AQUA PARK AR­RIVES IN AIR­LIE

One of two new aqua parks opens this week

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

LACH­LAN Queenan’s show­busi­ness past shone through on Wed­nes­day morn­ing as he watched his lat­est project – Air­lie Beach’s first wa­ter park – slowly in­flate on the shores of Pi­o­neer Bay.

“The idea is to make peo­ple’s jaws drop, their body rock and their eye­balls pop as they slip and slide,” he quipped.

“So yeah, we’re all new and just for you – Air­lie Beach!”

Air­lie Ride & Slide, as the aqua park is named, is in the ocean along the south-west edge of the Air­lie Beach la­goon rock wall and will of­fi­cially open on Satur­day at 10.30am.

Fully in­flated, the park will cover 45m2, in­clud­ing a safety ring that ex­cludes boats and other marine traf­fic.

With a ca­pac­ity of 65 peo­ple per hour, the gi­ant wa­ter­based play­ground is sure to be a hit with lo­cals and tourists alike.

Mr Queenan said the idea for the wa­ter park had been in the pipe­line for some time now.

“Af­ter years in the tourism in­dus­try and living and work- ing in Air­lie Beach and trav­el­ling away and work­ing the largest shows in the coun­try, I de­cided that the next step for me was to bring some­thing back to the com­mu­nity and bring some en­ter­tain­ment and a bit of fun to Air­lie Beach,” he said.

“I wanted to not travel around the coun­try do­ing the big shows, I wanted to stay home, I wanted to do more around the town, put back in and have a go – as a young Aussie I wanted to have a go.

“So I in­ves­ti­gated an in­flat­able wa­ter park late last year and started mak­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate con­ver­sa­tions with the coun­cil.”

The coun­cil ap­proved a six­month trial of the aqua park in April this year, with an op­tion for a fur­ther six-month ex­ten­sion to the trial.

“Both (Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor) Jen­nifer Whit­ney and (Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil Direc­tor of Plan­ning and Com­mu­nity) Dan Sta­ley, they both gave me guid­ance and sup­port to see this come to fruition and make it not just a dream but a re­al­ity,” Mr Queenan said.

Safety will be a pri­or­ity for the park, with op­er­a­tors trained and ac­cred­ited as life­guards by the Air­lie Beach Whit­sun­day Life Sav­ing Club.

Mr Queenan said en­trance to the wa­ter park would cost $15 for 50 min­utes.

Dis­counted en­trance fees of $10 are avail­able to lo­cals who call Mr Queenan on 0432 248 900 and book be­fore Satur­day.

Chil­dren un­der the age of 10 need to be ac­com­pa­nied by an adult.

More in­for­ma­tion can be found at www.face­book.com/- air­lieri­denslide.

A sec­ond wa­ter park un­der the name of Air­lie Aqua Park is planned for Boathaven Beach and will open on June 26.

WA­TER FUN: Air­lie Ride & Slide’s Lach­lan Queenan is ex­cited for the wa­ter park’s open­ing on Satur­day morn­ing.

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