Lake Burley Griffin’s first inflatable water park is set to make a splash this weekend when it officially opens on Saturday off Black Mountain Peninsula at 10am.
The park has been taking shape this week with the operators inflating sections and fixing them in place on the water.
Park manager David Watts says the climate over summer makes the inflatable park the perfect attraction for Canberrans looking to experience something different and get out on the lake to beat the heat.
“We are very hopeful that Canberra will respond to the aqua park as it’s generating a lot of interest on social media and we hope that will translate to people coming out and having fun on the lake,” Mr Watts says.
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While algae and water quality have been points of contention for locals, Mr Watts says that there is no risk to the public.
“We’re not concerned about algae. The water is tested every week by the National Capital Authority (NCA) and we’re guided by the Government,” he says. “If there is an issue, and water quality is deemed not safe, then the park will be closed.”
The park has sessions every hour between 10am and 4pm, with a maximum of 100 people per session. The aqua park is expecting 500-600 people on its opening day this Saturday, with six lifeguards employed to ensure the safety of patrons.
Day 3 done. Still a bit to go but we will be ready for our grand opening on Saturday. Get on board at canberraaquapark.com/tickets
Posted by Canberra Aqua Park on Tuesday, 5 November 2019
“There will be a minimum of three lifeguards at any time, and that will be ramped up to six when the park is at full capacity,” Mr Watts says. “All participants have to wear a supplied life jacket for their own safety.”
The Canberra Aqua Park hasn’t been without controversy, with the NCA approving it back in August, despite considerable opposition.
Out of 123 written submissions, 65 opposed the water park and 34 wanted the park in a different location. Submissions from Radford College, Rowing ACT and Triathlon ACT all flagged the possibility of the park interrupting their activities on the lake.
The key concerns raised against the application included poor water quality, insufficient parking and amenities, as well as potential clashes with events such as triathlons.
The NCA denied that the park would interrupt other activities.
“The aqua park will occupy a small portion of the of the water surface area within the buoyed swimming beach (approximately 37 per cent) which leaves the majority of space (63 per cent) open to public use, including access to the additional fenced children’s area,” the consultation report said.
“The proposal is unlikely to impact on the nearby rowing sheds, sited approximately 135 metres away from the closest shed.”
The consultation report said that the NCA believed the swim leg of the triathlon and rowing regattas were located outside the swimming beach buoy line.
“The NCA considers that multiple events can occur concurrently at Black Mountain Peninsula, and a large component of the buoyed swimming area remains accessible to the public and for event use,” the report says.
“Therefore, the NCA does not expect any conflicts between scheduled events and the aqua park operation.”
The aqua park is set to run from November through until April, with NCA chief Sally Barnes welcoming additional summer activity on Lake Burley Griffin.
“The NCA is keen to see more community use of Lake Burley Griffin and this trial along with the hopeful reactivation of the pedal boats on the lake in the future, will continue to activate the lake for locals and visitors to our fabulous national capital,” she said back in August.
“This is a trial and we recognise the community’s views and we will continue to work with the Canberra community and stakeholders that utilise this part of the lake for sporting and recreational purposes to ensure that this site is managed for multi-use.”
A wetsuit might be advised, with the Bureau forecasting a partly cloudy day with a minimum of 1C and maximum of just 17C.
Prices start at $20 for a 50-minute Aqua Park session (plus a 10-minute safety briefing). The Aqua Park is located at Lake Burley Griffin, Black Mountain Peninsula, Garryowen Drive, Acton.
To learn more, visit Canberra Aqua Park.