In 1974 the Eddy family bought a dairy farm in Jamberoo valley.
The farm was only marginally profitable and when the Minister for Primary Industry of the time, Mr Don Day, reduced the milk quotas on the south coast, the farm, as it stood, was not longer viable.
Various agricultural options were investigated but proved unsuitable as 25% of the land is very steep and has only light soil cover and this kept any potential profit down.
All the Eddy family were keen snow skiers and their creative imagination was triggered by a television ski show, Green Snow, which featured the Italian Olympic ski team training on grass in their summer.
They contacted the manufacturer of the Italian grass skis, Rolka, and decided to purchase 10 pairs.
The skis were a great success and, to facilitate a commercial operation with faster and easier ascents they built a rope tow on a steel cable, powered by a Holden motor. Another 20 pairs of skis were imported and hired out from a disused farm shed.
In early 1980 the Eddy family embarked on the creation of a recreation park with an amenities building, restaurant, carpark and, the all important, chairlift.
The chairlift started its life in the Snowy Mountains as part of a grand, but unsuccessful, scheme to link the Chalet at Charlotte pass to the Alpine Way at Thredbo. This venture was abandoned after high winds and repeated heavy snowfalls rendered it inoperable.
The Eddy family bought the chairlift and transported it to Jamberoo. As the lift was isolated inside a National Park it was removed, in pieces, by helicopter as the alternative was to drive vehicles "off road" and this was not permitted.
Once in Jamberoo the chairlift was upgraded and erected by experienced contractors from "the snow". The drive unit required a new motor, the sheave assemblies (which were the cause of most of the derailing problems of the original lift) were redesigned, the cable was replaced and new chairs built around the frames of the originals. The remainder of the chairlift, including the towers and bull wheels, was in good order and was erected without modification.
The first stage of Jamberoo Recreation Park was completed in time for the staging of the 1980 Australian Grass Ski Titles with final safety checks just one day prior to the event. To ensure that the chairs were safe two, 200 litre, drums of water (at least 400KG of weight) were attached to each chair on the uphill side of the lift, the brakes were disconnected and chairlift allowed to build up speed and then staff had to stop it by winding on a handbreak.
The chairlift is still in operation and, even if you don't want to join in the physical activities, the ride is worth it to see the spectacular coastal views from the top.
Splashout Waterslides were built in 1981 by Waterslides Australia and they were the third waterslide to be built in Australia.
They are 100 and 90 metres long and are as popular today as the first season they were built.
Each slide delivers 40 litres of water per second down the flume.
The Blue Track Mountain Slide was imported from Germany in 1983 and built by Weigand Leisure.
This ride has always been voted the best attraction by our guests. The track travels 800 metres down the mountain.
The Green Track was built in 1988 and was a welcome addition because it reduced the queuing times and provided an opportunity for younger children and families to enjoy the ride.
The Green Track is one kilometre in length and has a vertical rise from bottom station of 150 metres.
The Racing Cars were built in 1986 and were renovated in 1988 adding 16 new cars and extending the track by 200 metres. Racing Cars were replaced in 2012 by Stage 1 of the Kangaroo Island Masterplan, that incorporated the rides and attractions of Funnel Web and Banjo's Billabong.
The speed boats were also built in 1986 and renovated in 1988. Both rides have been valuable additions to the Park providing a new and unique experience.
The Boats were replaced by Outback Bay in 2005 because the Park had outgrown them and the turnover rates were too slow.
The Park did not have any further development from the period 1988 to 2000 because of the impact that public liability insurance was having on the business.
In 2000 the Park Management developed a Master Plan for the next five years. This Development Master Plan was designed to shape the future expansion of the Park and included five major attractions.
The first of the attractions in the previous Master Plan was built in 2001.
Surf Hill was built by Australian Water slides & Leisure and proved to be a very popular new ride for the Park.
Surf Hill is 100 meters long and each of the eight lanes deliver 15 litres of water per second down the flume.
The vertical rise above the run out platform is 12 meters.
This was the second attraction in the previous Master Plan which was completed in 2002.
It is 240 meters long, 5 meters wide and is driven by four pumping stations circulating the River at 1.2 meters per second.
