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Gumbuya Park to undergo $50 million redevelopment

Gumbuya Park to undergo $50 million redevelopment
June 22, 2017

Plans to regenerate Victorian wildlife attraction Gumbuya Park into a ‘world-class’ destination - with a waterpark, bush resort and improved facilities - have been revealed.

Purchased for $4.65 million last year by a syndicate that included Jayco Caravans founder Gerry Ryan, plans for the $50 million redevelopment have been put together by brand activation and attractions design group Pico.

Set on 166 hectares, the 40-year-old attraction is currently home to more than 300 native animals including dingoes, wombats, koalas, emus and various bird species while also featuring a toboggan slide, water slides, paddle boats and mini cars.

At its entrance sits a giant lyrebird which became a local icon having featured in television advertisements for the park in the 1980s and 90s.

Having been starved of investment, its redevelopment will see the addition of new native species and a range of new attractions including a 4D adventure theatre, a ropes course, drop tower and disco ride while the water zone will feature a lazy river ride and a Walking with Dinosaurs attraction (Ryan chairs Global Creatures, which owns the technology behind the Walking With Dinosaurs blockbuster shows).

To be renamed Gumbuya Oz-Venture Park, the redeveloped attraction will be aimed at local, interstate and international guests.

Business director Ron Weinzierl said new owners were also confident of securing overnight guests, with a bush resort with cabins, camp sites, hotel, motel and function centre.

Weinzierl said the park - which will close from 16th July and re-open on 1st December - would be a great place to work and visit, commenting “we are excited to develop Gumbuya into a world-class destination for all ages - the Disneyland of Victoria.”

Media reports suggest that the Park’s workforce will jump from just 56 employees to more than 500, with a focus on hiring ex-auto workers.

A Cardinia Shire Tourism Strategy earlier this year said the development would strengthen its growing reputation as “Melbourne’s playground”, advising “such an exciting and significant attraction will raise Casey-Cardinia’s profile and change consumer perceptions towards a region that, to date, has not been viewed as a ‘must see and do’ visitor destination.”

Originally a pheasant farm, Gumbuya Park, was converted into a wildlife park by the late Ron Rado.

Gumbuya Park is located at Tynong, about 70 kilometres south east from Melbourne.

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