ellaslist Takes The Plunge With Our Kids At Wet'n'Wild Sydney
Mums & Bubs
By: Megan Gibson, ellaslist explorer
Megan, one of our ellaslist Explorers, took the plunge and ventured to Sydney’s Wet’n’Wild on a gorgeous, super-hot October day with her three children, aged 6 months, 3 and 5 years. Read on to find out about their mega-water park experience! Season 4 (Summer 2016-17) is by far the biggest and best ever time to visit Wet’n’Wild. There is a new Tap’n’Play system to cut down on wait times, more umbrellas for shade throughout the park, more dining options, extended opening hours, a surf school in the wave pool, and a heap of exciting events. Use this guide and Megan’s top tips to help plan your day!
The children’s excitement started to build as soon as they saw the rainbow slides out of the window on the M4! Parking is plentiful and the atmosphere is fun and vibrant. When we arrived in the park we were given a MyBand bracelet that acts as a key to Wet’n’Wild. Not only does this wrist band give you entrance to the park, you can load it with cash at any park store to pay for food and services. You can also scan MyBand before a ride on the bigger slides to enable you to look at the photos that are taken. MyBand also gives you access to your locker if you choose to rent one for the day. New to the Summer 2016-17 season is the Tap’n’Play system- if you wish, opt for this wristband which can cut your wait time for rides in half so you wait less, and play more!
Squeals Of Excitement At Nickelodeon Beach
Our first stop was Nickelodeon Beach. Themed with Ninja Turtles, Sponge Bob and Dora, it boasts two splash zones with lots of water guns, fountains, and a massive tipping bucket. The ground in the splash zone is soft-fall rubber and because no water collects on the ground, it is perfectly safe for really little kids to crawl around or sit and splash. The tipping bucket is great fun – it empties every 5 minutes and the kids (big and small) love to gather underneath, squealing as they wait for the water to swoosh down.
Mini Rides For The Little Ones
Nickelodeon Beach also featured ten waterslides – mini versions of the larger rides in the park. These were great for our kids as they could start off slow and build up to the more adventurous rides. This whole area has one access point and the grown-ups were able to stand at the bottom under a shade umbrella and watch our little ones run up the ramps and slide down. The good news is that there was never more than a few minutes wait time to ride these slides, great for pre-schoolers with minimal patience.
Our kids then tried out slide riding. At Nickelodeon Beach, there are five slides which are ridden using either a single or double tube. To ride in a single tube children should be competent swimmers, but double tubing with a parent is just as much fun for pre-swimmers. Our 5 year old started in a double tube then moved onto a single tube on his own. To ride these slides you have to queue at the bottom to pick up your tube of choice and then carry it to the top where you have to line up again to board the ride. But the wait times were not long and the staff were really friendly and helpful with the kids.
And There’s More!
The most relaxing feature of Nickelodeon Beach is Dinosaur Lagoon! Float down a river in a giant inflatable tube as a current pushes you gently along, and come face to face with creatures of the prehistoric past! Fierce carnivores and humongous herbivores will make sounds and have families enthralled. What other water park houses beasts from millions of years ago?!
Fun Watching The Big Rides
Our kids loved watching riders on the pay and play rides – The surf deck, where kids can learn to catch a wave or show off their skills and the Sydney Skycoaster which lifts brave riders 75 meters into the air and then lets them go in an exhilarating free fall drop as they plummet face first towards the ground.
There are four slide towers at Wet’n’Wild that allow those guests over 110cm to access 13 different water slides. Those who meet the height restrictions, are competent swimmers and enjoy a thrill will love these rides. The rides vary from single to four person, and include drops, spins, covered slides, racers, twists, turns and loops on gravity defying slides. Woo Hoo!
Big Grins For The Adventurous
Our favourites were the feeling of weightlessness in Bombora and the four person fun of Riptide and The Curler. Our 5 year old rode with me and he loved the experience, finishing each ride with a huge grin on his face. Just keep in mind that these bigger rides mean a longer wait time so little kids may get antsy. We waited about 20 minutes for each ride, so definitely not for those with little patience.
Heading To The Beach
The final big attraction at Wet’n’Wild is The Beach. It’s Australia’s largest wave pool and this early in the season, it can be a little chilly. While there is some sand to play in, the water’s edge is sand-free. On the shore the waves are safe and perfect for splashing, or you can head out into deeper water for a proper swim and a surf. There are plenty of grassed areas around the park to sit and relax but on busy days it can be hard to find a spot in the shade so best to bring your own bring your own umbrella/tent (see tops tips below). This summer 2016-17 season, park upgrades included more shade- so you are sure to find an available umbrella!
