Terror or a Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster. But not really.
Time are a-changing and our “theme parks” are fizzing out, much like Warheads when sucked past the 30-second expiry mark. But, there are a special handful that will always have a warm place in the hearts of locals.
Here are the old-school attractions you’ll only know and miss if you were born and bred on the Sunshine Coast. How many do you remember?
Pacific Paradise was once home to Nostalgia Town, a theme park that promised a “laugh at the past”. It was all family fun with a touch of spookiness, including Grave Yard Putt—18 holes of cemetery-themed mini golf. Going back in time in Albert’s Incredible Time Machine was pretty sick, but learning about Australian History in the Enchanted Railway was even better. Sad days when it sold in 2003. Oh well, the Clive Palmer circus came to town… and the rest is history.
Olympia Theme Park
You might not remember the name, but Olympia Theme Park was the waterslide place at Alexandra Headland that closed around 10 years ago. Aside from the fact that your 10-year-old self would’ve noticed its structural instability and dodgy OH&S, you probs also remember the crazy fun times you had there. The intense aqua rush going down the red slide, after progressing from the green and blue slides. And psyching yourself to get water up every orifice after going down one of the two speed slides… Blink, and you would’ve missed the band aid floating past you in the water.
Thrill Hill Family Fun and Waterslide Park
Driving to Nambour, you’ll still see Thrill Hill sitting majestically on the… hill. A Sunshine Coast theme park stalwart, around for over 30 years, Thrill Hill at Woombye has still got it. There is 120 metres of “dynamic hydro slip-slide to get your aquatic taste buds dripping for more”—doesn’t that just sound like waterslide porn?! Hot tip: use an orange mat to clock up maximum speed.
The old Big Pineapple
Before hosting music concerts with big acts, the Big Pineapple hosted Prince Charles and Lady Di. *Side note: I’ve never seen a woman look so glamourous wearing yellow, let alone riding in a giant macadamia nut. People mainly associate the Big Pineapple with the giant fruit landmark, but if you cast your mind back there used to be all sorts of other things to do. You could ride on a train, visit the nut factory, and pet goats. Today, the train looks a little different and the petting farm is now called Wildlife HQ, where word has it, there is an albino wallaby—seriously, we need to see this.
The Super Bee
Saving the best ‘til last. We were legitimately devastated when we heard the Super Bee had closed, knowing full-well that the lives of Sunshine Coast kids were now going to be empty. This was only a week after an ecstatic high when we found out a friend had once dressed as THE Super Bee for kids’ parties. Memories including geese attacks at the duck pond, getting (sugar) high on Ironbark honey, photos with the three bears in their cottage, as well as hanging out with Jack in the house he built, and in Snow White’s little cottage. Ahhhh, RIP Super Bee, you really were a honey of a place.