The volume of water contained in Rapid River is one mega litre and is heated to 26 degrees.
One of the most unique features of Rapid River is a wave generator that creates waves inside the grotto.
These waves add a new dimension to the ride and assist in propelling the guests along the River.
Another feature of Rapid River is the waterfalls which cascade 400 liters of water per second into the river over artificial rocks laid into the cliff on the western side.
The third attraction, Billabong Beach, was completed in 2003.
It has an Australiana theme and was designed and built for children younger than 10 years old.
The central building is called Shearer's Shed which features water slides falling off the veranda and crows that spurt water across the Billabong.
The Australian animals, found throughout Billabong Beach, are interactive caricatures.
The Grotto was painted by representatives of the original Koori Clan from this area and the Dreamtime story painted inside the Cave is a story of the Black Duck.
Outback Bay, one of NSW's largest Wave Pools was the fourth attraction in the previous Master Plan completed in 2005.
This development was built in-house using a Scottish company called Waves International.
The wave is created by air pressure delivered into an eight wave chamber on the eastern wall of the pool.
The air displaces the water in the chamber and pushes the water out of the chamber in the form of a wave.
The wave machine is capable of making eight different wave patterns and 24 different wave styles, from parallel waves to ones that break from left to right or diamond pattern waves.
The most popular for general use is the diamond pattern.
The waves are set on a cycle of 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
The wave interval times are designed for people who just want to swim or those who want action.
The wave pool has two and a half mega litres of water which is 2,500,000 litres
Outback Bay has an Australian theme and features a range of animals in the children's area plus a replica of the Contiki Raft and the Endeavor Ship.
During 2006 the Management Team visited a number of sites around the world and met with key manufacturers of water slide equipment with the purpose of designing a new Master Plan for the next 10 years.
The Mission of the Company was to design a Master Plan that will carry the expansion of the Park into the future with the most exciting and innovative technology available in the world.
The final thrill ride in the previous masterplan development opened in Sept 2007.
The Taipan is a giant water slide where up to five guests ride down the slide in a clover style raft.
It is the darkest, scariest ride yet! The length of the ride is 160 meters and has a vertical rise of 18 meters.
The first high thrill water ride in the current new masterplan known as "Kangaroo Island" opened in December 2012.
The Funnel Web is the Longest, Biggest most exhilarating water thrill ride built in the world.
At 270mtrs in length, guests travel up to 30klms an hour in 4 person clover leaf rafts.
The first attraction in the current new masterplan known as "Kangaroo Island" opened in December 2012.
Banjo's Billabong is the largest Aqua play structure built in the Southern Hemisphere.
It is a spectacular four storey, 760sq metre Australiana themed with over 198 different water features crowned by a huge water bucket, which tips 1200 litres of water over the structure every 5 minutes.
A ‘hands-on’ adventure for everyone containing multiple-level platforms, 6 water slides, valves, cranks, water cannons, bridge climbs & spray features.
The Tallest, Longest, most exciting water ride, built of its kind, in the world…
NOT 1 … NOT 2 … BUT 3 tornados violently twisting and rotating around each other will combine to create The Perfect Storm.
At 290mtrs in length, guests travel up to 40klms an hour in 4 person clover leaf rafts.
Hold on and prepare for the ride of your life! reachingheart-stopping speeds as you experience moments ofZero-Gravity, in complete darkness, twisting up and down, back and forth inside the vortex of The Perfect Storm.
This approved development will ultimately replace the entire area where our Go Cart tracks were once situated. While the Go Carts were extremely popular over the past 20 years they could only service around 250 people comfortably, the new development, when fully completed, will easily be able to accommodate 4500 to 5000 people.
Not only will the latest in high thrill water based rides and attractions be on offer there will be a huge reduction in queue times and congestion making for an even more enjoyable experience for our guests.
To be built in multiple stages over the coming years the Kangaroo Island masterplan incorporates;
In addition to these main attractions, the development will also include several themed highlights including suspension bridges, dripping logs, rock walls, waterfalls, wave chamber, river tunnel cave, water jets and of course food outlets, toilets, change rooms and general amenities.
Stage 1 completed! Details can be found Click here.