It’s one of Australia’s most iconic BIG Things, but the Big Banana Fun Park is also the biggest theme park between Sydney and the Gold Coast and packed with fund for families.
There is so much to do in Coffs Harbour, it’sa challenge trying to pack everything in. I mean, in our first 24-hours in town we managed to squeeze in a tree top hop at TreeTop Adventure Park, learn all about Gumbaynggirr culture through stories, song and dance on an insightful and entertaining Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Tour, hit the beach, take a leisurely stroll around Coffs Harbour Marina and join the queue of locals for a scoop of Eric and Debs Homemade Icecream.
But when I awoke the next day and mum announced we were spending our day visiting a large banana, I thought for sure that a) she had lost her mind, and b) we were in for a very dull day.
The good news is that I was wrong on both counts because the Big Banana Fun Park is packed with heaps of attractions and tonnes of fun for families.
I have to confess that the oversized banana that sits outside left me a little underwhelmed, but as we pulled into the car park my jaw hit the floor, because hidden behind the monumental fruit was everything from a banana plantation and cafe (food always being the first thing I notice) to a massive waterpark, toboggan run and giant indoor slide. Needless to say, I was out of the car and giant slide bound before mum could even say ba-na-na!
They aren’t kidding when they say giant either, because it took my sister and I around three minutes just to walk to the top. But the speedy trip down the rainbow-coloured slippery dip was worth every step. After grabbing a blanket and making our way up, we just perch our posteriors in position then on 3, 2, 1… race to the bottom. I definitely won every time (please don’t fact check this with my sister or any other witnesses).
From there, we headed to the toboggan run that snaked its way up and around the hill, looming over the theme park. Well, we did after a quick snack run. While we waited for our turn, we gobbled down a couple chocolate covered frozen bananas, which were a bit of a mind bender. Seriously, who knew a frozen banana could taste this good?
After a comprehensive safety briefing, we hopped into our respective toboggans and began our trip up the curvy silver track. Once we reached the top my sister sped off, squealing happily as she disappeared below the horizon line, me in hot pursuit as I zoomed down the curvy track. “This is so much fun,” she screamed as she came to a stop at the bottom. Indeed, it was. So much so we jumped straight back in the queue for another run.
All that zooming down hills can take it out of a kid, and a frozen banana wasn’t gonna sustain us forever so, tummies rumbling, we headed to the park’s cafe where mum treated us to a monster banana split. And I mean monster. Seriously this thing was big enough for 10 people (or one me) and scrumptious to boot. Think two massive scoops of vanilla ice cream, two scoops of banana ice cream, four fresh bananas, bucketloads of whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, plus a pile of fresh nuts. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Banana-fuelled, we went to explore the other stores including a reptile centre and the park’s own candy kitchen, where we watched the candy makers at work. It was so satisfying watching them roll and pull the candy, and even more satisfying that my sister’s nagging paid dividends and we walked away with a few bags of the awesome rock candy.
Then it was time to strap on a Supernova Battlesuit vest and fire up my phase to pew pew my way around in the AREA 351 Laser Tag arena, my favourite attraction at The Big Banana Fun Park. It was epic and I absolutely annihilated the competition, including my sister (again, there’s no need to fact check this claim, honest).
Unfortunately for us the Big Banana’s massive water park was closed for winter, but that’s OK because it gives us a good excuse to come back again.
Reviewed by Raff – aged 13
The Big Banana Fun Park
351 Pacific Highway,
Coffs Harbour NSW
PH:(02) 6652 4355