Tourism and Major Events Minister John Eren (left) toured Gumbuya World on Thursday with owners including Ron Weinzierl who outlined stage two and three of their $90 million project.
Hundreds of jobs will be created when Gumbuya World at Tynong embarks on the next stage of its redevelopment project in February.
The $90 million project is set to create 485 jobs once the works are completed.
A dinosaur experience and wave pool are features of the stage two redevelopment with accommodation, a chocolate factory and micro-brewery part of stage three plans.
Tourism and Major Events Minister John Eren toured Gumbuya World on Thursday where owners Ron Weinzierl and Gerry Ryan outlined the next stages of redevelopment.
The transformed theme park re-opened in December with a monster water park, redeveloped animal and wildlife enclosures and new adventure rides. The project is the brainchild of a consortium of several business people.
The minister said Gumbuya World had attracted up to 3000 visitors a day over the summer months.
It is expected stages two and three will be completed by 2021, offering 50 new attractions, including the water park, adventure
rides, as well as a range of onsite accommodation, new cafes, shops, a chocolate factory and a microbrewery.
Outlining the plans, Mr Ryan said the next stage of works would begin in February and would focus on delivering Indigenous, dinosaur and wool shed precincts for educational programs. Following that, an accommodation precinct will be developed including an 80room hotel, 50 glamping sites and 100 cabins. He said bunkhouses would cater for school and educational groups.
He said they were keen to develop more attractions and make it an “all year round park.”
Mr Ryan said they expected the dinosaur experience would be very popular while the Indigenous precinct would offer an important cultural experience.
Mr Ryan said the water park had been the biggest feature of the redeveloped park.
“But it’s seasonal so we need to bring people here in the other months.”
He said they were keen to provide “nature based attractions” and educational experiences.
“Once we got in here we knew what we had, and we are half way through our investment,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Eren said the $90 million investment at Gumbuya World was an example of confidence in Victoria.
“This is great for the local economy. The visitor economy is so important to our state. This is a great investment and we are proud to be supporting this in every way we can,” he said.
By 2022, it is anticipated Gumbuya World will attract 750,000 visitors each year.
The minister said tourism had been on the rise in Gippsland, with 5.3 million visitors who spent an estimated $858 million in the
year ending March 2018 – a significant increase of 12.8 per cent and 12.3 per cent respectively since 2014.
“We’re supporting Gippsland, creating local jobs and growing the region’s economy – the development of Gumbuya World is a prime example of that support.
“This is a really exciting project. We want children to interact with the environment and take time out from their devices,” he said.
Member for Eastern Victoria Daniel Mulino said once the redevelopment was completed Gumbuya World would join the ranks of the top theme parks in Australia, attracting visitors from far and wide and creating jobs for locals.”
“Gumbuya World is a local icon and thanks to this redevelopment, it’ll be bigger and better than ever before,” he said.
Cardinia Shire mayor Colin Ross welcomed the ongoing investment at Gumbuya World and said council and planning staff were working closely with the owners.
He said the owners had transformed the park from an attraction that was down to 15 employees to a major employer in the area. “This is exciting for the community and local jobs,” he said.