In a land far, far away lies a wonderful outdoor fairy land for children that is often forgotten about as a place to visit in Melbourne.
Fairy Park, Anakie is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, enjoy the crisp fresh air and peace and quiet of the country whilst spending the day entertaining the kids and burning some energy.
Situated in Anakie on the way out to Geelong, the drive here is about an hour from Melbourne CBD through the beautiful countryside with cute spots to stop along the way like Bacchus Marsh.
The fun begins when you reach the gates and are greeted by a giant gnome and Humpty Dumpty sitting on his wall. The nostalgia is sure to start here as you remember the fairy tales from your childhood (who said it was just for the kids!).
You drive up and purchase your tickets. Adults are $16, children are $8 and under 2’s are free! There is ample free parking and on weekdays you’ll find a spot nice and close whereas weekends are slightly busier.
Fairy Park covers quite a large area of land on a big rocky hill so there is a lot of up and downhill walking and a good pair of shoes is a must! Prams are OK to take but just expect to be pushing them uphill or otherwise a carrier would be a great option for the little ones while the bigger ones can burn some energy running up and down and all around. Although you might finish your walk through Fairytale Land in an hour, you will want to allocate a few hours to really enjoy it as well as the playground and time to stop for snacks and rest.
Toilets are situated at the beginning of the park and they are the only ones so make sure if you need to go that you do before your journey (baby change tables are available as well). There is also a small kiosk at the car park that serves a small amount of food but mostly vending machines and some souvenirs (only open on weekends and public holidays). There is also takeaway food available on weekends, school holidays and public holidays. If you are visiting during the weekdays, make sure you pack a lunch or snacks as there will not be much available.
The park is made up of three main areas including Fairytale Land, Camelot Playground and the Elephant Rock Picnic Grounds. You begin your journey walking along the path through over 22 different fairy tale displays like Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood housed in castles, cottages and caves. Each display has an interactive button that the kids can push and watch the characters come to life as they dance and sing. The park has been around a while so it is quite outdated and some of the displays might seem a little old but the kids still enjoy them none-the-less. The walk itself is lovely and peaceful on a summer’s day as you travel through beautiful greenery, trickling waterfalls and lovely little gardens.
On your way up to the top of the hill you pass Puff The Magic Dragon, which is the perfect token photo opportunity. Once you reach the top there is a stunning old castle featuring Rapunzel and a great view out over Anakie. There are a few picnic tables up here as well where you can stop for lunch with a view. Also at the hilltop castle is a huge model train set, a Train Museum and a rare collection of Markilin model trains for the real train buffs.
At the end of your journey through Fairytale Land you reach Camelot Playground and it is the ultimate adventure playground. It features a tonne of secret passages, interactive mystical creatures, slides, merry-go-rounds and plenty more. It is the perfect way to end your day of fun.
For those who wish to have a BBQ, the Elephant Rock Picnic Grounds feature nine electric BBQ hot plates ($1 coin to operate). There is also plenty of seating available for birthday parties or large groups and smaller areas for families.
Overall, Fairy Park is a great day out for the kids and although a little outdated, it offers plenty to see and do and if the Fairytale Land doesn’t satisfy them enough, the playground certainly will. It would be best suited for toddler/preschool aged children as the older kids might find it a bit boring although the adults might be surprised how much they enjoy reliving some of their childhood memories.
What: Fairy Park
Where: 2388 Ballan Road , Anakie
When: 10am – 5pm. No admission after 4pm.
For opening days, always refer to the website here as they often change.
Prices: Adults $16, children $8, under 3-free