Plenty Of Amenities
Throughout the park there are plenty of amenities; lots of different food choices and toilets blocks paired with lockers. The toilet blocks were all clean and well maintained, essential as most guests spend the day barefoot. The food in the park was reasonably priced with a burger and chips starting at $12. But the best treat of all was a bucket (with spade) full of ice cream and toppings from Sweet Treats; at $13 a great treat for the family to share at the end of a long hot day. New to the 2016-17 season is the opening of more dining options for families, including the Village Bean Coffee House for delicious wraps and mouth watering cakes, a Tex-Mex inspired menu at The Surf Club Restaurant, and a self-serve yoghurt machine at Sweet Treats!
As you exit the park you can view any photos that were taken, on rides and by roving photographers simply by scanning your MyBand. There is also a useful shower near the exit, allowing us to clean up and dry off before the drive home.
We’ll Be Back
Our kids loved Wet’n’Wild. Nickelodeon Beach and Boomerang Bay were definitely their favourites. The adults would have loved the freedom to go on a few more rides but given only one of our children was tall enough for the rides this just wasn’t possible – yet! If you are going to head to Wet’n’Wild Sydney this summer, a season pass (at not even twice the single day entry) is great value for the family. Next time, we will definitely check out the brand new surf school- qualified instructors giving kids and adults surf lessons in the safe and controlled environment of the wave pool!
ellaslist’s Top Tips
- Don’t arrive at opening time – this is when the lines are longest. The gates actually open an hour or so before the rides start operating (depending on the time of year) so arrive early.
- Early on in the season, the biggest line at the main gate is for those signing up for season passes. Make sure you are in the correct line. If you only want a one day pass, make sure you queue in the Box Office line.
- Before you enter, a security guard will search your bags. Some were stricter than others on what is allowed inside. Remove food from commercial packaging and place into zip lock bags before you go.
- Take a pram. It makes a great portable “camp” for the day. We loaded it with snacks, water, changes of clothes and towels. As we moved from area to area exploring the park we simply pushed the pram with us. It was also useful for hanging towels on to dry!
- Nickelodeon Beach can be really crowded so it helps to discuss rules with your children before you arrive. Make sure they make eye contact with you as they come off the bottom of each ride and to find a lifeguard (there are plenty) if they get lost.
- Prepare children for ride restrictions before you visit. Our 3 year old was disappointed to be left behind when we rode the ‘big rides’.
- Shade can be hard to find but you can bring your own sun shade tent or umbrella and erect on one of the grassy areas for a handy meeting/relaxation point – useful especially if you have older children who want to explore on their own. HOWEVER: more umbrellas have been added for Summer 2016-17.
- Leave all the things you don’t need at home. Both for safety and also to reduce what you have to carry around. Empty your wallet and just tuck a few necessary cards or cash into a pocket.
- Spare towels are handy. We visited early in the season and the water was quite cool. Having spare dry towels after each swim session was great.
- The Wet’n’Wild website states that parking is charged at $8 if you pay before you leave or $10 at the gate. There are no signs anywhere indicating that payment is required for parking. As we departed, we were stopped and asked if we had a parking ticket, then waived on with instructions to pay next time. I’m sure this isn’t standard practise so make sure you check out all your transport options.
Where: Wet’n’Wild Sydney, 427 Reservoir Rd, Prospect
Opening Dates: Season 4: until April 23 2017! They have extended their opening hours, check out the schedule here.
Cost: 1 day passes are going for $60 per child & $80 per adult (over 110cm). We recommend the Summer Days Pass for $99.
I am a Sydney-sider born and bred, but spent 12 years living in Wagga, Canberra and London. I am married to an Englishman and we have three children, Eli age 5, Allegra nearly 3 and Cooper who is just 5 months.
I am a stay at home Mum and keep myself sane by getting out and about and exploring all that Sydney has to offer. The kids and I enjoy parks, museums, picnics, playgroup, gardening, walking, cycling and road-tripping. I am the typical “crafty” mum and love getting my hands dirty, taking photos, and running (sort of). You can read my blog here.
Jan 24 2017
We have an awesome time very time we go! We watched the super motocross kids loved it, can't wait to stay for movies in the pool this Saturday night highly recommended for 2yrs to 7years who are tall enough to ride moat rides. Season passes free parking are the best way to go!
Jan 13 2017
Great review thanks for the helpful tips. Will check out at the weekend w the kids. Cheers